As you can see, I have fallen quite behind on my updates. I am eager to write about what is currently going on in Turkey, so it is time to get caught up. I have decided the best way to do that is to fast forward to our five day layover in Switzerland…
After a month of touring Morocco we were looking forward to resting up in a Western country. As much as I loved Morocco, I was ready for a break from the bartering, begging and the constant games being played. We also experienced extreme heat conditions during our camel trek in the Sahara Desert, as well as two day stay in Marrakech.** link wiki.
Our flight out of Marrakech was delayed and we didn’t land in Switzerland until after midnight. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive to light rain and cool weather.
We had arranged for a car for the five days to give us a break from public transit and the bicycles. It would also give us more freedom to see the Swiss Alps, and we planned to save money by sleeping in the back.
We had also arranged for Couchsurfing hosts in Basel for our first two nights. _____ was patiently waiting up for us when we finally made it to their flat around 2 am. I felt awful, but there wasn’t much we could do. We headed straight to bed as all of us were very apparently exhausted.
The next morning we woke up to a wonderful Swiss breakfast. There was quite the array of meats, cheeses (which we really missed in Morocco), yogurts, juices, tea, spreads, bread, etc.
We learned that Art Basel **link was taking place that week. We were lucky enough to be in town for one of the biggest art exhibits in the world.
We had a great day exploring Basel and the Art Exhibit that evening. We saw art from all of the world… Even a couple of Picasso’s paintings.
We shared a nice dinner by the river with our Couchsurfing hosts for sunset. This seemed to be common for locals, as there were many others doing the same. It was beautiful to watch the sunset over the city of Basel and all of the Swiss architecture. I don’t remember Geneva being so beautiful, but it has been years since I celebrated my 21st birthday there.
The next day we headed to the Rhine Falls, which is meant to be one if the biggest in Europe. I wasn’t too impressed, but was still glad to be getting back to nature. There was a lot of water flowing, but no big drop.
We picked up our good friend Flo from the Camino de Santiago on our drive down to Zurich. He arranged for us to stay at a campground right on the city lake that night.
We relaxed at the campground before heading into the city to meet my Bulgarian friend Iskren. We were buddies from the dorms in college and had traveled together in Spain, Belgium and Holland. He found a cheap flight to Switzerland for the weekend, so we were able to spend a night catching up together.
Flo acted as an awesome tour guide for the night! We walked around the old town, admiring Zurich’s attractions with the night lights. Europe has a truly special feeling at night time, and I was glad to experience it one more time on this journey… It brought me back to my first trip to Madrid in 2005.
Along with exploring Zurich came many rounds of drinks. We all told stories and had a great time catching up.
I was bummed to see Iskren go so soon the next morning, but was also looking forward to escaping from the city. Kyle, Flo and I were off to spend our last days in the Swiss Alps!
The drive was absolutely breath taking! We passed lake after lake and eventually came to waterfall wonderland! There were waterfalls scattered throughout the vibrantly green mountains. Some of the towns even had waterfalls flowing through.
I was seriously impressed. Not much has compared to the beauty I experienced on the Pacific Crest Trail, but the Alps definitely rank up there!
We found a nice campsite near Interlaken. The site was right on the lake and had everything we needed. Showers, bbq, and a quiet space. We actually found a marijuana plant near our spot, a definite sign that it is legal here!
We bbqed some Swiss sausages with Flo before he took the train back to his home. We had such a great time reliving our intense memories of the Camino together. I look forward to showing him around Arizona one day!
The next day, which was also our last day in Switzerland, was the best one yet. We rode the old train up a steep incline toward the top of Jungfrau. It was quite expensive (much like the rest of Switzerland), so we only rode a short distance.
The hike up the rest of the way was absolutely beautiful! We passed waterfalls, patches of snow, springs, and even an ibex. It was a very peaceful day and it felt good to be back on our feet. Cycling has been fun, but we don’t always get to experience nature quite like this.
Switzerland is a beautiful country and we had a wonderful week stay. Our bodies were thankful for the time off, but our wallets were ready to go. We were off to Turkey to see what adventures were in store for us next!