Switzerland Surprises and a Quick Stop in Trier

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We’ve been in Bruges for a couple of days now and are really enjoying it.  It’s a long way between Wengen and Bruges (especially if your Eurail Pass doesn’t include France), so we took 8 trains over 2 days with a lot of luggage.  So here are some random thoughts wrapping up our time in Switzerland and overviewing our quick stop for the night in Trier, Germany.

Switzerland is outrageously expensive.  Since we rented the apartment at a weekly rate, it wasn’t too bad, but the food and trains here are so pricey.  I don’t think we’ve had a meal for less than $100 Swiss Franc (about $115 USD). Bill’s McDonald’s in the train station was $15. (The views make up for it.)

Alps are actually dairy farms up in the mountains where the farmers take their cows to spend the summer.  If the ceremonial cow bells are hung under the eves, the cows are up for the summer.  They make cheese because it’s too far down to send milk.  And if you happen to stop at one in the middle of a hike and order a cheese and ham board made at their alp, it will be the best thing you’ve eaten all week.  (Maybe all month.)

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One night after dinner, we wandered over to the Wengen Tourist Information center for a folk festival.  There was cowbell (huge, like 2-3 feet in diameter) band? playing, a marching band, and traditional dance.  A man played Brahms on the alpenhorn.  A group of men and women yodeled, which may have been one of the loveliest things I’ve ever heard.  The whole evening was delightful.  And random.

But, alas, we had to leave Switzerland. (Otherwise we would have run out of money.) Sunday, we took 5 trains to get Trier, which is in Western Germany right near the Luxembourg border.  It was a major city in the Roman Empire, a capital of one the regions, where Constantine visited/lived.  It has the most Roman ruins outside of Rome.

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Sunday night when we got in we were exhausted, but the girls and I swam in the hotel pool just to get our wiggles out after having sat most of the day.  We weren’t sure if we wanted to go out and about the next morning or just hop a train and get to Belgium, but I’m really glad we decided wander the city for a few hours before catching a train (or 3).  The city is lovely and the ruins were quite impressive.   It was definitely a great way to spend a morning

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