While walking in Zurich’s old town with no destination in mind, we saw some stairs to take.
Thinking there will be more boutiques or maybe a main street above, we find this instead…
A park full of local young people and amazing views.
I love travel moments like this.
The fondue restaurant Swiss Chuchi didn’t disappoint. Reservations would not be a bad idea.
Zeughauskeller is a popular beer house, especially with tourists. I thought this restaurant and food was just okay. There was not a lot of people when we went, so the “fun” atmosphere that makes this restaurant was lacking.
My favorite restaurant by far was found randomly. Schtund is just off Bahnhofstrasse. It’s a small bistro specializing in Flammkuchens. I had never heard of this food, but I’m now it’s biggest fan.
Sprungli is a must see and taste for chocolate and macarons.
And our worst food experience in Zurich was beef tartare with spices. Points for effort on our part for giving it a try.
Today we took the train to Lucerne which is about an 45 minutes outside of Zurich. This city is well worth a visit. It is exactly the type of city I think of when I think of Switzerland. It has it all: an old town, a lake, and the alps.
Debating whether to stay in Zurich or Lucerne? Zurich has more restaurants and shopping, while Lucerne has a more charming atmosphere.
At the end of my first day in Zurich, I’m still having sticker shock. This city is SO expensive. Let me give you some examples in approx usd.
- A 4 mile taxi- $28
- The buffet breakfast at the hotel- $33
- Bathroom at the train station $3
- 1 scoop ice cream cone x 2 $15
On a better note, the center city with its old town is beautiful. Stores from H&M to Chanel line the streets. The better eating places seemed to be on the same side of the bridges as Grossmünster and Niederdorf.
Most of the recommended sights can be done on foot in a day. The tourist map will give you a walking route to make it even easier.
Switzerland photos wouldn’t be complete without posting a picture of a chocolate store.
Here are some bus ride views of Santorini away from the caldera.
Was it it what you were expecting to see?
With a full agenda planned, we instead find ourselves lounging on beach chairs in Perissa. The weather is a perfect 80f with cool breezes, black sand beach and blue water. We’re enjoying Mythos beers and chatting together, as well as listening to all the different languages being spoken around us.
Now the big decision of the day has become where do we want to go eat.:)
Okay, so I’m 50 now and consider myself in good shape (meaning I do the elliptical 3+ per week, live in a 3 story house, etc). The popular trail to walk/hike from Fira to Oia is about 6 1/2 miles long and seemed like a nice way to spend a few hours with incredible views.
The first half of the trail is winding through Fira to Imerovigli walking the paved pathways and stairs nestled between the cliff side hotels and restaurants.
The second half is where this beautiful path becomes a real hike. The scenery becomes the hills on open dirt, gravel, and rock paths. And the hills become bigger.
And then there comes the point where it becomes a real struggle and donkeys are strategically placed at this point as an option.
But we powered through. The internet said 2-5 hours, we walked it in approximately 4 with pained knees, legs, and lower backs. We thankfully arrived at the promised land, Oia.
For Sr. Elizondo and myself, this trek was an accomplishment and the views amazing. I’m sure many people have no problem with this hike, but make no mistake: the second half of this trail IS A HIKE.
Its time to say good bye to Croatia. The beauty of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea far exceeded my expectations. The people were friendly and welcoming, and the seafood and gelato were delicious. Oh, and I’ll definitely be missing the kitties that populate the streets. The only downside to Dubrovnik is it’s pricier than I expected.
If you’re on a timeframe, I think 1-3 days in Dubrovnik is sufficient. I would break it down like this:
- 1 day- Old Town, Lokrum Island and/or Banje Beach
- 2 day- An Island excursion or two
- 3 day- Explore Lapad and it’s beaches (if beach days are your thing)
- Stick to seafood. Maybe I had bad luck, but the few times I didn’t order seafood it wasn’t that great.
- Tips can only be given in cash. They cannot add it to the credit card.
- Euros are accepted everywhere, but your change will be in their money called Kuna.
- Pupo restaurant in the old town was my favorite.
- If you like white wine, be sure to try Posip.
- If your interested in tours outside Dubrovnik, I recommend Mostar and I would pass on Montenegro.
We spent most of the day in Lapad at a small beach club.
We swam in the Adriatic Sea, drank beers and had fish and chips for lunch. It was a travel day going as planned until that evening..
Sr Elizondo got it first and then about 4 hours later I became sick too. I’ve never had food poisoning, but there’s no mistaking it when you get it. We suspect it was the fish since we both ate the same thing.
Now it’s been 24 hours and we’re both still recovering. Our last day in Dubrovnik has been spent in our hotel room.
I’m looking at it as one more travel experience I’ve now had.