23 January, 2007

The Ghost of Mt. Pilatus

As you can see, I visited Luzern and Berne this past weekend with Ashley, Shirin, and Kevin. As soon as we arrived in Luzern, we went straight to the Mt. Pilatus(after dropping our bags of at the hotel), to buy our gondola tickets. The gondola cost us only 29CHF each after a 1/2 off discount with our Swiss Half Passes (good for 1/2 price on trains, busses, ferries, its a good deal) and it was totally worth it.

The gondola right up was unbelievable and divided into 3 legs. The first 2 were in a small private one, only fitting the 4 of us. At the end of the second leg, we had to get out, were able to walk around where there was a restaurant, a zip line, a ropes course, and the longest alpine luge ever (as kevin claims, but it was realllly long, so i believe him). Then, we boarded the big gondola with about 20 other people. This one only runs one at a time, unlike the other, which wa smor elike a ski gondola. This is where they filmed the Bond movie with Jaws, where the restaurant blows up at the end. This is also the same gondola where the fight scene took place, so you can imagine how I felt. If you cant, I was slightly scared. I only held back my urine because I think my bladder was pushed up to my heart out of fright. Its not that I am scared of heights, but more like I am scared of old machines I put my life in the hands of. Like doctors.

However, once we got to the top, it was alll worth it. The view was amazing, and made me want to get to the top of every mountain possible. It was windy as all hell though, and I wish I had brought that scarf I found abouve the particle accelerator at CERN. Its a nice scarf although sometimes I think it is radioactive. Oh well, worst comes to worst, I get a superpower, eh?

I hate long posts, so I may write more later, but for now, mountains are great, scarfs are free, and Burma-Shave gives you long lasting glee.

21 January, 2007

More Pictures

The Weeping Lion of Luzern
Some Bears of Berne

A view of Berne with (L to R) Ashley, Me, Kevin, Shirin

Kevin's Post I don't feel like rewriting, I mean come on, he already wrote the story and I can't spin a good yarn.

I am also too lazy to flip the names and junk, so just read it like it is (edited slightly):

Today is worth writing about. Today, not even a picture could describe my stories, so a thousand words (or so) will have to cut it.

Zach and I (remember my fellow IU-ian?) took a chance and walked to the Airport with somewhat poor directions. But really, it was a simple hop-skip-and a jump away. The walk there was uneventful and of little evidence of what was to come. Zach, who initiated this trip in order to cash out an undisclosed amount of cashiers checks, was heading towards the AmEx counter when I spotted a Duty Free store. We had little to do tonight besides pack, so we figured we’d stop by the Store after the AmEx to pick up some entertainment, duty free of course.

In order to get into this Store, there was a set of automated doors that one has to walk through (they actually are the doorway into France—I’ve walked there twice). So we walk in and stop at the Store. Zach, in his facil français, asks the woman if we need tickets to buy items Duty Free. She says yes, so we leave. We leave…

The door in had a “Do Not Enter” sign and above that, in French, it said “Pas Sortie”. The only place to go was into line for customs to cross into France. Up to the Counter we go.

“Parlez-vous français?”

“Non, mais tu parles le français bien.”

Zach turns to me, “Kevin, your French is better than mine, tell him we don’t want to be here.”

“Ok, nous na voulons pas être ici.”

“Ah, desolée.”

“Est-ce que nous pouvons sortir”

“Ah, you made mistake.” (this is my non-English speaking French compadre. Very funny ass).


“You can leave ::presses button and hidden door opens::, bye.”

We made it to Suisse. We left the airport defeated. One might think we were done, but never doubt my fortitude.

Once back onto fresh Suisse soil and breathing fresh Suisse air (ever breathed French air?), we continued our journey back. We joked a bit about our excursion and temporary imprisonment on French soil, and vowed revolution. In the middle of our vows, a 22-28 year old ‘boy’ walked by us. He wore a blue puffy jacket, baggy jeans, and was listening to his iPod. He was a bit on the stout side, and would also be considered short. Oh, he also wore a genuine leather belt. He looked at me; I looked at him. It was a consensual look. I continued on nonchalantly.

.276 seconds later, I heard “blah blah blah quoi?” (That’s what French sounds like when you don’t listen carefully.) Zach and I both turn around in symphony and look at this foreigner on our soil.

I respond in American, “What?” and even act un peu bedazzled.

In response, he begins to remove his belt. Yes, his genuine leather belt was beginning to be removed from his pants while looking, with his angriest face, like he could take two on one.

My first thought: “This punk wants my recently withdrawn money…we’ll see who wins this one.”

My second though: “Maybe he is looking to trade sexual favors…”

Thirdly: “He likes my belt—maybe I should take mine off and trade with him.”

In reply, Zach says, “No thanks!” and we both walk off as quick as possible. We made sure to not look back until he was a good 200 paces away. Way to avert a sexual/violent disaster. It is possible that my superior size scared him off, or that he was so confused by our refusal at his attempt at malicious behavior.

A Bientôt

Some amazing pictures from Luzern

On top of Mt. Pilatus. Amazing sites, really cold, really wind, really worth it.

I LOVE RöSTI. I had been waiting all day for some good heavy food, and we finally found it. Below is the end of a celebration for Carnival later in February, the band was unbelievable, they gave out free whiskey and coffee concoctions and chocolates, and were very friendly. I am pretty sure the bigwig in the center is the mayor of Luzern.