Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Week 9 (Oct 29 to Nov 4)

On Friday, nidhi had the brilliant idea to go for a bike ride out into the country side. (There's an organization that lets you rent bikes for free in the summer with deposit). It was the two of us, Fred, Helena and her friend Mathilde, and Sara. All of us but fred rented bikes (they all came with anti-racism messages on the bikes).

We started out in ouchy, biked through Pully and Lutry, then headed up into the vineyards and came back down to go through vevey and montreux, and then our final destination: Chateau Chillon. All in all, it was 62km round trip.

Starting out at Ouchy:

Up into the vineyards

Along the highway:

We took a tour of the chateau which is much bigger than it appears. Here's Nidhi, just hangin around...

Inside the chateau:

By the end of the ride, Nidhi was almost dead: knees aching, back tired. Blah, it was hell.

That week was nothing exciting until....

Dadimama and Bua arrived in Lausanne!! They arrived Thursday morning, we had tea together, and Nidhi went to work while the two of them wandered around ouchy. After work, we had dinner together. The next day Nidhi, Dadimama, and Bua went bright and early to Mont Blanc. We took a train up to the Mer de Glace (sea of ice) from Chamonix (the closest town). At the top they had a little flora-and-fauna display in a teeny hut.

Then they left to go to Paris on Saturday while we relaxed at home.

Week 8 (Oct 22-28)

Right after Dave got back from the States, we shot off to Berlin for a long weekend. We got in on Saturday and made it to our plush hotel, then had some Hefeweizens at a great German pub in a cosy little booth. Got a little tipsy and talked crazy. Dave got Nidhi a rose, which she promptly ate. Then slammed some pizza at a local joint (open til 3 -- we're not in Switzerland anymore, baby).

My 'n' my rose. Don't I look smug?

On Sunday we had a nice buffet breakfast in the hotel, then took bus 100 from Zoologischer Garten through Tiegarten (the Central Park of Berlin). We got off near the Reichstag (the German parliament) and waited in line for two lifetimes to get in and have a view from the Dome at the top. Fortunately there were some puppet performers keeping us on our toes.

Isn't this a pretty tree?

The Reichstaag

Puppet guys keeping us entertained while we waited:

View of tiergarten from the top and the dome from the inside

After that, we walked to Brandenburg Gate and into East Berlin where the walk signs had "jaunty" little red and green men.

We walked down Unter den Linden where we had some fun with the local scam artists and their famous box game - everybody wins until its your turn to play. We played a couple rounds before we realized and walked away embarrassed. We continued on, figuring what was done was done but saw the same people again as we were walking back. We decided to try and get our money back by playing the scammers -- Nidhi put on a "poor little student who's ruined her trip boo hoo hoo" act and they fell for it!

Here's a snap of the box game. Watch out!!

We continued on to Checkpoint Charlie and the Museum of the Wall.

For dinner we picked up some street-side chinese (Sooo good) and roasted chestnuts and fries. Yum.

On Monday we were going to rent bikes and take a tour of Tiergarten. On the way, we checked out the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which was bombed out to a shell in the war.

Unfortunately, it was a rainy day and we'd missed all the guided bike tours already, so we skipped that and went to the "Topology of Terror" memorial/walk by the remaining part of the wall.

That evening we had all-you-can-eat sushi at a restaurant near our hotel. It was one of those places where the sushi goes around on a conveyor belt and you just pick up what you want. It was soo good. Between the two of us, we polished off 32 plates of sushi. Oink oink.

Tuesday we took a little walk to the tiergarten before out flight and picked up a couple of cute hot cocoa mugs and postcards. Getting to the airport was a bit tricky -- we almost missed the train to the airport and were all in a panic. Good times.

Nothing much else happened that week. We went to Markus's again (this time his brother was visiting) and that was that.

Weeks 6/7 (Oct 7 to Oct 21)

This week Dave left for San Francisco/LA and then NY, so not much is up. The weekend before he left we went to a Mexican restaurant with Jim and accidentally had a meat burrito. Yum! But it was an accident. Also we watched the Grand Challenge and saw CMU get beaten by stanford. That really sucked. Here are some pics from our walk around Ouchy. The olympic museum had some kind of Kids Sports expo.

Human Foosball:

Then on Sunday we went to the park up in the North part of the city. Really pretty, had some sandwiches, climbed the tower. They had pigs and ducks there too.

The tower:

Then Dave left and Nidhi went out to Markus's and all that. On the weekend I went to Zurich with Katja. Unfortunately, I got sick that morning and stupidly decided to go to Zurich anyway. And ended up in the hospital with bad stomach pains. They did lots of tests and pumped me full of pain killers but in then end couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was fine the next day though so they let me go.

Look what they did to my hand!

And my hospital bed and the view from my room.

We'd only planned on spending the day, so Katja left on Saturday night for Geneva (I was chilling out in my cozy bed with personal TV). On sunday I left at noon and went straight to the zoo (the whole reason we'd gone to Zurich in the first place). Check out the rhino:

And that was pretty much that. That week I partied at Markus's, just in time for Dave to come home on Friday.