We hadn’t planned to visit Switzerland, mainly because it’s too expensive for us penny-pinchers, but we were so close and knew we’d never be able to afford a holiday there, unless of course we had a hotel on wheels and stocked up on food beforehand! And what a fantastic choice it was; the mountain scenery was absolutely amazing, and best of all we left the bad weather and awful drivers back in Italy.
All we had to pay for was a €40 tank of diesel, €2 parking ticket and €8 on some bits and bobs in Lidl, it was a very cheap holiday! Infact we were surprised to see a lot of Lidl products at their normal prices, the things that were expensive though were Swiss cheese, eggs and meat. Happy days if your vegan.
Your supposed to buy a Vignette to drive along Switzerland’s many motorways, it costs about €30 for one year, so it really stings the tourists. But we hate motorways and avoided them all by taking the much nicer scenic routes, so we saved ourselves that fee too.
Our final day was spent driving along Lake Geneva’s shores. We got some great mountain views before the clouds swooped in. We even decided to have a quick swim in the lake while the sun was out as the water was beautifully clear and tempted us in.
Near Montreux was Chateau de Chillon which was a beautiful castle built on an island in the lake, but just a few meters from the shore. It was originally built for occupants to extract a toll from people and goods passing from the rest of Europe. The roadway was between the lake and cliffs so there was no route around. It seemed like quite an elaborate toll station! It was one of the prettiest castles we’ve seen on this trip, especially with the lake around it and snowy mountains as a backdrop.
To get to France we had to drive over another pass, it was only 1500m but there was snow beside the roads. The weather turned for the worst and was bitterly cold at the top, a thermometer read -3 degrees, but I’d hazard a guess at -10 in the wind chill. It started snowing lightly too, but Craig was determined to try out more table sledging. The snow was all fresh, about 3 inches thick and there was a perfect slope to go down. We had heaps off fun; Craig managed to make it to the bottom in a clean run each time, while I continuously crashed and did involuntary summersaults and face plants into the snow.
I didn’t realise how varied our day was until I wrote this post – we swam in a lake, and two hours later we were sledging in the mountains! What a lovely end to an amazing country!