Now that we're back from our vacation, I've started the task of going through the photos and am finally beginning my review. Since there were so many incredible experiences on this trip, I have to warn you all now that the posts will be long and photo-heavy. Hopefully, you aren't too bored. If it is overwhelming, may I suggest a good red wine!
Although we had planned on leaving directly after work at 3:00, our plans fell through a bit. We finally got on the road at 5:00, which may have worked to our advantage. Since the German schools had already started their break a few days prior to ours, the roads had been full of tourists for days. The traffic report was rather ominous, especially in our direction. Typical me, I was nervous that we would never make it. Joern just told me to relax and we'd see what would happen.
Our route took us down to Lake Constance to cross the border. Once in Switzerland, Joern got off the autobahn to avoid any traffic. I am so glad he made that choice because the traffic was horrible through Switzerland on the autobahn and because our ride was much more beautiful.
We took a low-lying mountain pass through the countryside. We wound through the Alps and through some adorable towns. My favorite find though was the Fondue Automat.
Apparently, the Swiss take their fondue quite seriously.
As we rose up in the Alps, we were welcomed with the most amazing views.
As we descented the pass, this is the view we found:
From the pass, we headed towards the infamous, for many reasons, St. Gotthard Tunnel. Because the tunnel is so long, a little over 10 miles, they heavily regulate the amount of traffic in the tunnel. A traffic light allows cars into the tunnel once every 2 minutes or so. While it is necessary to keep cars to a minimum in the tunnel, it wreaks havoc on traffic entering the tunnel. We lost about an hour due to traffic.
Once we were out, the trip went relatively quick. In another 3 hours, we pulled into Parma, our first destination. We were tired, but happy because our hotel was lovely.