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I have finally managed to finish typing up the entries about my holiday in Switzerland - the links are below if anyone wants to have a read about what we got up to and to look at lots and lots of photos...

Friday 2nd April

Saturday 3rd April

Sunday 4th April

Monday 5th April

Tuesday 6th April

Wednesday 7th April

Thursday 8th April

Friday 9th April
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Today was the final day of our holiday - boo!  It's been a great time, but very tiring indeed.  Well worth it, though!  So anyway, today...

This morning we had a very poor breakfast - it's meant to be continental breakfasts but there weren't even any croissants or pastries.  How bad is that?

After breakfast we went down to the quayside and got onto a boat for a trip around Lake Lucerne.  We started off sitting on the upper deck but the sun wasn't quite shining through the hazy clouds and after a while it was too cold to sit up there and we went into the covered bit, where it was much more comfortable.  The trip was really good - the lake is beautiful and although we couldn't see the scenery in the distance, what we could see was lovely.  The guy "driving" the boat and doing the commentary was a bit strange though.  He was very deadpan and sounded as though he'd only just woken up!

When we'd finished on the boat we headed off to the Lion Monument, which was sculpted as a memorial to the Swiss guards who died during the French Revolution.  I'd never heard of it before and hadn't been expecting anything amazing, but it's an absolutely stunning piece of sculpture and was well worth the visit.

We were then dropped in the centre of Lucerne and we went and had a coffee and a slice of cake before going into a few shops, buying a few souvenirs and then having a look around the posh shop called Bucherer which sold some amazing (and very pricey jewellery) before we got back on the bus for the short drive to Kriens, where we got into a cable car to the top of the mountain.  The visibility was still pretty poor, and at the top of Mount Pilatus we could see nothing but cloud, sadly.  It made us realise just how lucky we'd been the other day!  It was fun to go up in the cable car though, and we did have a very nice plate of chips and a bottle of beer.  And then...  disaster!  It was time to go back down in the cable car and so I was hurrying a bit, and didn't spot a pile of rubber matting which had been left on the floor.  I hurtled into it and it tripped me, sending me flying up into the air where I flew quite gracefully for a second or so before landing in a bit of a heap on the floor.  I had a cracking bruise on the fleshy part of my left thumb and another on my left knee, and I also really jarred my back.  But it could have been worse - nothing's broken and I didn't knock myself out or anything hideous.  It's just annoying to be such a clumsy mare!

After we got back down the mountain we were back onto the bus for the final time, to make the trip back to Zurich, where we were staying in the same hotel as last Saturday.  The traffic getting into Zurich was a pain, but that was actually the only time we'd got stuck in traffic the whole week so we were very lucky really.

We decided again to eat in the hotel rather than going out, and I had a really nice steak and then some ice cream, and then we had a drink in the bar with Glenys and George before heading off for an early(ish) night, because we're leaving early doors tomorrow. 

And that was our holiday!  As I said, it was very tiring but it was worth all the rushing around because we really did manage to fit a lot in and we saw some stunning sights.  And I would definitely recommend the Cosmos Tourama people.  Everything was incredibly well organised, Flo was an awesome Tour Director and knew just about everything there was to know about all the places we visited, and Michele was a brilliant driver.  I wouldn't hesitate to travel with them again.

Some final photos, because I'm nice like that... )
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Today was another very busy day.  We set off from Lausanne after breakfast and headed off to the Gruyère region, where we visited a cheese factory.  It was interesting to see what's involved in making the cheese, and we also then had the opportunity to taste some of it in the shop and it was delicious! 

After the cheese factory we headed to the medieval town of Gruyères, which was beautiful.  We had quite a while to walk around there, and so we explored the little streets and walked around the outside of the castle.  There is a museum there of models from the Alien films, which seems a very random location if you ask me!  Of course, I haven't seen the films but I would still have gone in except you had to pay so I decided against it.  We had a look around a couple of little gift shops but Flo had told us that when we're in Lucerne tomorrow we'll have time to hit the shops and that's a good place to buy souvenirs, so we've decided we'll do it then.

After leaving Gruyères our next stop was Bern, the capital of Switzerland.  It's a small city and it's not bad, but it's not particularly colourful and so I didn't like it as much as some of the other places that we'd visited.  Probably if we'd gone there first, I'd have enjoyed it a bit more, but it just sort of paled in comparison really.  We did have a lovely lunch though.  We were brave and picked something off the menu without really knowing for certain just what it was, and it was a delicious chicken thing with a wonderful side salad.  Gorgeous stuff! 

Two of the people on our trip are called Patrick and Patrick's grandmother (she's actually called Janet but I didn't find this out until we were leaving the hotel on Saturday morning to head to the airport - if anyone else did know her name they never let on because she was always just referred to as Patrick's grandmother).  Anyway, while we were in Bern, Patrick's grandmother decided to pop into a bank to find out what sort of interest rate she could get if she desposited $10,000 into a Swiss bank account.  She explained to the cashier what she wanted, and the cashier said she'd have to speak to her boss about this and then showed them into a small room to wait for a while.  After a while, this woman came back and double checked the amount that Patrick's grandmother was wishing to deposit.  When she confirmed that it was $10,000 she shook her head and apologised but explained that unfortunately, the minimum deposit for opening an account at that particular bank would be $1,000,000!!!  WTF?  That's just mental!  Still, it gave us all a laugh when she told us!

After leaving the centre of Bern we headed to the bear park, which is beside the river.  I don't like seeing animals in captivity but the enclosures that the bears are in now are much better than the ones they were in not too long ago.  Those ones were just little concrete pits and in the end so many people complained that they built a new enclosure which is much bigger and which gives them the chance to graze.  The two adult bears have now had babies - they were just so cute!  I still would prefer to see them in the wild, though.

From Bern we headed to Interlaken, which is another really pretty town.  We could just about make out the Jungfrau mountain through the clouds, but the views weren't anything like as good as the ones we had of the Matterhorn yesterday.  We found a nice little garden and sat and ate an ice cream (can you detect a theme from this holiday btw?) before getting back onto the coach and heading towards Lucerne, via the Brunnig Pass.  We didn't stop here because the weather was a bit murky and the scenery wasn't as stunning as on the other passes that we've gone through. 

Our hotel in Lucerne is nice, although I'm surprised that it has four stars because it's quite basic.  Mum unpacked and then we went to find the bar.  The receptionist directed us out of the lobby and along the pavement and then back in through another door into the hotel's bar, and when we got in we were confused to see that the American family who'd been in reception at the same time as us had already made it into the bar.  It turns out that there was a secret door at the end of the corridor opposite the lifts, which we hadn't spotted and for some reason the receptionist failed to mention to us.  Most bizarre.  We found Glenys and George in the bar and had a drink with them, and then it was time to get ready for another evening trip.

This one was to a nearby restaurant, where they do traditional Swiss food, music and singing.  We'd done something similar in Austria when we went there on a walking holiday and we'd had a load of fun, so we had high hopes for this evening.  And we weren't disappointed.  We were on a table with Sue and Dick from Wales and another Sue and Barry (a couple from Australia), and we had so much fun.  We started off with proper cheese fondue, which I'd never had before and which was delicious, followed by a salad and then some veal in a sauce with potato rosti, followed by ice cream, all washed down by a beer or three.  And the entertainment was excellent - there was singing and music and yodelling, and a pantomime cow thing and they even got people from the audience up on the stage at various times.  It really was a cracking night out!

We decided against having any more drinks in the bar when we got back - unfortunately we have yet another early start tomorrow...

Some photos from today )
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When we'd travelled on the Bernina Express on Monday, I really didn't think that anything could possibly top the views that we'd seen that day.  Today, I realised that I'd been wrong.  It was an awesome, awesome day.

We started with breakfast and then we gathered outside the hotel to walk to the nearby train station, where we caught the train to Zermatt.  From Zermatt, we picked up another train, called the Gornergratbahn, which took us up to a height of over 4,000m (just over 13,000 feet).  We'd been told that if the weather was clear, we'd be lucky and would have a view of the Matterhorn, and I'd had visions of it being off in the distance and us needing binoculars to have a proper look at it.  But actually, it was almost right in front of us!  And it's beautiful.  Seriously, just so beautiful.  It's no exaggeration to say it's one of the most perfect things I've ever seen, and when I caught my first glimpse of it, I actually had a lump in my throat. 

When we'd been outside the hotel I'd been feeling the cold a bit and I was worried that my cropped jeans would leave me feeling freezing up at the top, but it was ludicrously warm - so much so that when we had a coffee, we drank it sitting out on the terrace, overlooking the mountain and the glacier.  It was crazy to think that we were that high up in the mountains, surrounded by ice and snow, and yet it was warm enough to sit out!  We had an hour up at the top and initially I'd thought that would be too long, but I could have stayed up there a lot longer - I just loved it!

We met an actual St Bernard when we were up there, as well.  We were allowed to take photos of her for free but if we'd wanted our photos taken with her, it would have cost us.  Good job I hate having my photo taken, hehe!  We also saw something which surprised me by being very cute - a bunch of tiny kids kitted up in their ski gear, singing a song and doing their warm up exercises before setting off to ski down the mountain.  They start them young over there!  Flo was telling us that from the age of 6 it's compulsory for kids to learn to ski when they're at school - they all go off on a trip once a year for lessons.  I was really envious of the people who were skiing, but not so much that it's made me want to learn myself.  I just know that I'd be the person who falls and breaks their leg on the first day!  It does look incredibly exhilerating, though!

After an hour of being at the top of the Gornergrat thing it was sadly time to head back down and we then had some free time in Zermatt, which we used to have a delicious omelette in a restaurant on the high street.  Zermatt is a very stereotypical ski resort - all wooden chalets and the like.  It's lovely, though.  I can see why it's so popular - it's a beautiful place, and I'd definitely go back if I had the chance.

We left Zermatt after lunch on the train, heading back down to Täsch, where we picked up our coach and drove back down into the Rhone Valley towards Lake Geneva.  We had a brief stop at a service station which was like the one we'd visited in Heidiland, and then it was on towards Lausanne and to tonight's hotel. 

The hotel is just outside Lausanne itself, but Flo told us that it was easy enough to get in by train if we wanted.  We were both pretty tired though, so we decided instead to eat at the hotel's restaurant.  Some of the others had had the same idea - the South Africans were there (we never did learn their names and they only spoke a few times), as were Joe, Virginia, Dick and Sue, and we sat with Dick and Sue to have dinner.  I had a chicken and shrimp risotto and it was blooming gorgeous!  We then had a drink in the bar after dinner, but only one because the drinks were stupidly expensive.  And then it was time for bed!

It will not surprise you to learn that there are photos. Lots of photos... )
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It was still snowing a bit when we woke this morning, but it was nothing like as heavy as it had been last night.  The clouds had lifted slightly though and so we had a bit of a better view of St Moritz from our balcony before we set off, after breakfast. 

Whereas yesterday the roads had been clear, this morning they were covered with snow, and Michele drove very carefully down to the train station, where he dropped us off.  The plan had been that we would all go on the Bernina Express down to Tirano, and Michele would drive through a pass and then meet us there, but because of the amount of snow which had fallen yesterday the pass was closed and he had to drive the long way around.  I was still impressed to see him in Tirano to meet us on time, though!

The train journey was amazing.  We started in St Moritz and the line winds its way through the mountains before reaching the southern part of the Swiss Alps, where it descends into the valley and terminates at Tirano in Italy.  The carriages are heated and the windows open so it's possible to get some really good photographs as it goes along, without having to worry about glare from the windows.  To say that the scenery was breathtaking is doing it a bit of an injustice really, but I genuinely can't think of any other word to describe it.  There were feet upon feet of snow, massive icicles, buried buildings...  I've just never seen anything like it.  The further south we went the more the skies cleared as well, so we had some stunning views of the mountains and glaciers.  It made us realise just what we must have missed yesterday with the low cloud, but we decided in the end that having the chance to see the snow falling made it a decent trade off because we had such good views today.

We reached Tirano in time for lunch, which we had in a little restaurant near to the train station.  I had a gorgeous home-made lasagne and some garlic bread - delicious!  We then just had time to have a quick walk around (it being Easter Monday most things were closed) and then it was time to get back onto the coach, heading for Lake Como.  Lake Como is massive, but it's not the largest of the Italian lakes (although it is the deepest).  I can't even begin to imagine how big the largest one must be!  We drove along the shore for a while and then had a stop at a really pretty town on the lake called Menaggio, where I had a massive chocolate ice cream which was almost as good as the stuff from Langage Farm.  Almost, but not quite...

From Menaggio we headed along the ludicrously narrow road that runs along the western shore of Lake Como and then crossed the border back into Switzerland, heading for Lugano.  The hotel we're in tonight is something of an oddity, in that it has a funicular railway running through the middle of it!  The trains were running until quite late and then started just after 5.00am, so it was a bit noisy but other than that it was comfortable.

We found out when we arrived at the hotel that Pedro off of Pedro and Marina isn't actually called Pedro at all, but is instead called Fernando. This was discovered because Flo always finds out what rooms we're in and then comes back onto the coach and calls our names and then tells us which room number we have, and she called his name as Fernando Alvarez. Heaven only knows why we thought he was called Pedro, hehe!

This evening we had an excursion, which was a boat trip on the lake and then a meal in a restaurant right on the lake shore.  I had a broccoli soup and then there was lots of grilled meat, sausages and fish, with risotto rice.  It was absolutely delicious!  We sat with a couple from Wolverhampton called Glenys and George, who were cracking company, and it was such a good night.  After we'd left the restaurant we had another short trip across the lake, including seeing a really attractive church on the shore which was all lit up, and the casino at Campione, which is massive!  Once we got back to Lugano we had just a short walk back up to the hotel, where we headed straight to bed, in the hope that the funicular wouldn't disturb us too much!

Lots and lots of photos today! )

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Yesterday, the weather forecast for Zurich was for heavy rain.  Today, the weather forecast for St Moritz was for heavy snow.  Yesterday, the forecasters got it wrong and we had a really nice day.  Today, I think it's fair to say they got it right.  I have never in my life seen snow like I saw today.  It was just amazing.  When we arrived at St Moritz, there were already several feet of snow piled up, and we watched as another couple of inches (at least) came down in the space of just half an hour.  Mental stuff! 

But more about St Moritz later.  First of all, I need to tell you how we got here!

We had an early breakfast this morning, which Flo had told us would be the best one we'd get all week.  It was really good, actually.  Not just the continental stuff, but actual sausages and other stuff as well.  Very impressive indeed!  After breakfast, we finished getting ready to leave and then settled our bar bill before getting onto the coach.  A lot of the seats towards the front were taken so we decided to be the naughty kids and went and sat at the back.  We won't be there all week, though.  Flo runs a strict "rotation system", which means that everyone moves either three rows forwards or three rows back each day.  That way, everyone gets a chance to sit in different places and on different sides of the coach, so there are different views to be had.  It's quite a good idea, actually.  I'm more used to having set seats, and being frowned at if we dare to deviate from them, so this will make a refreshing change!

The weather was rather inclement from the start today.  It was raining as we left Zurich, and so the visibility (and hence the views) wasn't as good as it might have been, which was a shame.  But Flo told us that the weather was meant to be better for the rest of the week, so we didn't mind too much really.

Our first stop today was the town of Appenzell, which is apparently where Appenzeller cheese comes from.  We had about 45 minutes to explore this little town, which was really beautiful, even in the rain.  It was also very deserted - with it being Easter Sunday the majority of the shops were shut, and judging from the number of umbrellas that were stacked in the rack outside, most of the population had headed to church.  We walked up from the Landsgemeindeplatz along the main street to the church and did some window shopping along the way, as well as admiring the pretty buildings.  We then had a very brief look around the graveyard (even that was attractive) before making our way back towards the coach.

We nipped into the public washroom before setting off again - the coach does have a toilet but apparently Swiss law decrees that you can't use a toilet in a coach when it's moving, and so it's for use in emergencies only unfortunately.  According to Flo, the Swiss have lots of rules by which they have to abide (too many, she said), including one which states that you must have curtains up in your house at all times.  Bless!

After we all got back onto the coach Michele drove us towards the principality of Liechtenstein, and we crossed the border and had a stop in Vaduz, which is the capital city.  As with Appenzell it was very attractive even in the rain (although it did actually stop while we were there), but also as with Appenzell, it was mostly closed.  I got my passport stamped (geeky, but I couldn't resist it) and we had a brief look around one of the gift shops, but there wasn't really much more to do there, unfortunately.

After getting back onto the coach in Vaduz it was time to go to a place called Heidiland for lunch.  Heidiland is named after the charater in the Johanna Spiri novel 'Heidi', and for some reason I'd envisaged lunch in a traditional Swiss place with goats milling about and yodelling and stuff.  Actually, it was a kind of service station (although Heidiland itself is obviously more than just this one stopping place), but it wasn't like any service station I've ever seen before.  It was a bit higgledy piggledy, but you could get pretty much anything you wanted there (apart from a beer, which was a shame - I'm guessing though that the Swiss have a rule about no boozes being sold in service stations).  There was freshly squeezed fruit juice to drink, or pop, or coffee, tea, alcohol free beer, smoothies, etc etc.  And the food choice was amazing!  In the end I just had a ham and cheese baguette but I could have had a grilled steak, grilled fish, omelette, quiche, cooked meats, potato rosti, vegetables...  Just so much choice, honestly!  And the hot food was all cooked fresh as it was ordered, plus our baguettes were made in front of our eyes.  I wish we had places like that in England - I loved it!

The rain had stopped completely by the time we left Heidiland, and I'd pretty much convinced myself that we wouldn't see any proper snow, and was a bit disappointed, really.  I'd been looking forward to it in a strange way!  But as the coach started to head up into the mountains the weather closed in again, and first of all it was raining, then it was sleeting, and as we climbed a bit higher, the sleet turned into actual proper snow!  There was no snow on the road and Flo had checked and found that the pass we were due to drive through was open, so even though there was white stuff all over the ground, conditions on the road were fine and it wasn't a bit scary.  We had a brief stop partway up at a frozen reservoir, where we could get off to take photos if we wanted to brave the driving snow, and then we continued up to the top of the Julier Pass, which is a height of some 2,284 metres (7,493 feet), where we stopped again, this time for a hot drink and for another quick photo or two. 

After leaving the Julier Pass we wound our way back down towards St Moritz, and finally arrived at the hotel at around 4.30pm.  We quickly settled in and mum unpacked, and then I decided that I'd like to go for a short walk, as I'd noticed when the coach pulled up outside that the Cresta Run was just opposite and I wanted to get a photo or two of the building with the name on it, just to show I'd been.  Mum decided against the exercise, and so I set off on my own.  I got my photos of the building (which I think is at the end of the run), and then I decided to follow a little path downhill, just to see where it went.  It was snowing heavily at this point and for some reason I quite fancied the idea of walking in a snow storm.  I followed the path down for quite a while, until it came out at a bridge over the road, and I decided I ought to start heading back because the snow was getting worse.  So I set off at a rate of knots, completely forgetting the fact that I was 1,822m (5,978 feet) up above sea level.  30 seconds or so later, I was KNACKERED and had to stop to catch my breath!  I know I'm unfit, but seriously, doing any kind of exercise at altitude is bloody hard work - heaven only knows how people manage to ski up mountains!  They must be mega fit, is all I can say!  I took my time climbing back up the rest of the path and then went back into the hotel to chill out for a short time before we decided to go downstairs for a beer before dinner.  As we walked into the lobby we were trying to work out where the bar was, because the layout of the hotel is a tad higgledy-piggledy.  And then suddenly this American guy appeared as it from nowhere, and without us even having to tell him what we were looking for, he told us that if we wanted a beer, it was in on the left and it was good stuff and was also very cheap.  I can't remember the exact cost, but he was right about the quality - it was very good stuff!

This bloke turned out to be called Dominic de Santis and he joined us for first a beer and then for dinner.  He is originally from Philadelphia but now lives near to Atlanta, something I managed to remember because I had to learn it a few nights later when another guy called George decided to test my level of sobriety by giving me a fact and then asking me to repeat it the following morning.  Dominic is a bit of a music dude - he teaches guitar and plays in a band as well, so we spent the night chatting away about music and trying to educate him about some good British bands that he might not know. 

Dinner was pretty good - the hotel had laid on a set menu for those of us on the trip, but went a la carte and I had chicken and mushrooms in a sauce with rice, and then some ice cream, all washed down by a few beers.  Very nice indeed.  We did think about another beer in the hotel bar after dinner, but then decided to be sensible and instead got ourselves a bit of an early night because it's another early start tomorrow.

Here be photos... )

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In hindsight, I realised when I woke at 3.30am this morning, that second Tanqueray and tonic last night was a spectacularly bad idea. Getting up in the middle of the night to queue for check in with the hordes when you’re feeling tired and hungover is really rather unpleasant! I hope to remember this fact when we’re at the Holiday Inn at Bristol Airport in July!

Yes, it wasn’t easy, but we managed to get ourselves up and checked in by 4.30am this morning, and then after clearing security we went for a much needed coffee before mooching around the shops for half an hour and then walking down to our gate. We hadn’t been able to get speedy boarding so we had to wait while those people went through, and then of course the people with children went next, because of course they rule the world [/sarcasm], and then it was time for us second class citizens to board. It wasn’t a problem to get a seat together with one by the window, though. I’ll be glad to have the speedy boarding for Mallorca, I must say. It’s one less thing to worry about!

The flight was fine – the pilot had warned us that there may be a bit of turbulence because he was having to fly at a slightly lower altitude than normal due to the short duration of the flight, but actually it was really smooth! We landed into Zurich, got our cases and then we had to get a funny little underground train thing from the terminal, which at one point showed a flickering picture on the walls of the tunnel, which reminded me of those ghostly photos from the London Underground, and then there was the sound of a cow mooing. Most bizarre!

Our Tour Director (I’m sure they just used to call them Reps) met us in arrivals – she’s from the Italian part of Switzerland and she’s called Fiorenza, but we’re to call her Flo, apparently. Also there was Michele, who’s from Sicily and is to be our driver for the week. On the way into Zurich, Flo gave us maps of the city and pointed out various places of interest, as well as telling us how to get into the city centre from our hotel, and what the plan was for this evening. She also gave us the idea of going to the local supermarket (Migros) to get things like mineral water rather than getting them from the mini bar – top tip, that!!

When we got to the hotel we were able to go straight to our room, which was brilliant. Mum unpacked, and I nipped over to Migros and brought back some chewy sweets to have on the coach as well as some tea bags and some water.

Once mum had finished unpacking we headed out and made our way to the tram stop, where we quickly picked up a train heading into actual Zurich. We got off at the main railway station and found the Tourist Information Office, and booked ourselves onto the next Trolley excursion, which was leaving shortly. We found the trolley and got on, and spent the next couple of hours being shown around the main sights of the city.

It’s a really pretty city – fairly compact so it was easy to get to see most things from the trolley. And the weather was lovely – we’d looked at the forecast and it had said rain for today so we were very happy to find it not only dry but actually very mild and partly sunny!

Once we’d finished the tour, we walked along the main shopping street, the Bahnhofstrasse, and found a little café up a side street, where we had a lovely ham and cheese sandwich and a huge beer for lunch. We then mooched around the shops for a while but didn’t really see anything we couldn’t have got at home, so we decided to head back to the hotel and just chill for a while, before this evening’s welcome meeting/dinner.

I managed to have a little doze back at the hotel and then got showered and changed and we went down to the bar and had a beer before the welcome meeting started. During this, Flo outlined the itinerary for the week ahead (it’s going to be so busy!) and we also had to say our names and where we were from. I’d expected everyone to be English, but that’s not the case. There’s one more English couple, a single English woman, and also a Welsh couple, but then it’s like the United Nations – people from America, Australia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, The Philippines, Thailand and India!

Dinner tonight was one of the two which is included in our holiday, and it was a set menu but was very nice – salad to start, followed by pork in a cream and mushroom sauce on a bed of rice, and then a sorbet to finish. We sat with a couple who now live in Houston, but he’s originally from Spain and she’s originally from Peru. She’s definitely called Marina and I think his name is Pedro. Pedro has a very strong accent and a moustache that sticks out from his upper lip at a 90 degree angle. Marina has an equally strong accent, but no moustache.

After dinner we decided to head straight to bed because it’s been a long day, and we have to get up early again tomorrow to head off to St Moritz. The weather forecast is for snow – we shall see.

Today's photos )

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I got myself up early this morning and nipped into town for a few things – including a jacket and how embarrassing was it that I needed a man’s XL one???  Diet starts when we get home, seriously!

When I got home, it was time to pack quickly and then we set off for Plymouth Airport.  As we were checking in we were told that due to earlier technical difficulties and adverse weather at Gatwick, we were going to be delayed for 90 minutes.  We did make some joke about nipping home, but the check in guy said it’s best not to, just in case.  Just as well we didn’t…  We got ourselves a toastie and a beer and were in the middle of that when there was an announcement to say that we were going on time after all!  I think what they’d done was they’d turned around an inbound Guernsey/Jersey flight and used that one instead of waiting for the other one to come back from Gatwick.

But we took off bang on time and we had a quick stop at Newquay before going on to Gatwick, where we also landed on time.  Result!  After getting our cases we found the hotel, which was right on the North Terminal and so very handy. It was very smart as well – the advertised room rate was £200 but we paid just £83 from Expedia – good stuff!

We got to our room and despite the fact that we were only there for one night mum unpacked (this was to be a recurring theme, as you will see), and then we went down into the bar for a couple of beers before going back up and getting ready for dinner. We decided to eat in the Chinese there (the hotel has a few restaurants) and apart from a screaming child in the place, it was a nice evening. We then thought we’d round it off by having a Tanqueray and tonic in the bar – actually, we ended up having two. We also needed some mineral water for the room as I can’t stand the tap water in the south east, and our bar bill came to a whopping £41 – almost as much as our food! We were laughing – we just couldn’t believe it!

Anyway, that was the day – I took a few photos but I need to explain something before I post them.  I took "pets" away on holiday with me - Dogly, who's the little stuffed toy that sits on my desk at work, and Craig and Adam, the two little dog things that Chen and I bought when we were in the Lake District recently.  I took them with me with the intent of taking photos of them on the trip, so if you're wondering why there are muppets in a few of my photos, that's why! 

So, enough of the explanations, here are the photos! )

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Our holiday tickets have arrived! Woo and indeed hoo! I can't believe it's almost time to go - it's really crept up on me for some reason. But it's just 2½ weeks now! I need to find out what the weather's likely to be like in the Swiss Alps at the start of April, as I may need some new fleeces or something.

In other news, my left eye has gone a bit bloodshot and I don't know why. It doesn't really hurt, although it's a tad uncomfortable. I'll let it checked out if it gets any worse.

We watched the end of Crufts last night. The Hungarian Vizsla won, which was a pretty good choice. I loved the Maltese as well. It was so cute. Heaven only knows how they keep it so clean though!

I see Beckham's gone and got himself mashed and is out of the World Cup. My heart is bleeding...

I'm sure there was other stuff I was going to say, but I can't remember what any of it was now. Ah, well!


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September 2010

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