Ryan and Angela's European Vacation:
March 23-25

The next day, Ang and I returned to Gornergrat to do some more skiing. I would have liked to try one of the different ski areas since we had done Gornergrat the previous day, but Ang pointed out that the other areas didn't have as many easy runs, which I had to admit was true. I should mention here that what are called "easy" runs in the Zermatt area would be rated as "medium" or "difficult" in Wisconsin, and Angela and I are not very good skiers.

The weather was beautiful, but unfortunately neither of us brought our camera with us this time, so I have no pictures from this day. We skied for a while, had lunch, and eventually skied down to Furi and took the cable car down to Zermatt. We did a little shopping, played a bowling-like game called "Kegeln," and had dinner at a pizza restaurant in the basement of the Hotel de la Poste entertainment complex (the pizza was outstanding). The next day we got on the train back to Geneva (again via Visp).

The downtown Geneva train station, seen from our hotel window

As beautiful as the weather had been our first time in Geneva, it was pretty awful the second time. It was cold and extremely windy. To make matters worse, most of the stores were closed (it was Sunday), which put a dent in our plans to go shopping. We did eventually find a couple stores that were open. I bought a refrigerator magnet, some postcards, and some chocolate, and considered buying a clock but decided against it. We also went to the Geneva Casino, which as far as I could tell consisted only of slot machines and video poker (there was also a roulette table but nobody was there). I gambled twenty francs on a slot machine, one franc at a time, and won nothing.

Angela at a fountain in Geneva

Lunch had been expensive, and we were pretty tired, so we decided to have dinner at the Pizza Hut next door to our hotel. For dessert, I tried a "Bimbo," which is a Nestle-made plastic elephant wearing a green hat, with vanilla and chocolate ice cream inside.

Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman if you're French)

With the weather so nasty, and most of the shops closed, eating ice cream out of a blue plastic elephant head was about as exciting as things got in Geneva that day. We got up early the next morning to catch our plane back to Chicago-O'Hare via London-Heathrow.

Swiss flags on the Pont du Mont-Blanc

Despite the one snag when we got delayed our first time in Geneva, it was an excellent trip and Ang and I both had a great time. I'm looking forward to my next trip to Europe, though I don't know when or to where it will be.

What time is it anyway? Angela next to a large Swiss timepiece

So, you might be wondering, how much did this vacation cost me? Well, I'm wondering that myself, so I'll figure out the approximate cost right here:
Plane tickets and London hotel: $542
Hotels in Geneva and Zermatt: $254
Swiss rail pass: $84
London bus tour: $80
Souvenirs: $80
Ski transport: $75
Ski rental: $74
Bus to/from O'Hare: $42
Food and misc: $239
Total: $1470
Not too bad when you consider the amount of stuff we did in the time we were over there. The numbers may be off a little-- currency exchange, my sloppy record-keeping, and stuff like that makes it hard to figure out what the exact costs were. But I'd say it was worth whatever I actually paid.

A church in Geneva

Well that's it for the collection of photos from my 2002 European vacation. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed them!

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