Well, folks, there’s a lot to be caught up on! I know, I know. That blog about Santorini was pretty great so your expectations for this one are probably through the roof. Well, time to be disappointed, friends. Look—transitions are hard. The climate change from Greece to Switzerland has Ryan popping more ibuprofen than Dwyane Wade after a knee workout. Courtny switched from flip flops to hiking shoes and the results have been less than ideal. Meanwhile, we’re sitting on a train from Zermatt to Geneva after a brutal (but awesome) hike. I am exhausted. I have two drops of water left and I’m all out of hummus. Insert transition here back to Greece here.
So Ios was a good time. We were pretty exhausted from our sunrise trip to Ia the night before, but Courtny and I sucked it up and rented a double kayak in the afternoon. We went out to a beautiful bay area and only fought about mistimed paddle strokes 14 times. Insert transition here.
Later that night we went on a group bar crawl, making it our first group activity since the first night in Athens. It was a good time, but we were ready to go to sleep after a few bars so we made our way back to the hotel. Insert transition here.
Predictably, day two started off around noon. That is the schedule Courtny and I have become accustomed to at home, but on vacation we’ve been getting off to much earlier starts. However, after the intensity of Santorini and the kayaking on Ios, our poor little bodies were exhausted. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take advantage of all of our time—the day started off with a boat excursion out to some caves, a private beach, and another cliff jump. This cliff jump wasn’t as high or as beautiful as the one in Amoudi Bay, but it was still a fun experience. Insert transition here.
We watched an amazing sunset from the top of Chora, the main town in Ios. There was a classic Greek island church and a mountain with the sun dropping into the ocean in the background. Afterward, we went into town and found a nice little restaurant with the best sagnaki I’ve ever had. Admittedly, I had never tried sagnaki until I went to Greece. I don’t even know if that’s how you spell it, but it was delicious. Insert transition to Athens here.
Athens was a lot of fun. We had a farewell dinner and wine (with a lot of extra that we poured into giant plastic bottles) and headed off to the hotel to hang out with our tour friends. Unfortunately, we had to catch a shuttle to the airport at 4 in the morning and didn’t get to bed until 3. So I got 20 minutes of sleep. On the bright side, falling asleep on the flight to Switzerland was incredibly easy. Now THAT’S a transition!
We landed in Zurich on Sunday afternoon. We missed the memo that Switzerland is completely dead on Sundays. I mean, sure, most people in Chardon stay inside and watch football on Sundays. But if you walk uptown, you’ll at least see some cars going up and down the street. By the time we got to Zumikon, there was no humanity in sight. Have you ever seen I Am Legend? That was us. We were legend. To add to the effect, my GPS wasn’t working, so we had no clue how to get to Robin’s house. Fortunately, two lovely people walked by after about ten minutes and guided us to our destination. Robin’s family has been incredibly gracious in our time in Switzerland—the dinners have been amazing, the wine from their winery in Australia was delicious, and the beds… oh the beds. Insert transition to Lucerne here.
Lucerne was the first city I’ve been to on this trip that felt like a traditional European city. The architecture was elegant and the churches were towering over everything. In a quick stroll around town, we saw all of the landmarks that we wanted to and made our way to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Boom. Transition.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley hostel we stayed at had a better view than most hotels I’ve seen. We got to overlook the whole valley from a balcony and I spent probably the first hour and a half just sitting on the bench looking out over the landscape. At night, Courtny and I (along with a couple of hostel buddies) braved the rain and walked to the biggest waterfall in the valley. There was actually a path leading behind it, so we took that well-marked (and quite wet) walk to see the waterfall from inside of the cliff walls. I have to say, my first time behind a waterfall was a pretty cool experience. After that though, it was time to head back and go to sleep.
Day two was much better in terms of weather. We could actually see to the end of the valley where there was a huge glacier towering over us. We went to the Trummelbach Falls—a series of waterfalls inside of caves. We got soaked but the sheer power of the water was awesome. If anything, my time in Lauterbrunnen Valley convinced me there’s no way Kuzco and Pacha survive that waterfall in The Emperor’s New Groove. Water is powerful stuff, people. Insert transition to Zermatt here.
Actually, we’re gonna hold off on Zermatt. It deserves its own blog. Boom. Transition.