The Smart Car Rally

Within the whole concept of studying abroad lies the idea that one will travel a lot. Of course this depends on the type of program, but one might choose such a place as Switzerland, with its central location, as a great home base for travel. However, only a great fool would fail to appreciate and understand the beauty of his own new home.

Sometimes I feel foolish. I knew that Switzerland was beautiful, but wow did I have no idea. There's a lot to see in Europe, but since I'm living in Switzerland and because it's such a beautiful country I really want to make sure I see and understand Switzerland really well. In that vain, this last weekend I went on the school-run "Smart Car Rally." A smart car is a tiny, 2-seat car that are designed for city driving in Europe. We drove them all around Switzerland, seeing the country and various points of interest. We made Lucerne our home base, as it is very close to a lot of cool places.
Friday night we arrived late and didn't do a whole lot. We just walked downtown and stopped in this bar/restaurant called "California." It was pretty funny to see the foreign perception of a place like California. The highlight though was the beer I had. If you've been reading this you might have picked up the fact that Swiss beer isn't exactly the greatest. Well this place had a great selection of foreign beers, and I really enjoyed my Newcastle. It was for you Adam!
Saturday morning we got up early and headed for Pilatus, a mountain peak overlooking the city of Lucerne and the alps--as you see from our views above. The train up there is the steepest cog-wheeled train in the world...Whatever that means. It was pretty cool though. We climbed slowly and that provided lots of good photo opportunities. The pictures from this weekend are incredible. You have to look at them--these too. At the top we hiked around and saw all the views. I drank a Swiss beer for John Creagar and ate a huge bratwurst for myself.
After descending on the same train, we made our way to Interlaken--the outdoor sports and resort capitol of Europe. It was pretty touristy, but also really beautiful. If I had a lot of money, that's where I'd go. The hotels there were phenomenal, and the most expensive in Europe. They even had a Hooters restaurant...Which I...um...did not go into to...ahem. They have good wings ok! I actually didn't have wings, but rather a swiss cheesecake. It was not so hot. But we did get to watch a little soccer. Unfortunately we did not get to paraglide or do any other crazy outdoor activity. We were going to go white-water rafting there last month, but the water wasn't high enough. At least I got to experience the town, and, you know, watch other people paraglide. Here's a couple pictures from around the town:
Then we drove back to Lucerne and got to look around the town a fair amount. It was really pretty. There is this amazing old bridge that crosses the river, and it is just covered in flowers (picture above). After dinner at the hostel, we went to see a film at the Imax. This film...was absolutely incredible. It was done by Stomp, but with different groups all around the world from different cultures. It was fascinating to see the importance of rhythm and beat in every culture. What is it inside us that makes us love that? It's fascinating. I might have even teared up during it (which is ridiculous I know, but it was moving). It's called "The Planet Rhythm." Moving. That night afterwards we went to an English Pub and I watched my first football since I've been here. Alabama vs. Florida. Didn't matter really who it was. It was just good to watch some football.
Sunday we drove up to NE Switzerland to a little town called, "Appenzell," which is famous for the way it makes Swiss cheese. It was a nice little factory and an interesting lunch of melted cheese in a traditional Swiss dish called "Raclett." From there we drove up to St. Gallen, a good sized town with a Benedictine Monastery in its center. The cathedral was beautiful and the library even moreso. I realize how terrible my descriptions of these places are, because words fail to describe them. I'll just have to put up lots of pictures because "beautiful" and "spectacular" and whatever other words I think of just don't do it justice--though nor do the pictures. From there we drove back, and decided to take a slight scenic detour. This led us to driving over a mountain pass, which was so cool. We arrived home a little late, but it was well worth it.
I realize I drank several beers for several people this weekend. If you have any further requests, just let me know and I'll do my best--but not too many beers ok? You can be pretty creative with this, you know? But there should be some give and take. I hope you all are enjoying October and Fall in America. Anybody want to move out here with me?:


  1. i love the pic with you and the cheeze wheel!

  2. i think luke needs to fill all his luggage with those cheeze wheels when he comes back. you can leave all your clothes there luke. i mean when it comes down to it cheeze wheels or clothes. not even a question.

  3. i have a request luke...i would like for you to bring home one of those outfits like the board you're standing behind in the cheese wheel picture. or at least find one and try it on, but make sure you take a picture! :)