As a pit stop from overnights in Basel to Verona, we made it to Lucerne for breakfast. We walked along the Reuss river and made friends with the swans. Seriously. I would move to Switzerland just for the animal sitch they’re workin with. I can only imagine that sitch in Austria because Austria is just as lovely and we’re completely obsessed after our Christmas trip. Secret little country doesn’t want the outsiders to know how great it is.. J and I’s conversation on the way through Austria when we forgot how much we adored the country..
‘Hi guys – welcome back! We’re glad to have you. Hope you enjoy being here, really we do. Have a look around at our home..you can tell people about it if you want, or not, either way we’re just chillin.’ – Austria
This is also the method with which J re-teaches me all of the European history that I probably learned in school, but forgot it like a normal person. He personifies leaders and countries and makes them into characters that I’ll remember and he is gonna be the greatest dad. If it doesn’t confuse the heck out of them..
Where were we? Oh yeah, Schweis. Which is the Swiss German, or maybe just German?, way to say it in the city and I like the local language of cities to shine…even if I’m butchering the pronunciation with my Southern-trying-really-hard-not-to-sound-too-Southern American accent. Overly expressive facial expressions and all.
They’ve got this famous bridge, Kapellbrücke. That thing is a work of art, all 669 ft of it. It cuts through the Reuss and was originally built in 1333, making it the oldest covered bridge in Europe. Except for the restoration that was needed in 1993 (allegedly) caused by a cigarette. Do you know I now feel dirtier for even having that word on our blog. Yuck. Get that crap under control people. Please and thank you. Anyway, that bridge is a beaut with its remainders (and sadly, restorations) of 17th century paintings throughout Lucerne’s history.
It was all so picturesque. Take a gander..
We called this one Grace.
Because we were one for three. Three times the mister and I have tried to hit up a river cruise in the country of Belgium. That first time was kinda our fault..the forecast said it was pretty out, or maybe we didn’t check the weather? Who can even remember at this point, it was like 39 days ago or something. We got in the car and drove straight up to Ghent and parked our car and walked outside and let it pour down on us for like eight seconds before we decided – nope.. Okay, maybe it was a light rain, but it was cold and being on the water sounded little fun. Bummer. So, we walked back inside and bought some watercolor paint in the parking garage slash shopping mall and got back in our car and drove straight back down to Brussels where I can’t remember if it was raining or not, but that’s beside the point. That second time was with the ladies in Bruges and the weather was a tiny bit chilly, but not a rain cloud in sight and J and I’s eyes lit up when we walked over a canal by chance and saw a guided tour float by under our bridge. Maybe?! Nope. Nanan nixed that idea up and real quick since her layer of thermals wasn’t warm enough. On land we stayed. Such is the life of a host.
But! Last Saturday, the stars aligned and there was sunshine and it was just the two of us and we saw our chance.
And the town of Ghent was so excited for us that they all came out to welcome us and, well okay, not totally just for that, but there were many a Belgian and non-Belgian alike amongst those cobblestone streets. I love when you get close to the center of a city and, whether it’s official or not, the cars turn away and all there are are people walking, bicycling, meandering, enjoying the leisurely life along the streets…in the masses (sooo many people here!). Actually, I take that back. Leisurely and bicycles don’t go together in these parts. It’s a serious, fast-paced agenda that bicycling in Northern Europe. We boarded our wooden yacht and sat back watching boats bump into each other and then waving ‘pardon’ or whatever the Dutch word is (sorry Dutch friends)…are they seriously smiling?! So many people. We laughed at the signs on every seat saying tipping was customary in 4 different languages guaranteeing you couldn’t miss it because it’s funny that tipping is not customary in Europe but tipping IS customary on tourist rides. The adventure began and we listened to the tour in English, French, Dutch and maybe there was another one, but my ears only tuned in when they heard english or a french term that they didn’t use during the English translation (what the heck.). Kinda rad how the brain does that, but can’t remember the grammar rules for capitalizing languages (help?) to save my life. Capitalization for all!
You see, the thing about floating under a willow tree is that it’s lovely.
So, we’re all in agreeance that, like the birds, we’ll be flying South for the next winter? fer sher. But! in the midst of all of this 5 degree shiz, the good Lord has blessed us with some glorious sunshine! And, whoa baby is it appreciated! Guys. I got a neck draft. That’s when it’s decidedly too dang cold. A neck draft? I can’t move and I can’t sleep unless I’m utterly exhausted, which kinda works out that I don’t have a schedule right now, but my poor hubby who can’t do anything about it but just hear me squirm all night. Thankfully, pharmacies over here are more like going to the doc back in the states, so first thing this a.m., I made some calls to get some kinda bengay-type-stuff/miracle-in-a-tube from the quarter English pharm so that I could move my neck to write this post. Super productive Monday. Wait. Where were we? Oh, yeah, there’s sun. Look^!!
Since that was completely unnecessary, I’m gonna throw in some trivia about the Atomium in Brussels because. Yeah.
- The iconic building was built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.
- It forms the shape an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.
- CNN named it Europe’s most bizarre building.
Belgium The guy who came up with the Atomium (better?) tried to copyright photos of the structure. They asked people to send in their photos and Photoshopped the Atomium out of them. Through the years, people have tried to argue that this is absurd (because, obviously). As it stands today, there is an exemption for private individuals to put photos in their scrapbooks..but only until 1 January 2076.
- Reality TV fans: It was the tenth pit stop in The Amazing Race 19.
- Music: Pink Floyd’s ‘Paint Box’ 1968 music video is set in Brussels, where you can see the Atomium in the background.
- Videogamers: It is a placeable scenery object in the game RollerCoaster Tycoon 2.