Oeste da Europa
is boring. What the heck are you doing there? Well, now that you are there, this is what you do. Is it hot and sunny? If so, pack swimming stuff. Is it raining? Go anyway if it's not too bad. No matter the weather, wear your walking shoes. Ok: Go to the main station, walk up to one of those ticket computers, click the button that says, "English," and buy a ticket to Walenstadt. (hot tip: If it's a weekend and you plan to ride the train a lot, buy this thing from the ticket booth called a "weekend halbtax." Half price tickets all weekend, even on the mountain railways.) Take the express train that stops in Ziegelbrucke and ends in Chur. Get off in Ziegelbrucke and get on the train to Walenstadt. It also goes places like Murg and Sargans, if Walenstadt isn't a listed stop for this train. Marvel at the stunning lake to the left of the train. This is where you will spend your day, on the pristine deep blue Walensee under those dramatic cliffs, both of which no photographer…
Go up to Utileburg to get the best view of
Go out on the Marktgasse. Bars close early, so start early. Clubs can be located within reach.
is a great city, enjoy it and be respectful.
I spent three days there. All I remember is that the place was littered with tram lines (the trams were from the seventies), there were hardly any young people, and everything cost an absolute fortune. Yes, it is tidy, but its not particularly scenic. Even in the old town, I saw nothing particularly special.
(and Switzerland in general) is caught between worlds. It seems to combine the worst of the Anglophone and Continental European worlds -- the money-grabbing impulses of the Anglos and the snooty, superior attitudes of the continentals.
is a weird place. It's a very very quiet and very very clean city. The touristy stuff can be seen in one day easy, so don't stay long - head out around the lake or to other parts of the country, which are picturesque and beautiful.
When I visited
for a weekend with a friend, we couldn't figure out where the young people (twenty-somethings) were - but I can tell you they definitely weren't in the Irish and English bars that we checked out that the guidebook had recommended!! I liked it ok enough, but I wouldn't plan on staying more than a day or two.
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