Italy again

October 24th, 2005

Today Avital will fly back to Israel from Malpenza airport, so we came back to Italy. The first visit was to St. Michele – which was closed on Monday. The breath-taking view was veiled by the thick fog. Then we drove to Torino and entered into the “university spirit”, where the professors are suited and the students are all laid-back and cool. We ate at a great restaraunt – “the Fashion Cafe” – and lost a heartbeat when we thought Avital’s camera was lost (and found). Unfortunately, the piazza Castello was closed (renovations), so it seems like today every interesting place is closed…
Avital wishes the airport will be closed – but it is not !! From about 18:30-18:45 I’m alone again. Looking for a nice and cheap hotel for the night.

Another side of France

October 23rd, 2005

In the morning we decided to go to the capital of the Alps – Grenoble. After driving for more than an hour in order to find a parking-space on Sunday, we found out that there is absolutely nothing to do and/or to see there and went back to the car (after a long conversation with my mother and a quick stop at the local Doner).
Our next stop was at Briancon, and a long drive it was. The landscape was both spectacular and exhausting.
We went to a questionable “hotel”, righ in the middle of the old city. It had the most nauseating smell but had cost only 30 Euro. The owner (who spoke only French – like most French people) told us that he closes the front door, so we must get in and out the “hotel” through the back door). In the evening we went to a Moroccan restaurant on the Grand Cannal Rue. I ate a delicious meal of couscous with lamb meat. Avital was drooling. She had to settle with the tuna fish salad.
Suprisingly, when Avital and I came back to the hotel, both the back and the front doors were closed. We tried to open the back door, but were left with the door knob in our hands… We didn’t know what to do and the temprature outside had dropped tremandously. Eventually, right before we called the police, the owner woke up and yelled at us (in French), but for us – having a worm place to sleep at and re-unite with our belongings was the most important thing. Tomorrow is Avital’s last day in her vacation and sho worries about tomorrow morning and the door knob…

France

October 22nd, 2005

Today we crossed the border to France and went to Annecy, which is rightly called: “Venice of Savoie”. Annecy is crossed by the river of the Thiou Canal. The scenery of the old buildings next to the blue river (+ shopping) made Avital fill much better, after the experience with the crazy cachier from yesterday. All along we were bringing the sun with us, so the weather was great too. After Annecy we went to Cambery, and kept on strolling along the old part of the city + shopping even more. Avital had decided she MUST buy some clothes in the stylish France, and she eventually did.

The french side of Switzerland

October 21st, 2005

Today we hiked from Muren to Gimmelwald and than took a cable-car back to our “field” car and began our way to the french part of Switzerland. We started at the lovely old town of Fribourg with its 10,000 steps and then went to Veve. We strolled around the lake-side promonade (very romantic) and then went to the first noisy, dark and unwelcoming youth hostel in Switzerland. In the evening Avital made some shopping and was introduced with a nervous and unfriendly french-swiss cashier. In the morning we met a lawyer from USA that was working in Geneva at or with connection to the WTO organization (a job which Avital envied…). We invited her to join us with eating the “recipe” and than found out that someone had already eaten our food (well, not all of it…)

The Swiss Alps (with Avital)

October 20th, 2005

Today is Avital’s 25th birthday so we must have an unforgetable experience. In the mornung (after the belowmentioned Therese breakfast) we started our way towards the Swiss Alps in the area of the JungFrau Valley. At first we went to the Trummelback Falls. Watching and filling the vast power of the water was exhilarating. 20,000 L/min, can you believe that????
Afterwards we went by a cable car to the lovely-heavenly-picture-like Muren. Avital recieved a special treatment in the 4 stars Analfi Hotel. On lunch time we hiked in the mountains and ate the well-known “recipe” (a bread roll with: a tomato, a cucumber, a slice of yellow cheese and a dried fig), then we came back and went to the sauna and to top that, we had a 1,000 courses dinner, no wonder we were already in deep sleep in 9:00 PM.

Luzern & the swiss country side

October 19th, 2005

Today Avital and I went to the beautiful Luzern. The gothic houses, the lake ant the pebblestoned pedesrian road made Luzern picturesque, not to mention the wide range of stores . . . Nevertheless, for an unknown reason we decided to eat at Mc’Donalds. Unbelievable!! In the fast food world, we saw the “dark side” of switzerland, when we bamped into two black-wearing quired swisses. Don’t you worry, even they were polite and helpfull… They are swiss, aren’t they??
Later that day we were at switzerland’s country side – Eschlzmatt – where every hotel/hostel directed us to the same Lowen Hotel. No wonder a room in that hotel was so expensive (even by swiss standards). So we kept on driving and found a beutifull zimmer, inside the home of the Therese Family. The house was clean and modern and the breakfast was pampering with home-made jam and a freshly baked bread. Not to mention the great price…

Lugano, Locarno and Bellinzona

October 18th, 2005
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Just as the title says, we have been to three cities which are on a lake today. All are in the Italian part of Switzerland. The views are picturesque. We spend the night in a youth hostel in Bellinzona which is a city with many medieval fortresses.

From Milan to Bellagio

October 17th, 2005
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I picked Avital at Milan’s airport in the morning and we started our journey in the lakes region. The visibility in Lago Maggiore was not that good and we decided to continue to Lago Como. We spent the night in the beautiful village Bellagio at a nice and small hotel we found. On the evening we walked in the city and had a great dinner in a local restaurant. Have you ever tried to make a salad of Apples, Tuna, Avocado, Tomatoes and Aurogula? You should!

Do you know what dodgy is?

October 16th, 2005
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Note that I’ve added pictures to the photo album and to previous posts in the blog.

Two nice Australian girls taught me yesterday an australian slang for something shitty or crappy. It is dodgy. They said that my previous hostel was dodgy. My day was a bit dodgy as well.
I woke up early and started driving to Milan. I crossed the Alps using a train that carries cars. You drive your car into it, and stay inside your car for about 30 minutes. Pretty annoying (see picture).
Then, it took more 4 hours to get to Milan. I drove in circles around the city for more 2 hours until I found the hostel I booked and a parking place, which costs more than the sleeping in the hostel… Tomorrow the freedom ends as I meet Avital at Malpensa, Milan’s airport :)

More hiking

October 15th, 2005
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I found out that hiking in the mountains is a great way to spend the time. The views are amazing, you meet interesting people along the way and you have a lot of quality time with yourself.
The hostel I was in became a bit strange. It had only 6 people at first (including me), and 4 of them announced at the morning that they are leaving. The only persons left in the hostel were me and some weird lady which stayed there for several months and everyone were complaining that she steals their sandwitches. I decided to leave the hostel as well, and found a neat youth hostel on the other side of the village. It was much nicer and full of nice people.