A Travellerspoint blog

July 2007

French Switzerland

I guess not every cafe in Switzerland has cutthroat prices after all! In fact this is the cheapest internet (in Europe) ever)! 4 hours for 10 CHF! & they dont require you to purchase some beverages etc.

Notice that i havent used any punctuation marks. Doing so cuz i cant be bothered to learn where they all are. Ive probably used at least 3 different versions of the keyboard since i got here. Its really a nuisance! I dont mind learning another version but all 3?!?

Anyhow, french switzerland is quite.. french. The language (duh) and even the buildings. I am not sure about the culture... Its kind of hard to tell since its the Montruex Jazz Festival right now and this place is swarmed!! Its a good thing though! Because my god, Russians can be extremely sensual !!! Or maybe its just because shes a sax player? Anyhow, met Supertramp while we dropped by a posh bar where she was gonna quote `jam`. She likes that word a lot. Felt a little out of place though. Musicians have this bond ive noticed regardless of nationality, malaysian, russian, canadian what not.

Aaron from supertramp was a cool guy. His sound engineering guy, howrad was nice.. because he paid my bill for a 9 franc bottled guisness and (god knows how expensive) bottled water. Yeah, i forgot that you have to pay for water here until it came in a sweating bottle at my table where i was having fondue! Kase (cheese) Fondue was good! Although i wont be having cheese for a little while... Damn... and im heading to Italy in 10 days.

Anyhow, my hostel is pretty cool as well. Theres a rooftop terrace and it is quite something else to have a high vantage point of a french town. I cant quite describe the feeling. Something to do with feeling civilised, more so than ever because of the rich history of the town. Not that im letting it get to my head. This was probably the roots of that irritating western/caucasian superiority mindset.

I am not quite sure why i felt like staying here a few days. I think the french ambience has something to do with it, or rather my misconceptions of french. The beaches here are close to nothing, although the entire town(s) are right on the lake. (You have plenty of people suntanning on the broad cement platforms by the lake however.) There arent many extraordinary heritage sites here (Although this place is famous for the amount of distinguish authors/artsy people that visited it for its ambience such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Hans Christian Anderson. Hmm i guess i must be feeling what they were feeling?! Now thats a nice thought...) There isnt a really lively hostel atmosphere either...

Enough ambling.. till next time! Thanks to the people who have told me they read my blogs!

Posted by kyhans 02:02 Comments (0)

One last time?!??

Yeah, today is my last day in Zermatt. That also means today is probably the last day i will have free internet! I have really taken advantage of it so far, writing this, checking mails, securing hostel reservations & most of all learning to use couchsurfing! Havenät had much luck with it though (couchsurfing), couldnt get a couch for this weekend, apparently theres some event in Bern this Saturday! Im told there aint a lot of couches in italy... argh!!!

Anyhow, Zermatt was kind of depressing at first... but amid all the gloom ive met a few people that made the longer than expected stay here worthwhile! Scottish people are real friendly!! Met an interesting Japanese girl as well & learnt quite a little bit about south africans (well.. he was white but still his first language is afrikaan! He speaks it with his family!)

Also, i did a find a hike or two that was really pleasant! On one i was to witness first hand the gushing water that spewed out from the glacier! I wasnt up close and personal with it like at trummelbach in lauterbrunnen, but this time i actually got to see it pouring out from a rock/glacier face! At trummelbach you just got to see all the water rushing towards you from rocks! Another was a lovely pine tree forest hike. Ive learnt that i love oh so sweetly the hike and smell of a pine tree forest... A log cabin to call home within one would be quite pleasant!

I also learnt a lesson here in Zermatt. Really high class hotels could be tremendous help! Ive always stole into hotels to grab some of their maps (when TI.s are not available) but heck i just strolled into this really expensive one and they have public internet access just sitting there!! I also made a phone call to a hostel (the whole reason i was at the hotel in the first place for free!! ...although i was suppose to pay at the front desk.. like 50cents! Interesting!!!

Yeah its not very nice of me but heck its quite ridiculous what they charge for a night there!! There are five star hotels and then there are five star hotels i guess...

Anyhow, all in all.. Zermatt aint so bad... Bernese Oberland however will always be the number one spot for me! This is it! Now to french switzerland..! Hope i learn a bit of french there! That language is quite beautiful indeed!

Posted by kyhans 07:23 Comments (0)


God knows how long i have not been here. Reason one, its freaking expensive. Reason two, i just feel its a burden to put everything down in words (same for my private journal, i am fair!) Reason three, i donät even think anyone reads this!

Also, I found out that i forgot to bring my camera to computer thing-a-magicka. So... no pictures unless there is free internet and i met someone who has the tool?!

Anyhow, i see from my page i left this blog at Bruge. Bruges was the loveliest medieval town ever! (yeah i was biased, that was like my second town, & though i äm less biased now it is still my favourite!) I loved the way you could see the permieter of the town when i was atop the Belfry Tower. Moreover, i loved that you could see the curves of the street and the red tatched roofs. The hostel i stayed in, one of them anyways, was a great place! The bar downstairs was a lovely place to hang out and get to know your roomies and other hostellers. It was a lively atmosphere! I met a couple of people i äm keeping in touch with! Actually, in a few days i will prolly meet up with this french girl (whom i met there) and let her show me around small town france! Free lodging and an insight into the french people! Hooray!!

After Bruges, due to bad weather i skipped luxembourg city into Switzerland. My train hit a few cows (1? 3? 6? so many versions... the announcement was in french so..) and i ended up witha free single bed room in a nice hotel in Basel. I still had to pay for my trip the next day though... After all that., i ended up in interlaken. It was a very scenic train ride to the place. Racism is apparent there... I was rejected by a hostel because i wasnät korean! Whats up with that?!?! Interlaken was flooded with Koreans.... every asian there was one... almost! Some were Japanese i think...

Interlaken is the gateway to mountain paradise! Honest! I am in Zermatt right now and Bernese Oberland (where interlaken is a part of) is so much better in terms of view and hiking! I had one good day of weather in interlaken and i headed into Italy and France, deciding to come back when the weather got better.

Went to lago di como in Italy. Pretty places there, Mennagio, Varenna and Bellagio. Bellagio was a lil too touristy though. Feels quite Roman-ish there actually. The gardens at Varenna were nice. I can imagine those Romans taking walks in gardens like that... first HI hostel experience there. I dont like HI. They suck!!

Checked the weather and decided i should head back to Switzerland. Took a day stop in Milan and reached Nice. Milan was actually quite interesting... There was a nice sturdy fort, some unique buildings... I liked looking at the fashion there too... I didn´t get to stop by the dashion district due to time constraints, but Italian ladies seem to think it was gala night everyday. I äm not complaining though. I like looking at cleavages... haha Hmmm.. come to think of it.. are Italian women generally big breasted?!???

Nice had a good beach. Thats pretty much it i think... Very much like a college party town... It was pretty nice... the party feel... Should go there with friends, not by yourself. And that said probably your girlfriend. Seems like a place to do some crazy things!

Back in Switzerland!! & i am truly in love with Bernese Oberland. Stayed at Gimmelwald and Wengen. Both were good places and relatively cheap. I stayed at a campground during the two rainy days and while the dorm room was nice, the facilities weren´t. Went up both Schilthorn and JungFrauJoch. I almost missed JungFrauJoch because of the expensive underground train up there. But i am glad i didn´t. Touristy but still quite an experience for someone who hasnt seen a glacier before in real life. One of these days ill be on one! However, lets have a moment of silence for the six Swiss Army personnel who died from an avalanche near JungFrau while training to be mountain rescuers.

Schilthorn had amazing panoramic views of the peaks in the area. The hike down was actually strenous: on the knees. I actually wished i hiked up... Trummelbach waterfall, the waterfall that channels all the water from all the glaciers was well worth the 11 swiss francs! Such a powerful underground (!!) waterfall... it was simply a dumbfounding experience. & a wet one at that.

After all that... probably 7 - 10 days my second time in switzerland in less than a month. I went to a swiss town (finally), Lucerne. A pretty nice quaint town/city but for me.. nothing spectacular i guess. A university town i am told by one of the locals but still a visit, for the stone lion, bridge and fortifications if nothing else. Spent a night and day there and i am in Zermatt writing this after a 5000ft up and down hike! in 5 plus hours!

FINALLY no more writing for awhile.

Posted by kyhans 06:43 Comments (0)

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