Part 1- Don’t underestimate the power of Schengen Visa Officers.
Part 2- To go or not to go? That is the question.
Part 3 –Poguma, pogadha?
Part 4 –Inside scoops 🙂
Food was not on top of our agenda and I don’t remember a single day/place where we took a long time to decide and place an order. We stuck to vegetarian food mostly except once or twice where a couple of them found non-veg options to their liking. This probably was the first time in a group trip where every single day, every single meal was wiped clean off our plates except one day where we were left with extra food because the restaurant folks misunderstood and delivered a double-order for a couple of dishes. Not a morsel was wasted otherwise. Wasting is already bad. We’d be wasting in Euros there!!
Coming to some of our stay experiences, I already told you all, in great detail, on our budget stay in Paris and how awesome the breakfast was. There was also an awesome waitress there who, no matter what the question was, answered with ‘oui’ and ‘merci’. According to her, 3 times 6, 5 times 6, 11 times 6, everything added up to 50 Euros. I gave up trying to explain that 11 of us had breakfast and that I’d given only 50 and that I need to give her more. She wouldn’t listen. Typing the question or the explanation in a translate app and showing it to her still didn’t convince her. She insisted on accepting only 50. I gave up and assumed she was in a mood to give us a discount. The next day, the moment we entered, she promptly put us on to another person who could speak English! And therefore no more discounts 🙂
In another instance, at a restaurant where we’d ordered pizzas, we also tried ordering some French fries. Apparently French fries are called so only in India and not in France. I’m not sure. This reminded me of the movie Queen where Kangana Raunat tells her roomies that French toast is available only in India. So, we cut the ‘French’ from the fries and went with just ‘fries’. No luck. All actions, pointing at some pictures stuck on their counter, still elicited some long drawn responses from the restaurant folks. It seemed like the fries came with some specific food combo and not ‘standalone’. I quickly showed an image from Google with just the fries in it, and asked if only that will be available. Somehow, after 10-12 minutes of dance-drama, we got the point across and were served super hot and yum fries along with our pizzas.
The stay in Lucern was by far the best. The Easy Living apartment was clean and spacious, stocked with the fluffiest of pillows and mattresses. The local bus stop was just around the bend, a 2 min walk, with a bus every 2 minutes, and a bus No.2 taking us to the Lucern ‘Bahnhof’-the railway station. The whole town (and the rest of the places we visited in Swiss) looked like a picture sketch- PERFECT!
Of the two times we had ‘Indian’ food on the entire trip, the first was in the Kanchi Indian Restaurant at Lucern. It looked inviting but was over-priced by any standards. We put together a quick breakfast of sandwich or cereals, and cooked the dinner ourselves every night that we were here. On a couple of nights, it was pasta for dinner and on a couple others, we stir-fried some fresh veggies, and wrapped them up in store-bought semi-cooked tortillas. We also had some of the best flavoured yogurts when here! The Lucern station had one or the other vendor giving away free sample food or drink every day. It was fun to shamelessly seek out and get that fruit yogurt, the flavored oatmeal, that fruit drink, some random snack 🙂 The best ‘food’ on this trip was however the piping hot veg samosas and equally hot ginger tea at the Rhine river, near the Swiss-German border. The owner of this food joint was a Gujarati and the taste was as authentic as Gujju food can get!
The folks at all the travel-desks understood English and were the most courteous. Train travel here was like no other. Huge windows, comfortable seating, scenic routes. The regular trains were like panoramic trains and some even had play area for children, complete with a slide inside! It was in this leg of the trip where most on our group wouldn’t have minded losing our passports 😉 Every minute awake was a feast to the eyes.
Our next leg was Italy. More on food and stay in this beautiful country, in the next post!