I can safely say that if you want to see the most of London in the shortest period of time, do it by bus tour and boat tour. I’d have to admit it was the let down of the trip since we pretty much just had time to see the streets get overrun by tourists during peak visiting hours at the sites. It felt like a take over, literally of all the places we went it was by far teeming with the most line-hustlers and selfie-takers. It was also very unfortunate since both my camera and phone were dying and we still had a train to catch (therefore my phone was far out of commission since that was our lifeline, it plus all the WiFi we could get). We did indeed master the heart of London, the underground subway. One of our more accomplished tasks.
From London we made our way into Europe, via Brussels. And this is when our lack of ability to speak any other language besides English really took a stab at us. We suffered our first time of being deprived the opportunity to relieve ourselves because the toilets “close” (How do Europeans survive with this depravity? They deserve gold stars for their bladders of steel). It was late, all the ticket offices were closed. There were no employees around that spoke English… It was time to get creative. Oh did I mention my phone had died by now and couldn’t access the WiFi? Finally found a hotel in the station that had computers they let us use to book another hotel down the road. Because let’s face it, a hotel in a train station is not going to be on the budget for two girls and their backpacks.
It was nice to have the comforts of a hotel, but it was also our first time encountering our lights being controlled by our room cards. That took a some adjustment. But we slept well, it was a block from the station and we made our way south in the morning.
Zurich. We loved Switzerland. It was so beautiful, we were able to enjoy the city and all the towns outside of it. We got a really great walking tour of the Swiss countryside along the Zuger Sea. And “tour” as in more we found a trail and started walking in the opposite direction our train came in, hoping we’d find the next train station down or so. We came across a beautiful stream, bridges, gardens… All unintentionally. It was an enlightening, and by the end, physically draining experience. We each had far more blisters than with what we started with. Luckily though, we were able to do this without our backpacks and with just a day bag.
Here are photos of the Zuger Sea and from our walk:
That night we visited a smaller, more historic part of the outerskirts of Zurich. It was a beautiful little town with a ton of cute boutiques and cafes, and the most adorable Swiss houses. We walked out on the longest bridge in Switzerland, such a spectacular view and sensation with the mountains surrounding us. The next day we went on a boat tour of Lake Zurich, thanks to the ZurichCard we had purchased. (It gave us access to use all the public transportation, including rail, for two days with no additional charge. Plus a one hour boat tour.) We finished out Switzerland by riding on the train to Austria through the mountains, and it was by far our best train ride.