Wednesday 28th July- Leaving Venice for Zurich

I awoke bleary eyed at 4.45am and stumbled into the bathroom, where surprisingly a hot shower greeted me, which helped to take the edge off of the uncivilised hour!

After a speedy check out and surprisingly rapid walk with our rucksacks to the bus stop, we arrived at the station in ample time. Due to the unsociable hour, I thought that a black coffee might help me survive the 7-8 hour journey to Zurich. Little did I realise that a small black coffee in most parts of Europe except England, means an Espresso! I think I successfully annoyed every single person in our train carriage that morning where I was so wired from the coffee!

We only had one change of trains during the 7-8 hours, but the train change didn’t come up on the arrivals and departure platform until about 5 minutes before we were meant to leave, which was cutting it rather fine!
Hannah and I were seated on one side of the next train, opposite a Swiss lady, whilst Kat and Lexi were on the opposite side, with 2 nuns as their companions!

As we crossed the border into Switzerland, we were greeted with the lush beauty of rolling green mountains, crystal coloured lakes, wooden chalets tucked discreetly inbetween the crevices in the mountains, and little waterfalls which rushed over the hillsides, creating a white mist beneath the clouds.

We arrived to a very wet and almost British climate in Zurich, and got a very short tram ride to our hotel. The hotel was abundant in facilities, such as washing (yay, clean underwear!!!) a sink in our room of 4, communal kitchen, 2 communal showers and 2 communal toilets, a lounge, and breakfast included in the price.
Unfortunately, in Zurich, this is the only kind of value for money that you will find- it is an extremely expensive city, with the exchange rate of Swiss Francs to Pounds Sterling at around 0.631397536!

The rain had subsided by the time we had gathered the enthusiasm to leave the hotel after our 8 hour trek, and equipped with our bible (The Lonely Planet Guide to Europe- Europe on a Shoestring), we were able to locate the Zeughauskeller Restaurant in the city centre. Picture a medieval banqueting hall, with slightly more contemporary styled waiters and waitresses, with suits of armour and medieval weapons hanging on the walls, and wooden tables tucked into every available space. The atmosphere was warm and inviting and the mood of the group soon lifted with a hot meal.

Kat ordered the veal -which arguably for some may be a politically incorrect meat- coated in a white sauce with mushrooms. It was delicious! Hannah opted for chicken, whilst Lexi and I went for a pork fillet, coated in breadcrumbs, accompanied with a runny cheese that squirted out of the middle, and traditional potato rosti on the side; we were not disappointed!

Feeling rather stuffed, we all half wobbled, half rolled towards an internet café, where we were planning on booking the remainder of he trip in order to feel secure in that we would then have booked everything which still needed to be paid for.
After researching for over an hour (which totalled about 20 swiss francs!!!), we were disappointed to discover that everywherein Vienna and Salzburg was booked, and that we therefore would not be able to visit Austria.

Not wanting to be too disheartened, we came up with plan B, where we decided that we would visit Munich en-route to Berlin, and stay just a couple of nights in order to have longer in Berlin.
Back at the hotel, we settled down for the night, after I  had another shining blonde moment, in which I thought I would do some washing and managed to turn on the washing machine, complete with washing tablets and everything, but without putting any clothes in the machine!