If you really want to know what I did on Day 26 and be honest about it…I was in Paris. Actually, I was in a town right outside of Paris (i.e. just over the bridge) called Courbevoise. It’s a nice little place filled with a lot of families.
The diabolical mess of flying in right as all of the trains and buses were ending from Charles De Gaulle airport meant I had to find alternative means to get to Courbevoise…like take 3 buses to get there from CDG.
I got into Paris around 11PM, I got to the hotel around 4AM. No joke.
I started to follow the lead of the Parisians out on a Friday night…don’t pay to use the bus. They snuck me onto the back of the night bus, helped me get my suitcases on and away we went. I got to see Moulin Rouge and L’Arche de Triomphe at night. Very pretty, but no photos because…ahem…too tired and the camera was packed away…and I was on a bus.
I slept in until 11AM after I crashed in the hotel. But when I awoke, I realized that the cigarette smoke had finally gotten to me and I was sick.
My suitcase did not survive Paris the second time around, so I pulled myself out of bed to buy a new one and find a local grocery store. The hotel I was staying in was apartment style, so I had my own kitchen.
I ended up staying in the entire day, nursing myself back to health.
It wasn’t until I headed to Zurich/Zug the next day that my respiratory system started to heal up (I think I can attribute this to the nice mountain air).
I checked into my closet size room (which, by the way, was the most expensive hotel I had to book in my European vacation tour of duty…and it was the smallest room of them all). I got in around 3PM and ended up staying in bed the rest of the day, just to get over the stupid smoke in my lungs. Did I mention I was allergic to cigarettes? Merci, Paris.
The next day, I found my way to Bossard Arena, home of EV Zug. The Rangers skate was canceled (little did I know), so I ended up watching Zug practice that morning.
Here, I learned a little lesson thanks to Coach DeBoer. Never watch the other team’s pre-game skate/practice. You think you’re going to get a good idea of what you’re about to face…and then the game comes and they serve your derrieres right up to you by kicking your ass all over the ice.
Well, that’s exactly what EV Zug did to the New York Rangers. 8-4 was the score, kiddies. Zug scored seven goals on Martin Biron, the eighth was an empty-netter. The atmosphere of the fans at Bossard Arena was AMAZING! It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
If Canadian fans think there is nothing like being in a Canadian arena to watch a hockey game…go see some Swiss hockey. The Swiss have the Canadians beat. Even the Rangers were talking about never seeing anything like it back in North America. It is that intense.
Trust me, oh Canadians, the Swiss really have you beat.
If you’ve ever been to a football (European soccer) game with flags flying, fans chanting, drums beating, etc. Then you know how European fans are supporting their home team. Put those football fans into a SOLD OUT hockey arena…and there you go. It would be almost similar to the Nordiques Nation invading your arena x3.
It’s that intense.
All I can say is that I’m now a fan of EV Zug after that amazing display. They are fierce out there on the ice. They are really that good.
If you want my opinion of Zug…you’re not really going to get it. I feel duped because I never found those places from the pictures they sent to me. Nothing looked like the photos.
I was also very confused with the whole North/South thing in Zug. They would show me on the map where I was, ok…we were to the north. But then if I wanted to see anything, I had to go south, according to the map. But when you take the train…it goes north to that exact spot.
Trust me, I felt like everything got flipped around. It was so backward and I was confused. I had ZERO sense of direction in Zug. They really confused me with their map.
The only thing I can say if you are visiting Switzerland…make sure you have plenty of money. That place is uber expensive. Take the exorbitant prices of Times Square and multiply it by 2-3 times more. You’ve got Switzerland.
A plain cheeseburger at McDonalds cost 2.50 CHF = $2.88. In the US…a plain cheeseburger costs $1. If you want a SMALL meal (not large or super sized), that will cost you 15 CHF = $17.25. Wow, right? I’m afraid to know what a large or super sized meal would cost.
I will say that the one thing I really loved about Switzerland…everyone walks or bikes. Zug is such a small town that many people walk or bike around. There are ample sidewalks and bike paths on streets that allow people to use these two modes of transportation.
Everywhere you go there are bikes upon bikes upon bikes. They’re practically stacked on top of each other at the train station.
I guess that’s why the air is so much cleaner there…low car emissions.
Throughout most of Switzerland you’ll find a lot of farming communities and then a lot of industry going up left and right. It’s a rather strange thing to see, especially for city folk. Farmland is usually out in the middle of nowhere…not close to the cities. What’s interesting about Switzerland is that they are practically built into each other. Industry and farming co-habitate harmoniously throughout the country. It’s just a very odd sight to see, but it works.
Up next…Paris again. This time, I get to spend some time with an old favorite.