26.05.2013 3 °C
Today it rained the whole day and it was very cold so Neal and I decided to drive most of the day to various destinations. We went from Saint Julien En Genovis to Switzerland and then to Austria and then to Germany and then back to Austria to a place called Salzburg where we decided to stay for two nights. We saw a bit of Munich and Genova and Lusane and Bern. Salzburg is the place where they filmed parts of the movie The Sound of Music and where Mozart was born.
On our journey it started to hail on us in the Swiss Alps. It was cold.
It was interesting on the autobahn. Cars were flying past us like speeding bullets. We reckon they were going 160+. I think the highest speed Neal got to was 130km per hour and he was very slow compared to most. Neal wanted to play with the big boys in the fast lane but I made him stay with the trucks and caravans and buses. The road was very wet.
I saw a little red corvette on our journey and got very excited.
The roads have lots of tunnels that go through mountains. We went through a tunnel that was about 5km long. It seemed to never end. Some of the tunnels are scary even though there are lights in the tunnels.
We saw lots of beautiful mountains and large, wide rivers. Maybe quadruple the size of the Murrumbidgee River. Some of the bridge structures were amazing. They have structures above bridges which keep the bridges up.
It appears that there are yak farms and some cow and sheep farming in the regions we went to today. We noticed a lot of wheat and canola crops along with vineyards and nut trees and berry shrubs. I did not think much grew in these cold parts but now I know otherwise. We noticed greenhouses and lots of homes with roofs totally covered with solar panels. In some of the mountains of Switzerland we noticed large, tall windmills generating power.
The look of homes changed somewhat from Italy to France to Switzerland and Germany. In Italy they seem square shaped and in France have a bit more shape to them. In Switzerland they appear to be more of an A shape or triangular shape and in Germany they have a different shape altogether. Regardless they all look beautiful from the outside. All the areas we visited today were very very green and lush with lots of coniferous trees. Some areas of Switzerland were very picturesque. We also noticed that the old churches also changed somewhat from country to country. It was very noticeable by looking at their steeples.
I forgot to mention, the vignette (pass) for the autobahn in Switzerland cost around 40 francs and is valid for one year. The vignette for the german/Austrian autobahn cost about 8 euro for a 10day permit. In Italy and France we had numerous road tolls (Telepass) where you stop at various places and pick up a ticket and then pay for the road use once you leave the area at another road toll stop as you exit. The amount varies.
Also most places we have stayed at include a tourist tax which is added on when you pay your hotel bill. For example, in Nice there was an additional 34 Euro charge just for visiting their area. Apparently this money is spent on the local area.
Oh I forgot to mention, Neal and I were in a small supermarket at a road stop in Switzerland where we were looking at all their products on their shelves and I noticed rice products such as flavoured rice in packets, Uncle Bens risotto products and other rice products from other countries. I called Neal over and he started to take photos of the rice products. The store attendant came and told him to stop taking photos. It was funny. He managed to sneak some photos past her.