Results tagged “Heat” from Europe 2016

HOT!! HOT HOT HOT!!!! Horrible hotel room. And bright too. We turned the light off and it's like "did we turn the light off?" Of course at 4am it's like "is it morning?". Le sigh.

At breakfast I really didn't feel like eating - just didn't want to be hungry. And need to eat enough to only need a light lunch as everything is stoopidly expensive here.

After breakfast walked down to see the 3800-person carrying Costa ship in the fjord. We were pretty lucky that there weren't any cruise ships in port yesterday to clog up the trolls road. Today tour bus after tour bus was heading into town to take people places.

Had a morning pitstop in Lom.

Made an unscheduled stop at a small cemetery where another Insight guide was buried - she'd actually died on tour which was all very sad.

Stopped in Lillehammer for lunch. Had issues finding public toilets. In the end snuck into a Scandia hotel and went there (we figured we've given Scandia plenty of money over the past couple of weeks). Then had a cheese roll for lunch.  Went up to see the ski jump, which was in use!  Even with no snow - they just slide down slippery plastic.

Then carried on to Oslo. The traffic here (that we've seen of it) is pretty awful.

Got to our hotel and checked in. The hotel is literally on top of the station concourse. The room is a comfortable temperature, but the decor is a little disturbing - a dude beating up a lion (well a human body with a lion head - weird weird weird).

Then headed out again. Firstly we went to the station to check out the process for getting to the airport on Wednesday. Then we went down to the Opera house (pretty, but not as pretty as ours), checked out Noah's Ark (a theatre on a barge) and then went to look for some dinner. Ended up at the cathedral cafe with some others. Had a reindeer pizza, although there wasn't much meat on it.

Then back for the nightly ritual.

OMFG this hotel room is fricken HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT. Just miserable. Thermostat is as low as it will go. The heater is not on. Not even the fridge is on (I needed the power point for the laptop). I can't see any vents. So have no idea where the heat is coming from but it's unbearable. Woke up this morning HOT.

So I got up and ran a load of washing.

As you do.

Cost me 40 NOK and I didn't bother drying it, just let it all dry in the room (which it did no problems in this heat).

Breakfast had a lot of variety, and luckily the restaurant wasn't as crowded this morning as it was last night.

Our trip for today was the Trollstigen - the trolls road - a very spectacular road a bit north of Geiranger. But the whole day of driving was spectacular.

First up was going up the eagle's lookout just out of Geiranger which was amazing.

Then a ferry across a fjord which was very pretty.

Then a pitstop for petrol (they couldn't get any in Lom yesterday because of the car show).

Another pitstop at Gudbrandsjuvet for morning tea by a powerful little waterfall.

Near the top of the Trollstigen, right at the top of the pass, we stopped to build trolls (just piles of rocks). So I built a snowman.

As you do.

At the top of the Trollstigen we just kept on going - past the visitors centre and parking. It felt a lot like the Man from Snowy River - where everyone stops at the top but Jim Craig leaps over the edge. It was exactly like that. The road is a lot like the one we came into Geiranger on yesterday, and the eagle's view road this morning - very steep with many hairpin bends zigzagging down the mountain. And the views are *spectacular*. And we had awesome weather. Just an amazing day.

At the bottom they cracked out the Henkell and we toasted the drive. Then we headed back up, this time stopping in at the visitor's centre for lunch (I had an ice cream) and a walk out to the viewing platform.

Just awesome.

Then headed back the way we came. Most people snoozed but I had to look at all the amazing scenery.

Back in Geiranger we went for a little walk to the end of the fjord, then got dropped back to the hotel.

Dinner was much the same as last night, although we got in a little earlier so it wasn't *quite* as chaotic.

Then back to the hot house to do the nightly ritiual. I really need to wash my hair but I'm just too tired. Maybe tomorrow since we don't have a planned dinner so should be able to get back to the room earlier.

It's even later now because a bunch of the photos I'd downloaded yesterday had gotten corrupted somehow so Faststone was crashing trying to rotate them.  In then end I figured out which ones were having problems and redownloaded them from the SD card and they're fine now.  But that took forever to work through and now it's even later :(

Slept mostly ok I think. Woke up a bit before 6am. Average breakfast. Clear blue skies when we left at 8am. But it started to cloud over.

Had a morning pitstop at Kongsvold, a little guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. Then into the Dovrefjell National Park, but we didn't see any of the Greenland native oxen.

We did see another moose, a huge bird which I don't know if it was a large crane or a small ostrich, and another moose.

Stopped in Lom for a lunch stop. There was a vintage car parade going through town so the whole town was packed out and all these classic cars were coming and going so that was a lot of fun. Also had a look at one of the oldest stave churches in Norway.

The afternoon scenery was spectacular, especially the drive down into Geiranger. Absolutely wonderful.

In Geiranger we hopped on a cruise boat to see the fjord. Another fantastic experience.

All in all a great day.

Sadly our hotel room doesn't give us a view of the fjord, but I don't think anyone on the tour gets a fjord view, we all seem to be on the mountain side - probably you need to pay a lot more for a fjord view.

Dinner was in the hotel buffet. Pretty huge buffet. The drinks waiter was a bit hopeless though. Had to wait ages to get out of there and even then didn't sign for the drink I had. Oh well...

This room is *super* hot :( Can't open the windows more than a crack and the thermostats appear to not work at all. Sad times.

Last night mum stayed up late (11pm) reading and I had super restless itchy legs, so didn't get to sleep for ages :(:(:( Consequently woke up tired and grumpy. Then I was looking at the maps again and got depressed all over again at the really bad seat rotation scheme that doesn't alternate sides of the coach. Pissed off with the world and didn't want to be sociable at breakfast. In fact I was so upset I sat down looking at my food wondering if I'd even be able to stomach it.

*sigh*

Left a bit after 8am.

Once again, people with the awesome window seats on the right side of the coach slept most of the morning. Seriously why would you even bother coming on a trip like this if you're just going to sleep the whole way through it??? The only advantage of them sleeping was that they didn't take up half the window trying to take their own photos. There was one point where there was an awesome view to the left, and some other points later in the day I was able to lean across people to get some nice photos on the right.

We also took a ferry ride across one of the fjords because there's no road.

Lunch was at the lovely fjord-side town of Fauske. We had leftover chicken from last night's meal, and an icecream. The sun had also well and truly come out, so was feeling a lot better.

After lunch we left the fjords for a bit and headed into the hills, and I think most of the coach snoozed, including me.

On the way back south over the Arctic circle we stopped at the visitor's centre there for a break and we saw the little movie they had which was quite informative.  Of course the Arctic circle isn't there anymore, it's wandered north (at 14 metres per year) so is now a ways north of the current visitor's centre.  But it was still cool anyway.

Continued down and past more fjords and mountains, although not as spectacular. Watched a short film with Joanna Lumley about her trip to the Arctic to see the northern lights.

Followed a truck over a long detour which slowed us down quite a bit - didn't get to the hotel til nearly 7pm. The room is nice enough and has a lovely view of the mountain next door, but it's *hot* :( Thermostat is as low as it will go but the head from the minibar fridge is winning out. Not going to be using the doona again tonight :(

I was in a tshirt all day today. I did put my coat on for the ferry ride. But even in the snow at the arctic circle I was just in my tshirt. Silly really.

Dinner was in the hotel - buffet style. Pretty average meal really, but dessert was nice enough. A bunch of them were going to go for a walk after dinner, and I'd have loved to have gone, especially as we've done literally no exercise all day, but that would add another hour to going to bed time and I'm exhausted.

So the hotel we had in Helsinki had these weird bathroom walls that were just glass with a bit of paint on them which plenty of see through spaces to see in from the outside. Managed to convince the thermostat to go down to about 19C (not sure that it actually did) so slept relatively well. In fact we had an early night (21:30) and slept through til 6:30!

Breakfast didn't start til 7am though, and they wanted to leave at 8am, so it was a very rushed breakfast for us (the room was pretty chaotic too, but we went to a second room which was a lot quieter).

Then it was driving driving driving north out of Helsinki.

We had a morning pitstop. I got frustrated with the people sitting in front of us (and will be for the entire trip) who just fuss around when the coach stops and block everyone else getting off the coach. Even the dude's wife was like "stand aside to let people out" but he didn't care :( I hate people.

More driving. Finland is like 74% forest so that's pretty much all we saw all day. Mostly young growth by the look of it as timber is Finland's primary industry.

After the first pitstop they put on some Sibelius. The first track being Finlandia. Except our tour guide will. not. shut. up. He talked for about 80 of the 90 minutes of the first leg this morning and as soon as Finlandia came on after the pitstop he talked just about all the way through it. Sad times.

Lunch was at a similar roadside combo of supermarket and cafeteria.

When we got to Kuopio in the afternoon we went up the tower overlooking the lakes and the town. I couldn't be stuffed waiting in the huge queue for the lifts, so walked up the steps! All 380 or so of them (mum counted)!

Drove into town and to the hotel. We actually got a room with a view of the town square which is pretty cool! And our room is 451.. how cool is that?! ;)

Dumped our stuff, accosted the bellboy and took our own bags up to our rooms, then went for a wander around the town. Lovely weather and we walked all the way down to the lake and back.

Tried to get onto the internet but my laptop refuses to connect to the wifi. The phones connect just fine though. Go figure. Also, turns out this hotel (and apparently the next one) has a free guest laundry. Maybe that's a thing in Finland. Good to know.

Since we couldn't listen to Finlandia on the coach, I found a beautiful video on YouTube (on my phone since the laptop won't connect - sad times) with Finnish landscapes and animals - just lovely.

Dinner was in the steakhouse downstairs in the hotel. Entree was a delicious vegetable soup (mostly tomato). Mains was "crispy beef brisket" whih was just amazing. So tender and tasty. Dessert was a nice enough pannacotta.

I've had something under my left upper eyelid since this afternoon and it's super frustrating :(:(:(  edit: managed to get rid of it before bed.

So this room has a thermostat on the wall but it doesn't actually do anything. Had to keep the window open all night to get any cool air. Which means a massive picture window letting in the light super early. I'm dreading getting further north where the sun doesn't actually set and sweltering because we can't open windows because we need to block out the light. What a strange thing to be concerned about - overheating past the arctic circle. There's another lady on the trip (from Brisbane) who feels the same way.

Fairly good breakfast range. Although I wasn't in the mood for being sociable with anyone.

We had to be out the door at 8:00 this morning. On the coach we went through the whole introduction and safety spiel. Then headed off at nearly 8:30.

We had a local guide for the morning and we drove around Copenhagen looking at some things.

Our first get-off stop was Amalienborg palace (we didn't get to go in), just for a photo stop.

Then up to The Little Mermaid. Going first thing in the morning meant we were looking straight into the sun which was a bit of a poo. Not that my photos from last time were much better.

Yet again I'm reminded how different tours are to doing things yourself. I think I crammed about five times as much in my three hour walk around last time as I did today on the tour.

Although today we did get to go into Christiansborg Palace which was very cool.

And then we were done for the day.

Yup, we did three things and were done by 10:15am.

!?

They left us to have some free time, or could get dropped back to the hotel if we wanted. This afternoon there was an optional excursion. For 51 Euro. So basically we pay for an expensive tour (not nearly as expensive as Outback Sprit though) and just get left to our own devices and if you want to see more things it costs extra. Seems a little rude to me.

Mum decided to go on the optional tour, starting at 12:30, so we filled in some time walking around until then. Went up to the round tower and went up it, then up to the botanical gardens, although really didn't have time to look around there because we had to get back so mum could start the tour. But I really needed some down time so had decided not to go. After leaving mum, I watched bits of the Copenhagen Carnivale which was wandering through town, then tried to find something to eat. Ended up grabbing something in 7-Eleven (not the first one I came to because I couldn't get any service).

Then walked back to the hotel where I washed my jeans, backed up my photos and had a little lie down. Even slept a little!

At 6pm we headed out for an optional dinner. 65 Euro, to a little restaurant in the old town. It was a "Christmas" dinner, so there was roast pork and various sides, and a rice pudding dessert. And a couple of drinks :) The pork was up at least in the top ten of pork I've had - lovely and tender with lovely crispy crackling. Yum!!

Then down to the canal to have a shot of Aquavit (weird right!) and then back to the hotel.

Last night we set the room thermostat to 5C. It barely got cooler than ambient temperature. And couldn't open the window either.

Breakfast had a bigger selection of food, on account of being a much bigger hotel. They had potato and mushrooms which was nice.

Hopped on the 7:36 #635 bus to the terminals (it was super packed :( ).

Got to terminal 2 and there was a Subway (I really felt like Subway for dinner last night but we didn't find it - doh!).

Used the machines to check out suitcases through and that worked pretty well. Went through security, where they got me to turn the camera on and take a photo to make sure it really was a camera. And got a tarmac tour to get to the plane.

The flight was on a CRJ-900 which I've never been on before. Much like a 717. And if I'd known that I would have tried for a seat much further forward in front of the wing. But it was ok because the engines are further back. Except the windows were full of condensation which frosted up and made photographs pretty terrible. No snackages on the plane (unless you buy them) so just had some water. The south of Germany was all cloudy, but it cleared up as we went further north. Flew over the Malmo bridge which was super cool :)

Got to Copenhagen but our bags didn't come up the appointed carousel. And we weren't the only ones missing bags. But they finally finally came up - they must have lost a trolley along the way somewhere. Got some cash out, then waited for our transfer to the hotel from our tour group.

We got a 15th floor room, but sadly facing away from the city. No aircon to speak of either. But the window opens so hopefully it'll cool down overnight.

When we got here I needed to grab something light for lunch. Except I've said before, Copenhagen is *huge*, and it took a full half an hour to walk from our hotel to somewhere with light food options. After walking up and down a pedestrian section near the town hall I gave up and chose the Scottish Restaurant, because you can get small meals there (I just had some fries with mayo).

By the time I got back to the hotel, two hours had passed :(:( So much for a quiet afternoon catching up on blogging, backing up photos etc. Only got an hour before we had to head down for the tour starting meeting and dinner.

Dinner was ok - a bit of a buffet, so could regulate what we ate a bit better. They also included a couple of drinks, which may be the last I have on this trip on account of the price of everything here.

After dinner we headed out again - up to Tivoli Gardens. This was originally on the itinerary for this tour, but in recent week wasn't on the itinerary for the tour on their website. So I was a bit annoyed that we'd paid to go see and wouldn't get to (it's ~20AUD just to get in). So that was pretty good that we did in fact get to go in. Had a lovely wander through the park. Wanted to go on some rides but it was all too complicated with bags and stuff and not really having enough time. Even got some freshly made fairy floss which you can't get in Australia anymore, you can only get packed stuff. So that was all very nice and it was all very pretty as the lights came on.

Except.

We got back to the entrance one minute late (on account of *hoards* of people coming in the gates) and there was *noone* there. So we thought we'd misunderstood the meeting place. Mum stayed there while I went to the other place I thought maybe we should have been meeting. Twice. But no. They'd all fricken gone off without us. So now we're going to have a reputation with the rest of the tour (forty fricken people) as being people to be late and hold everyone up. Completely pissed off about it all.

And it's late.

So for once we got a hotel with a reverse cycle air conditioner that actually works!! Hot food options for breakfast pretty limited though.

We were going to go into the old town this morning but the weather forecast was for better weather today than tomorrow, so we decided to go out to the lakes district and the other local Salzburg area sights today instead.

But of course everything was stil cloudy (low clouds covering mountains) and when it wasn't cloudy it was super hazy. So pretty much everything sucked.

We went to St Gilgan first to do a quick photo stop from the lookout.

I wanted to go to the spot in the movie where the little train goes up the hill, and I knew where it was and there's even a road to it, but of course the road is closed at the bottom of the hill isn't it. So that was a fail. (We could have tried to go up on the railway itself, but it would have taken up half the day and we didn't have that much time. Maybe next time. Sigh.)

Next over to Mondsee. Drove along the south side of the lake on the east end where the kids are hanging out of the trees (not really sure which bit exactly though - trees change and clouds covered the mountains). Then along the north side at the east end where they're all on bicycles singing do-re-mi. Again, everything was in cloud.

Continued onto Mondsee town. Went into the Basilica where the wedding scene was filmed (I'd been in there before last time we were here, but got some different photos that I didn't get last time). Then up the hill to the Maria Hilf church - one of the stills in the opening credits.

Next over to Sankt Lorenz. They claim a particular church was used for the opening credits, but the church that's there is different (different steeple). Of course it's possible the steeple has changed - certainly one in Salzburg town has changed. The position looked right so who knows. I was trying to find some other spots there whey they drive along in the car with Max and the Baroness but it was too cloudy and hazy and mum was getting bored so gave up on that idea :(

Finally over to Eugendorf to find another church used in the opening credits. But instead of being on a little grassy hill, it's now blocked by a little forest of trees.

And then back into Salzburg for locations closer to town.

First was the Maria Plain church. It gets about a second of screen time right at the end of the wedding.

Then to places mum was more interested in.

Firstly Leopoldskron for the view to Untersberg. You need to be a hotel guest to get into the gardens though :( Maybe one day we'll be able to stay there.

Then over to Frohnburg. That was pretty cool. And we had a nice view of Untersberg from there as well.

Then to Hellbrunn to see the gazebo. Mum was pretty happy about that.

Tried to go to see Anif Palace but you can't get anywhere near it because it's a private road. So that was a fail.

Brief stop at Elsbethan for a church still from the credits.

And finally to the actual villa the Von Trapps lived in. Again, you can't really go in and see it because it's a hotel now.

So we got back to the hotel around 5pm. The pedometer claimed we'd done 11700 steps so far today ?! I was happy at that point to call it a day, but because the weather forecast for tomorrow was for rain mum wanted to go into the old town while it wasn't raining (just super hazy).

So walked down to find the local laundromat first (at least a fifteen minute walk away :( )

Then down into the old town. Walked along the river for a bit. Then into Mirabell palace. Tried to find the lift up Monchsberg but had trouble finding it. Ended up finding the horse bath first. Eventually found it. Last time we had Salzburg cards so could just go up. This time we had to pay the 2.30. Walked along the terrace and across the top of the hill, which we didn't do last time. Then down next to the theatres. Got photos of the entrance area to the theatres used in the movie, but to see inside you need to go on a tour. Their website says the only tour for the Felsenreitschule is at 9:30am. An advertising board we saw said 2pm. So who knows which is right.

By now it was like 8pm and we hadn't really eaten since breakfast. We thought we'd see if we could find some pork knuckle but of course that's easier said than done when you're tired and hungry. In the end I hacked into a random hotel's wifi and found a place that sold it on the way back to the hotel. But to be honest, it wasn't as good as Zierholz. The meat was ok but there wasn't any crackling (well there was, but it was rubber not crackling). Sad times.

Finally back to the hotel around 9pm. Ridiculous. So fricken tired.

Managed to cool the room down a little bit last night by having the balcony door open. But I didn't like the idea of leaving it open overnight, and the aircon was hopeless, so ended up waking up hot :(

Went into Augsburg first up. Met up with a local guide and went on a walking tour of the city. Had an interesting walk through the Fuggerei settlement, then looked at various buildings, and finished up at St Anna church, where Luther stayed for a while in the cloisters.

Then we got given some free time, so went up the tower in one of the churches, then had a look at the shiny "Goldsaad" - gold room in the Rathaus. Had a bite to eat from maccas (because it was at our meeting place and I knew I could get a small serving of food).

Then we headed to Dachau. Very sad place. Especially the cremetoria. Our guide, Ute, was born in 1938 and had stories to tell about her childhood which was pretty cool.

And finally onto Munich. Our hotel is in the middle of an industrial area, so there's nothing of any interest around. We walked into our room and the first thing I said was "this room stinks". Even though it says it's a non-smoking room on the door, there's an ash tray and matches in the room. We opened the window up wide and the door as well to get some air through which has helped. Others weren't so lucky - they got actual smoking rooms. We were all not very happy at all. And to rub salt into the wounds, they charge ten euros a day for the wifi!!!! Which I flat out refuse to pay given our awful experiences so far. It's worse that we're here for two nights right when I need it for organising the next part of our trip (although for the most part that's mostly organised so not the end of the world). But seriously, what hotel in Germany in 2016 doesn't have free wifi? I think this calls for an uncomplimentary review on TripAdvisor. I went down to reception to start asking questions (like, how can I get into the city? where's the nearest station?). Then moved onto where's the nearest laundromat, which of course he couldn't answer, so I said can we look one up, because I have no resources, to which he said, oh there's a business centre computer I could use. I was hoping for some wifi, but whatevs. Decided it was entirely too difficult to get to a laundromat from here (being in the middle of nowhere and all) so gave up on that idea.

Had dinner in the restaurant downstairs. Ok but very salty. Then back up here to find the desk doesn't have any spare power points. You have to disconnect either the lamp or the tv to get power. So after being spoilt by generally good hotels with all the sorts of services you'd expect, this hotel really ended this particular tour very badly.

Took ages to get to sleep last night. I was just too hot. Probably a big meal just before bed didn't help.

Fairly standard breakfast, then on the road at 8:25. Except one of the guys left his backpack in the lobby of the hotel so we had to go back for it, and didn't get going again til 8:55.

Drove back along Bodensee, and down to the lake to take a ferry across to Konstanz. That was pretty cool, and relatively quick too.

Konstanz is a pretty little town. A lot like Zurich, except with a bigger old town area, and we had a guide for a while in the beginning. So got more out of the day than yesterday. With the guide we saw the main market place, went out to the lake to see the spinning lady, past a building that used to be on the water's edge, through the fish market, saw the "high house", the old rathaus, and heaps and heaps of 700 year old buildings. Went into the cathedral and finished up in the butcher's markets.

On our own, we went out to the Lutheran church, then back to the cathedral to go up the tower, grabbed some food in the markets, went and stood on the border between Germany and Switzerland, wandered up past the station and finished up looking at the spinning lady in better light. Quite a lot of walking.

So then back on the coach at dentist time and headed for Augsburg. But we ended up going allll the way around the western end of Bodensee - back past the hotel we stayed at last night. Not sure why we didn't go back on the ferry. Or why we didn't stay the night a lot closer to Konstanz last night.

Anyways.

Drove most of the afternoon.

Stopped just next to Legoland for a pitstop in the afternoon. I was pretty excited. :)

Mostly finished The Hindenburg book. And we saw several airships today floating around the lake.  Still felt quite strange to be reading that book around that area.

Got to the hotel after 7pm. Quite a nice building - it's in a tower - looks like an apartment complex. We'd settled in but after going to the loo before dinner the toilet started running quite heavily after the cistern had filled. Flushed it again but it did the same thing. Went down for dinner and let them know at reception. But since their maintenance people are off for the weekend they said they would just put us in another room. After dinner the toilet was still running although not as much. Flushed it again but this time it stayed off. So seemingly an intermittent problem. But not the sort of thing you want to be dealing with after bed time, so we decided to move rooms just in case. Have the balcony door open to let some cool air into the room. Maybe I'll be able to get it cool enough to use the doona for a change tonight??

Dinner was in the hotel. A very nice soup, some lovely tender steak, and a dessert which was a cross between ice cream and cheesecake.

Bit of a strange day today.

Didn't seem to get as hot last night. Slept til 6am. Didn't eat as much breakfast this morning either. On the road at 8:30.

Had a pitstop near Berne, back into German speaking territory.

Then onto Zurich. We got taken to the Grossmunster and the Zwingli monument but then we got set loose on the town with no idea what we could do or where we could go or what we could see. So other than going up the tower in the Grossmunster I had no idea what we should do next. So we wandered down to the lake, then back up to the square in the old town and inside the Fraumunster (no photos though). But I was missing the sweetie and I was hungry. Except I only wanted something small but that just didn't seem to be an option. Everything was cafes and I really didn't a big meal. Even found a small food stall but the smallest savoury thing there was a sausage in bread roll - way too much food. So we wandered aimlessly. I thought later that if I'd seen a McDonalds that would have been perfect - at least at maccas you can get a small serving of food. I'm sick of eating too much.

And then we left Zurich and then we left Switzerland. And I never got any fondue. Because the only chance we got for fondue was at lunch, and have I mentioned already that I'm sick of eating too much food? Basically I would have had to have given up one of the group dinners. Which in hindsight I probably should have done yesterday. If I could have convinced mum and Glenda to join me. hrmm. Suppose that means we'll have to come back one day. If I can convince the sweetie to go to Europe with me again one day.

So then into Zeppelin territory. The last time we drove that road was 22 May 2008. Except we had a very grey day and couldn't see across Bodensee into Switzerland. Today we could. We actually stopped at the Birnau church that we only took a photo of last time. It's crazy over-the-top inside.

Before I left home I grabbed a couple of books to read while on the coach. I grabbed The Tower, which I've already finished, and The Hindenburg Disaster, which I'm nearly half way through (in two days). It was a little surreal reading that book on the drive today!

Hotel is nice enough, although sadly our room has no view (facing northwest). It does have a nice desk setup though, including USB charging socket in the wall.

Dinner was in the hotel restaurant. Rockmelon and proscuitto for entree, turkey roll for mains (very salty) and a semolina dumpling with berries for dessert. Have the airconditioning going on full cold. Hopefully mum will go for a walk and get back hot so that she won't mind a cool room.. if it actually gets cool!!

Why do Europeans insist on everything being so damned hot?? Last night I had no doona at all, and air conditioning on max cold, all night, and I *still* woke up at 4am feeling hot and miserable. Just ridiculous. And the "desk" for working on has a glass surface, so is completely useless with a mouse, so have been using the bench under the tv, but it has a shelf right at knee height which I've banged into a couple of times already. Grumpy making hotel.

So after waking up at 4am hot, I then started stressing about today. So didn't get much more sleep.

The hotel breakfast was pretty average. The rosti were cold and disgusting, as were the crepes and the waffles. Blerf.

Anyways, so got ourselves ready and headed down to the Key Tours ticket office just down the road from out hotel. After having read so many negative reviews, I was very dubious about going with them. But they assured us that if the lift was closed we'd at least get a refund for that.

So out we headed to Chamonix. Took about an hour and a quarter to get there, although we had to queue for about forty minutes to get up the cable car to the top.

But oh my. It was so good. We had the perfectest day you could hope for - clear blue skies and not much wind. I might have gone a little crazy taking photos of the mountains!  And snow!  We also managed to get good positions on all four cable car rides.

After we got back down (several hours later!) we had a leisurely walk through the town of Chamonix, then stopped at a place just opposite the meeting place at the station for a drink/snack. They said they could do a cheese platter, so we asked for *small*, but ended up with a lot more food than we wanted :(

At 5pm it was back on the coach and back to Geneva.

And the fountain was fountaining.  It looks exactly like ours.

So all up a pretty awesome day. Yes it was expensive, but I really couldn't find any suitable alternatives on such short notice. It turned out to be super convenient and hassle free.

Got back to the hotel with just enough time to do my hair before heading out.

Dinner was at La Nasse, but we really weren't hungry. Entree was a salad, mains was lasagna. But after seeing the serving size of the dishes they brought out for the other tables, we asked them to half the sizes for our table. Even then I struggled to get through it. Couldn't even face dessert (a fruit tart). The lasagna was pretty nice, but the restaurant service (at least from the waiter we had) was very average. Was not impressed.

Back to the hotel to try and catch up.