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8 to 15 November

8 to 10 November

After Monaco, we had a few days back in Paris before leaving for Switzerland to basically do more laundry! During those few days, was the US election day. We had read online that there was a rather large election viewing party. We had planned to meet some American friends there around 9pm our time or 3pm EST to stay for a few hours. Our friends made it there first and the place was so packed they were not letting anyone else in. Supposedly, the place was full of Frenchies. We ended up staying in and watching the results coming in until we went to bed around midnight.

The next morning we woke up and saw the election was not yet called! Jer told me the news while I was on the RER to work, that Trump had won the election.

11 November

Today we headed off to Switzerland. I have to be in Switzerland for work Sunday night so this trip conveniently feel over a holiday. Today being Armistice day here in Europe coinciding with Veterans Day in the US.

We got to CDG to then take the 1 hour quick flight to Zurich. It is so easy (as long as it is on time).
From the Zurich airport, we took the 1 hour train right to Lucerne, which is where we were staying for the weekend.

We got off the train and took a short walk to the Renaissance Lucerne Hotel. After checking in, we had a light lunch at the restaurant at the hotel,  Pacifico.

Then it was time to start exploring! We walked from the hotel to the Chapel Bridge, which is a wooden bridge spanning diagonally across the river. It is the show piece of the city for sure.

We then wondered around the rest of the city. Including finding our token church, the Church of St. Leodegar which was just as impressive as many of the other churches we have seen.

We then headed up to the Museggmauer which is the old city wall which is adorned with 9 towers. The walk is not for the faint of heart. But the views from the base of the wall looking out onto the lake are breathtaking, even on a grey day.

The walk up.
Views over the city.
Just amazing.
One of the towers.

We then headed to the…casino. There was a Jazz festival for the weekend so we wanted to see prices. Needless to say, it was astronomically priced. We quickly called it a day and weekend at the casino.

We then had dinner at a fondue houseZunfthausrestaurant Pfistern, which is everything you dream about when you think, Swiss fondue. We sat outside on a chilly night, covered in blankets and pelts and enjoyed the sound of snow on the awning which looked out over the town of Lucerne.

Zunfthausrestaurant Pfistern all lit up for the evening.
During the holiday season they set up the open air space under the restaurant for two evening sittings.
Amazing dinner with a view.

After we finished our massive pot of cheese, we walked down to Mr. Pickwick for some beers and watch the end of Eurocup Qualifying matches. However trying to pay for our beers became problematic. In Switzerland, the currency is the Swiss Franc and they have some very large coins that are the equivalent of 5 euros. I thought I gave the bartender three 5 Swiss Franc coins. Well I tried to pay with my St Christopher’s medal my mom gave me before leaving the US (sorry Mom). We all got a good laugh and squared up our tab to then watch some football. 

Step Count: 14,457, 10.2km

12 November

This morning we had breakfast at Pacifico, which was a very nice buffet as it was included with the cost of our room, gotta love Marriott Platinum Status!

After we stuffed ourselves, we headed to my favorite thing about Europe, the Saturday Morning markets! It was amazing how much produce there was in November but you can tell the areas that are not elevated have not been cold enough to freeze. The flowers, fruit, cheese and meats look like they could all be in a Martha Stewart photo shoot.

To bad one of these wreaths couldn’t make it back to Paris.

We then took the bus to head to Mt. Pilatus since weather was nice today after the dreary day yesterday. It was also snowing so much up on the mountain that they closed it for the day.

Mt Pilatus is easy to reach as it has 2 sets of cable cars that go up to the top, but like everything in Switzerland, it was not cheap. We took both cars all the way up to the top and walked around and took in the views. We were literally above the clouds in 3 plus feet of snow. I have never experienced anything like it. So Jer and I took a million photos.

Headed up the mountain.
First sign of snow.
Well now that is A LOT of snow!
Into the cloud layer.
A church 3/4 of the way up.
Just amazing up here.
Up at the top. Over 2000 meters.
Cleared up on our way down so you could see the entire city of Lucerne and the lake.

After walking around and being frozen, we had lunch at Hotel Pilatus-Kulm. Yes there is a hotel at the top of the mountain (actually there are 2). You can stay there but you have to be up by a certain time because the cable cars stop running and it is not safe for cars in the winter. Talk about being stuck….

Fun fact about Mt Pilatus, is that it is shrouded in a medieval legend of an all healing dragon living within the mountain. It was interesting to see the information over the years about the dragon throughout to center at the top.

We then decided to start the decent to the bottom. We stopped half way and decided to get out and walk around the wintry wonderland. We watched the locals sledding, it was magical. 

We then got back on the bus to start the ride back to the hotel. We took a  a walk down by lake again since nicer day and the pictures sure paid off.

It is amazing looking back at all these pictures be being in a 30 minute circle, the change in elevation and the change in weather.

We then went back to hotel to find dinner spot. We wanted to walk the opposite way of the old town and all the tourists. We tried to go to a place called Grottino 1313 but no seats. Totally bummed, this was the first time we picked a place and struck out. On the walk back to the hotel, we decided to eat at La Perla for amazing Italian meal. 

Step Count: 15,573, 11.1km

13 November

We had Breakfast at Pacifico again and stuffed ourselves, again. 

We then went for a walk again down by lake. We just can’t get enough of this lake. We ended up going to the Lion Monument, which was one thing we hadn’t seen yet. The Lion was carved into the rock face. It is to commemorate the over 600 individuals of the Swiss Guard that were killed in 1792 during the French Revolution to protect the royal family at the Tuileries Palace. 

We then walked back to hotel to get packed up. We left early afternoon to head to Zug for me and Zurich for Jer. It was really weird splitting ways on the train. 

I met up with the US partner for some coffee and then dinner later than night. We had a day of meetings to prep for the next day.

Jer got to airport and flight he was on was overbooked (along with all the other flights that afternoon/evening). The airlines offered him to be bumped for a nice sum of money to then fly out the next morning. This would have worked since I already had a hotel in Zug. However, Jer got the last seat and was on his way back to Paris.

14 November

I was still in Switzerland for work meeting, nothing crazy. We traveled back from Zug to Zurich and stayed by the airport for our earlier flight out in the AM.

15 November

Today we are back in Paris for meetings all day. After we were done, we met the partner at one of our favorite places, Petrus for dinner. It never disappoints. Off to continue the trip with the partner in the AM!

– Kasey

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