Friday, June 20, 2014

Rome to Lutry June 19

                                                                        Current Day.                        Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles.                                      9.2.                                     493.4

Gross climb- feet.                                                140.                                  35,803

Song of the day: When I get Big by Waylon Jennings

I might drive a truck, 
I might drive a train 
I might sail a boat or fly an airplane 
Might take a rocket ship to the moon 
I'm growin' pretty fast so it might be soon.

Trains, planes, automobiles....and feet.....At 6 am, a car picked us up at our hotel and took us to the airport,  30 minutes (about 30 miles) outside of Rome.  We then boarded a plane for Geneva, a flight of 75 minutes (perhaps 500 air miles).  After landing in Geneva, we boarded a 35 minute train ride to Lausanne (about 40 miles).  Finally, we walked a little over 2 hours (6 miles) to Lutry.  Sort of puts things in perspective....Walking is life in slow motion!  But, the most beautiful and satisfying part of the day was the 2 hours we walked from Lausanne to Lutry.  The entire walk was along the banks of Lake Geneva, a stunning lake surrounded by the Alps.  Somewhat reminiscent of Lake Tahoe in the USA, both in size and setting.  

We stopped in the tourists office in Lausanne to ask about hiking paths for the Via Francigena.  The people working there all looked at us with a blank look on their faces.  They had no idea what we were talking about!  All of a sudden, an older man came into the office, also,asking about the Via.  I guess they better figure this out!  The other hiker was Brian, a 68 year old Canadian.  He told us he was 68 because it was his birthday!  He said he had been hiking from Cantebury for the past month or so, and was continuing on to Rome.  He expects to finish in early August.  By the, the trail ended up being very well marked, with Via Francigena signs everywhere.  The tourist office just needs to get up to date.

This is what our walk looked like:

Instead of going out for dinner tonight, we bought some food and a bottle of wine at the grocery store and went to a park near our hotel on the lake.  It was a very enjoyable evening to sit outside and watch the people and  beautiful scenery.

It truly is a culture shock from spending the last 5 weeks in Italy to come to Switzerland.   There is a certain beautiful messiness and chaos to Italy that I find very appealing.  Switzerland on the other hand is very neat and orderly....and perhaps a bit boring at times.  What is truly amazing to us is how quiet everything is.  People talk in low voices.  Car drivers don't seem to use their horns.  When the church bells ring, they only ring once, not for 2 or 3 minutes every half hour.  However, as an operations guy, I truly do appreciate that things seem to work in Switzerland.  The people are also very friendly, although not nearly as effusive as the Italians.  

But perhaps the biggest change is the cost!  Switzerland is unbelievably expensive.  Although we live in one of the more expensive cities in the world (San Francisco), it is a bargain compared to Switzerland.  We stopped at a bar in Lausanne to have lunch yesterday.  This was just a standard, crappy bar.  A cheeseburger was $25!  Our hotels in Switzerland are 2 or 3 times more expensive then they were in Italy, and if last night is any indication, not as good. 

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