The best of world on a budget of €15 a day…
Day Fifteen: Switzerland.
As per yesterday’s tip, Switzerland isn’t budget friendly.
That said, it’s amazing and if there’s a way you can include it on your trip, you totally should. Armed again with the InterRail Pass, the Brompton and my fifteenaday allowance, I managed to turn taking a train from Zurich to Lucerne today into a totally rewarding experience.
Disembarking the train, the first two stops were supermarket (Only way you can eat here, trust me. Don’t forget the bananas.) and the information center.
At the information center, I was asking about the best things to see on a budget. I explained the fifteenaday concept in my rough-as-guts German and the lovely lady behind the counter stated that while she didn’t think it was enough to get up the mountains, I might be able to do a walk and get some lunch and a boat cruise. As she started rattling off other things I could do, I realised that unfortunately, the old Deutsch must be rattier than I think. She was explaining things I could do with FIFTY euros a day. And still seemed concerned. Ouch.
No, no, FIFTEEN euros a day, I offer.
To which the ultimate European response comes: It is not possible.
Extremely popular with the French, “it is not possible” is normally dished out with a snooty air and a slight lift of the face and turn of the head. It’s sort of a “your idea is so ridiculous, I no longer wish to discuss it”. It is the equivalent to the British “we are not amused”.
Well, I’ve come this far and if I survived Venice then I’m not giving up in Switzerland, so it IS possible my friend.
After a while, we worked out that I could do a cycle path around the lake and then (thanks to my InterRail pass, which is an absolutely GIFT in Switzerland and is armed with many discounts) I could catch a boat back across the lake for a 50% discount. She was concerned I’d be hungry but I showed her my bananas (really) and she seemed to suddenly think everything was OK and was a little more enthusiastic about the budget trip.
The scenery gorgeous, the bike was hard work and the bananas delicious (I also splashed out on some choco biscuits!) and it was a totally rewarding day. So, the tip for the day? I guess it’s a cross between these three: eat bananas (common theme), visit the tourist office (again) and believe that it IS possible.