Europe Day 6 – Engelberg
Up and at it, bright and early – 6:30 AM. Onto the bus, we left Germany to head to Switzerland spending many hours on the bus. I passed several of the hours on bus by taking cat naps. Also, I took some time to write some emails, download and organize pictures, and keep the journal up-to-date. Other than that, the rest of the time was spent talking with others on the bus. For a while, about 8 of us gathered together and went around asking questions then having each person answer in turn allowing us to learn a lot about each other. Also, we have spent a lot of time analyzing the differences between our countries of origin, specifically comparing Australian words, phrases, and lifestyles to that of America. Talking about the differences has created a lot of laughs especially when we attempt to imitate the other’s accents and phrases. In general a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoy learning about other cultures, peoples, and seeing the differences, but also the many similarities that I share with those on the other side of the world.
Eventually, the bus made its way to a city not far from where we would be staying the night and let us off to do some shopping and sightseeing. I think this shop has a deal with Contiki to drop us off right at the shop’s door. This store sold Swiss Army knives and Swiss watches all of which seemed pretty expensive. I bought a knife then headed to see a war monument, but also to look into many stores on the way there. Everything in Switzerland seems to be pretty expensive, but maybe this is because the average income per person is around 50,000 USD. Oh well, I’m only in Europe once, and I’m not going to let some prices deter me from having a good time. If I see something I really like, I will get it.
Myself and several others eventually made it to the war monument and took some token photos then headed back to the rendezvous point to meet with the rest of the group. After meeting with everybody, we proceeded to get on another boat for yet another tour cruise down a river. As usual there was commentary about the sights we were passing, but the view of the surrounding mountains was absolutely magnificent. It’s awesome to be in completely wonderful weather on the lake then look up to see the snow covered mountains ahead of us. This cruise took us to our hotel and we met the bus at the hotel to gather our things and check in. After checking in, dinner was provided at a nearby restaurant. This meal was really nice, but of course nice meals mean not enough food for me, but that was ok. We had a waiter with one enormous uni-brow, which was very amusing during the duration of the dinner. Also, we Americans thought we would teach the Auzzies a new slang word, “stat”. We told them “stat” was slang for sweet and high class, and just really cool. They were a little skeptical at first because we hadn’t used the word before, but eventually they bought into it after we used the word some more at dinner. Absolutely hilarious, because the Australians are a few years back on integrating American slang into their own slang, so can make up words and meanings they will start to use it.
After dinner, we proceeded to a nearby bar having happy hour. This was a good time because nearly everybody on the tour came to hang out and our bus driver could drink because he won’t be driving tomorrow. Also, the final international soccer championship was on, so the Europeans got to watch Portugal win the championship as well. We hung out there for most of the night, and then I headed back before the rest of the crew left. Apparently after I left, several others left the bar to take a walk and were attacked from behind. One guy got hit pretty badly while the others ran. One guy didn’t see a big stream while running and ran straight into cold water about four feet deep and was carried downstream a little ways. Everybody turned out alright, but the guy that was hit badly will likely not participate in things tomorrow. Also, the guys that were starting trouble threatened that they will be back again tonight to mess with us again, because they don’t like large groups of tourists “messing with their town.”
Europe Day 6 – Engelberg