Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So Long, Farewell

We really did have to leave Switzerland. Although on our drive out of the country, we discussed ways to get our daughter Swiss citizenship. For instance, as soon as I go into labor, if we head for the border (we already have the road sticker, so we wouldn't even have to stop), and I give birth in Switzerland, would that do it? What exactly are the rules on that sort of thing. I don't know that a whole lot of Western Europeans are running for the Swiss border to have children, so perhaps there are no rules governing this concept. I suppose we should just stick to our original plan of going to the hospital on base. But I'm not giving up the dream of a Swiss chalet. We could spend winters on a sailboat in the Caribbean and summers in a log cabin Switzerland. Ah, the dreams of the childless. About six more weeks until reality comes home to roost.

Lucerne's Chapel Bridge, Europe's oldest wooden, covered bridge.
Leaving Grindelwald Valley, we put Lugano into the GPS (our intended lunch stop) and headed out, driving through more gorgeous vistas. At one point, we passed a suspicious road sign that listed about six different mountain passes and their status (open or closed). We were going too fast for me to read the whole thing, but I noticed only two passes were closed. Surely out of six available ones, we were on the road to an open one. Right? We drove up, up, up, waterfalls everywhere, past the snow line, and in multiple places, past road barriers that were lifted up. Good news. Until we were almost to the actual pass. And the road barrier was down. We'd been driving up this particular mountain pass road for 45 minutes. Thankfully, the views were so gorgeous that doing the same trip in reverse was not a huge hardship. And it meant we got to see Lucerne. Checking our map and considering we didn't make note of which passes were open and which were closed, the best route seemed to be for us to stick to the main freeway all the way up to Lucerne for lunch, then come down the freeway into Italy. But by the time we reached Lucerne, we were tired of being in the car...and not only were we not out of Switzerland, we were two hours out of our way in the wrong direction! We took the Lucerne picture (truly, a gorgeous city), ate lunch, and got back on the road to Verona, where we'd planned to stop for the night. Verona of Romeo and Juliet fame. Unfortunately, Verona was about 30-40 minutes out of our way, and in hindsight, we wished we were just making for home. But we had hotel reservations that could not be cancelled and the thought of driving well into the night vs a nice dinner and hotel stay meant Verona won out.

We pulled into our hotel just before dark and heard the most unearthly screeching. Just horrid. And loud. Then a peacock walked around the corner. That made the screeching almost bearable. I've never stayed at a hotel with a pet peacock. I must have taken as many pictures of it as I did the Alps. I was even able to forgive it's shrieking when it began at 6am the following morning, mainly because it's peahen was out and about, so the peacock walked around for an hour with all his feathers displayed. Giving me a good photo op was worth the shrieking wake up call.

As far as Verona goes, it's a very nice, pretty city. There is a large amphitheater, and the night we were there, some sort of pop concert was taking place inside it. We walked around the pedestrian zone, took a picture of the wall of love letters at Juliet's house (from the one in the movie "Letters to Juliet" - if you saw the movie, both the wall and the letter answering club are real), and found one of the prettiest piazzas in all of Italy (Piazza d'Erbe). We were just really ready to be at home, so I'm afraid we did not enjoy Verona as much as I'd hoped...and we were both sad to no longer be in Switzerland. And a shrieking peacock woke us up at dawn.

Did you know peacocks could fly?
I didn't, but I saw it with my own eyes.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. God was really using His imagination when He created the peacock. That is a beautiful picture!

  3. These photographs are really amazing. They made the article more interesting to read.

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