I head home tomorrow, which I'm pretty exicted about... I miss my wife.
The week was really cool. I now have a better understanding of why people suggest visiting Europe, it really is beautiful - at least the parts I saw. I won't say that I'm "changed" as a result of it, but have affirmed some of my thoughts about the world... like people are really more alike than they are different. People may have different motivations, expectations, experiences, but overall, people want to feel love, enjoy life, etc, etc...
Overall, I had a really good time.
Thursday night I visited a wonderful city named Luzern... 6 hours was not enough...
It started with spectacular views up and down the Reuss river while crossing several of the wonderful walking bridges. Walking down shop-lined cobblestone streets and enjoying a 2 1/2 hour Fondue dinner. Good food, good Swiss wine and plenty of lively conversation with my Swiss co-workers. A walk through the heart of the city to one of the more popular nightclubs and then a leisurely stroll back to the parking garage.... after getting my first cup of coffee "to go". Its odd, when you have coffee in parts of Switzerland, you sit and drink it, you don't take it with you.
That is probably the biggest thing that I noticed during my trip - a break is a break. You stop and relax and talk. That was enjoyable - we worked hard, but really took time to sit and talk, which was great. It is nice to really connect with people. I never felt rushed.
The weather was nice on Friday, so I got out and explored a little around the hotel. Other than the scenery, it was pretty boring - the area I'm in is in the middle of nowhere...
I took the train to Zurich today, which was great... and the trains really do run right on schedule. Being in Zurich was a little more comfortable than most of the rest of the week as almost everyone spoke English... I should have spent more time studying my German.. ;-)
Actually, like my trip to Luzern on Thursday night with some co-workers, I had two wonderful tour guides today: My cousin Tara, an American Ex-Pat working in Zurich for KPMG and her Swiss husband Mark, a Police Detective. They met me at the train station this morning and gave me a fantastic tour of the city - starting at Starbucks (where we sat and had coffee...). Actually, the tour both started and ended at Starbucks (the second cup I did get "to go").
Zurich was wonderful. I probably took about 100 pictures - some of which I will post when I get home (I didn't take my camera to Luzern... URGH!). We started on one side of the city and went up to an overlook by Zurich University and then back down, across the river to the Bahnhoffstrasse (the main shopping street). On both sides of the river they took me off the beaten path and showed me some wonderful parts of the city, including one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. We had lunch at Oktoberfest - which was great.
Something I really like about Switzerland is the fact that you can take your dog with you when you eat. I should have brought one of my dogs! ;-)
It looks like I might have to come back in a couple of months, which would be cool... but next time I'll have to make sure my German language skills are better!!