Monday, September 10, 2012 (Day 24)
Home again. After an easy set of flights both Mark and I are at our respective homes. Once again I enjoyed the perks of being in the Global Entry system as I could bypass all the customs lines and go straight to baggage claim where my bag was just coming off the carousel. Houston is definitely a big change compared to Switzerland. Sure, there is the big weather difference, but mostly it’s all the cars and all the people. We’ve been traveling through smaller towns and many of them car-less towns. It’s pretty crazy to come back to a huge metropolis.
Mark made it back to Algeria with no problems as well. The biggest change is coming home on a Monday rather than the normal Thursday. His half day of work is on Friday, so now he has to work the full week before the time off to unpack and unwind from travels.
We had such a great trip. We absolutely love the Swiss transportation system and especially the ease of using all the trains. This time around we had SIM cards in our cell phones with Swisscom. I totally recommend them as even through all the mountains, we always had a data connection. We especially enjoyed the SBB (Swiss transport) app for the phones that allowed us to figure out the best travel routes with the click of a button. I was amazed that the SBB app worked not only with the trains, but also with the busses and cable cars and pretty much any form of transit, including a little walking map on how to get from a train station to a bus station. I also highly recommend getting the Swiss Pass. Our 22-day pass allowed us access to all except the private mountain railways/cable cars. And, we had discounts on almost everything, plus free museum admission to just about every museum we visited. Just the ease of being able to hop on any train or bus without worrying about tickets was totally worth it.
Of all the places we visited, I think our favorite was still the Bernese Oberland area, though we would be anxious to visit the Flims area again as well as the overall Riederalp area again. Both offered a lot more than we had time for. Also, really the only area where we had any weather issues was in Appenzell where it rained for all the days we were there. But, in this end, this was actually a positive thing because it forced us to spend more time in the cultural museums. Appenzell is all about the culture, and we might have missed a lot if we’d spend more time hiking in the sun. I think I might also like to spend more than just a day in the Gruyere area. It’s a beautiful area with a lot to offer, though on both our trips, we kind of whizzed through. I’d like to stay in the area and maybe do some inn to inn hiking some day.
And now all that’s left is just to show you a few more photos that didn’t make it into some of the other posts. Thanks so much for reading and I always love getting all your comments. Until next time…..