Saturday 20 August 2016

Euro Tour 2016 - two countries in one day

[9th Aug]

Normally I don't do organized tours, I much prefer to mooch and wander and discover things on my own but we only had one day in Zurich and I wanted to make the most of it. When I was researching what to do I came across a tour that went to both Heidiland and Liechtenstein - sold to the mama with pink hair!

The tour didn't start until 11am, we were up early so we had breakfast then headed out to the supermarket. We bought some sandwiches for lunch then went for a wander around the old town. This is my favourite thing to do, wander without an agenda, it's the best way to stumble upon hidden gems and special places.

Loved the crazy balconies....

Unfortunately the weather turned and the skies became dark and grey, we picked up a few souvenirs then made our way to the bus station. Switzerland uses Swiss francs, not Euros and when I asked around before we went, I got mixed answers about whether I could use Euros there or not.  I decided to just use my card, which worked well until we needed to toilet. You need to pay and of course in francs, that we didn't have! So we bought some chocolate, paid in euro then got the change in francs. By the time we had done all this is was getting close to the tour time and we hadn't actually made it to the bus station!

So we skipped the loo and went straight to the bus station, sorted out which bus we needed then the organizers told us the secret code to use in the Starbucks cafe toilet so we didn't need to change the money after all!! 

The first part of the tour was around the old town, we stopped at the Fraumunster church which is where there are 5 beautiful stained glassed windows created by Chargall. 

Then it was back on the coach and a quick drive around the city before heading to Rapperswil with it's famous rose garden. By this time the heavens had opened and Ebi-kuns expression says it all really....

We walked up the hill to see the old castle and church, it looked like a pretty little town but the weather wasn't helping the vibe!

Our guide advised that we went to a specific cafe to get their famous "cheesecake". It wasn't cheese cake as we know it, it had a crispy (somewhat like a thin crust pizza) base then the cheesy bit was a bit like Welsh Rarebit, a gooey, delicious cheesy yumminess. I'll be hunting out a recipe as soon as we get home!

After lunch we were off again, we should have been going to Liechtenstein first but the guide decided that due to the crappy weather it would be better to head to Heidiland first instead. On the way we passed through a town that has lots of storks nesting on the roofs of the houses, it looks like the locals build a special platform for the bird to roost on.

We finally made it to Heidiland, our guide kept us amused with daft jokes and stories, I think many of his jokes were wasted on the non native English speakers on the bus, Ebi-kun and I thought he was funny though.

I'm sure in the nice weather Heidiland would have ben beautiful, sadly much of it was shrouded in cloud.

There is a museum but we only had 30 minutes so we decided it was too expensive (9 euro each) for just 30 minutes, I would have paid to go in if we had longer there. Instead we got some food and fed the goats.

This is exactly what we thought of the miserable weather, it was the coldest day we had to date too!

We did have a poke around all the buildings, what's in here? You will have to go and check it out yourself to find out!

Then it was time to do the final leg of the tour, this was the real reason I signed up for the tour....Liechtenstein! Of course the rain was still pouring down when we arrived! We got our passports stamped, bought and wrote a postcard for Daddy the pottered around the town square.

It was raining quite hard so we actually spent most of our time n the gift shops, not my idea of fun but getting even wetter didn't seem like fun either.

From the town square you can see the castle...

That about wrapped it up, it was an hour or so back to Zurich, we arrived back to the hotel damp and cold! We hadn't eaten the sandwiches we had bought at the start of the day so we had those for tea and an early night!

If you are in the area and want to do the same tour - I hope you have better weather! We booked HERE

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