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St Gallen

September 15th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Our first Swiuss tunnel!

Still no working laptop, but that may be more to do with stupid Swiss plug sockets than anything else. I mean who uses hexagonal plugs?

For those that have had their head in the sand for the last few days, today is my birthday. I spent 5 hours of it driving and 6 hours of it as a passenger. I had a curry and a beer and I got a mug off Chris.

The rest of this post is going to consist of me trying to do some sort of justice to the breathtaking scenery we experienced today.

We left Verona around 9am to drop Chris off in Milan before the rest of us headed for Switzerland. The drive to Milan was pretty enough, mostly Italian farms and villages. However, I will never forget the experience of driving into Milan and then out of it. In fact it hardly counts as driving. It is 90 per cent stuck in total gridlock followed by 10 per cent total chaos. If any rules of the road are observed I have been completely unable to detect it. Also, there is nothing more terrifying as a driver as being able to hear mopeds and motorcycles around you but being unable to see them as they swarm around the sides of your car! It was absolute mayhem.

The Swiss Alps as we clibed over them looked so dramatic.

Once Chris was safely deposited at his hotel we turned north and headed for the Swiss border via Lake Como and St Moritz.

Lake Como is beautiful, tranquil and full of famous people. Unfortunately, we were too busy negotiating tunnels, bridges and berserk lorry drivers to experience it. The vistas were amazing though.

We then started our ascent of the Italian Alps towards St Moritz where we climbed a few hundred metres in no time at all and saw the temperature drop over 15 degrees centigrade.

We headed over the Juliper-pass from St Moritz to Bovio, which peaks at over 2200m above sea level (that’s about 6600 feet). The views on the pass were out of this world.

Basically half the roads on Switzerland were under construction it seemed. This one is on the highest mountain pass in Switzerland!

The sat nav was set to avoid motorways in Switzerland as the tolls and charges are pretty high, so we were heading north when we suddenly found ourselves passing through a military camp. At first we thought that we had taken a wrong turn, but apparently the A13 happens to go through one of the old border stations on the Swiss border. It wasn’t long after this that we noticed another strange marker on the sat nav. We had driven over the border into Liechenstein. This is apparently the optimum route to St Gallen from Milan!

We eventually arrived in St Gallen at about 8.30pm after 11hrs of solid driving. We were so tired we just wanted to eat and head to bed. This, however, turned out to be an issue. It seems that no where is open in St Gallen after about 6pm so it took us ages to find a restaurant. We eventually stumbled on a little Indian place so we plumped for a nice birthday curry. We also realised just how expensive everything is in Switzerland (so thanks Mum).

One of many pictures I tool whilst Kieran was driving.

This post originally had no pics as it was written on my Blackberry. I have now added some pics to it [edited 26/09/2010]. I am going to post a load on Twitter right now, so get over there to check them out.

Tomorrow we head to Montreux and Lake Geneva for some R&R before our last day on the road in Monte Carlo.

Last few days to follow our real time progress on Kieran’s website.

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  1. September 26th, 2010 at 13:32 | #1