Day 16: Swiss Splendor

 

Venice – Milan – Swiss Alps

June 9, 2019

It was so hard to say Arrivederci to Venice this morning! Though we were not sad to say goodbye to the heat and crowds. We hit the road early as we made our way toward Switzerland. It was about 1 hour of traveling until we reached our lunch stop for the day in Milan. The Italians call it Milano, which got me thinking of whether or not the Pepperidge Farm cookie is named after the city (see the question below). They say Milan is the fashion capital of the world. It was quite evident as we passed by clothing store after clothing store, even seeing 2 Sephoras within 4 or 5 city blocks of each other. We walked through the main strip of the city, a pedestrian-only section of it. It eventually led to the Duomo of Milan. It apparently has been under construction for the last 600 years!!! It was beautiful, along with all of the other cathedrals we have seen, though each in its own way.

The Milan Cathedral
The Milan Cathedral

We eventually found a nice lunch spot that had relatively good prices (a lot of the nearby places were super expensive). I ended up getting a panini! Hadn’t had one in Italy and I was getting tired of pizza and pasta! It was so good…it had some salami and cheese and lettuce on it, as well as tiny onions. The cheese was the best part about it–it seemed to just melt in your mouth! I also had one more cannoli before I left Italy. It had some pistachios on the sides and was vanilla filled…better than the last one regarding the outside crust, but I liked the chocolate filling better.

Lunch in Milan
Lunch in Milan: an amazing panini! Couldn’t wait to dig in before a picture…

We hit the road again and soon entered the country of Switzerland! We had to pay an entrance tax, similar to the one we had to pay to enter Monaco. No passport checks, just taxes. The drive in was absolutely picturesque. Mountains towered above us as we drove through the valley between the mountains. Little cottages decorated the landscape between the mountains. Many of the cottages had terraced gardens around them. And we went through so many tunnels!! I’d say 20 or 30 tunnels! One was extremely long and probably took us about 40 minutes to go through! Because accidents can take forever to clear out of there, they made sure to limit traffic by a stoplight and made it just 1 or 2 lanes in each direction. It just kept going and going and going. It got nice and dark so I naturally fell asleep for a lot of it! After reaching the light of day again, we saw herds of cows and beautiful lakes. What a wonderful change of scenery from the busyness of Italy.

Lake Brienz
A lake we passed by on our way to our hotel (Perhaps Lake Brienz)

We arrived at our hotel and it was such a quaint place. The hotel, the Alpenrose Hotel and Gardens, is located in a village called Wilderwil, which is 1 train stop away from the larger town of Interlaken. It’s also owned by one of the owners of our tour company, Expat Explore. From our bedroom window we had a fantastic view of a mountain (perhaps Jungfrau?) in the distance, Swiss style cabins and hotels, all which overlooked a well manicured English garden. We opened the window and loved how quiet it was. We walked through the gardens and admired the flowers and hedges while listening to a nearby bell tower chime for a few minutes. It seemed like a scene from a movie! 

Alpenrose Hotel and Gardens
Alpenrose Hotel and Gardens in Wilderswil, Switzerland

 

Swiss view
The view from our bedroom window.

We went to a nearby grocery store called Volg to get a few supplies, and of course, some Swiss chocolate! We got a neat egg-looking treat that was very light, so we thought it was just some hollow chocolate. It turned out that it was a marshmallow encased in chocolate with a cracker in the bottom of it…almost like a s’more! We also found a massive Swiss Cake Roll!

Swiss Cake Roll
A true Swiss Cake Roll! They don’t mess around here!

 

Swiss S'more
Emily is exited about the “Swiss S’more” as we called it

We returned to our hotel to have an included dinner, which was fantastic. After having loads of pizza and pasta for the past week, it was wonderful to have chicken with mushroom gravy (I picked out the mushrooms, of course), rice, and vegetables. We enjoyed a bit of free time this evening before the adventure of the next day, Jungfraujoch!

Step Metrics: 6,967 steps; 3 miles; 319 cal; 1h 17m time

 

Self Q&A

Q: Do the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies originate from Milano?

A: The founder of Pepperidge Farm boarded the Queen Mary and set off on a “tasting trip” to Europe in search of distinctive cookies that were ‘delicate in flavor and texture.’ This inspired the European cookies such as the Naples, Milano, Brussels, and Geneva. (From Pepperidge Farm)

The Milano was created as a result of Pepperidge Farm’s original cookie concept, the Naples, which was a single vanilla wafer cookie with dark chocolate filling topping it. The problem this posed was that Naples cookies would end up stuck together when shipped to and sold in warmer climates. The company resolved the problem by sandwiching Naples cookies together, creating the new Milano variety. (From Wikipedia)

 

Fun Facts

  • Rocket is the same thing as Arugula. In North America, Rocket is usually called “Arugula.” Many people think that is the Italian name, but it isn’t. The Italian word is “rucola” or sometimes “rochetta”. “Arugula” is an English corruption of the word in some Italian dialect, perhaps from Lombardy where they call it “arigola.” (From Cook’s Info)

 

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