European Travel: First Time in Switzerland by

Journal Notes

Although this is a memory of European travel, the story actually begins in Puerto Rico. I was working on a cruise ship that docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico every week and miracle of miracles, there was a 2 week dry dock planned. For the entertainment department this means that we must leave the ship on our own dime. I decided to use this time to take a 2 week Spanish course in San Juan. During the 2 weeks, I met and became friends with a Swiss woman who invited me to visit with her at some point in the future. Not long after I began to plan 5 weeks of European travel.

I must have spent two months planning this trip. In the end, Switzerland was the only part of the trip that went according to plan. Looking back, that could be because my only plan for Switzerland was to get there and spend time with Christine. I didn't research Lausanne, I had know idea what I wanted to see, and didn't even know her phone number until a day or two before arrival. I showed up at the train station and after we found each other we proceeded to her apartment and then out on the town for dinner.

The three days I spent in Lausanne, Switzerland were truly amazing. I didn't know what to expect so everything was a shiny new discovery. Fondue became the new love of my life, and I soon felt that I would love to live in this French speaking region. Scenic drives to the towns of Vevey and Gruyere provided gorgeous vistas and and each town had its own special appeal. In Gruyere, also the name of a cheese used in Fondue, Christine introduced me to double cream. Mmmmm ... Delicious! We simply enjoyed a Sunday stroll through each town and enjoyed the the peaceful views and the rising Alps. There may have even been a glass of wine or four along the way as well. )

Visiting Christine in Lausanne was one of the most magical moments in my life of travel. The 3 days I spent visiting Lausanne, almost put Switzerland above Italy on my favorites list and definitely put it on my list of must revisit European travel destinations.

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