• Switzerland: Where wine is cheaper than water.

    Posted on June 28th, 2012 palmucci No comments

    Nothing is more intimidating than coming to a foreign country. The locals give you unconscious, unwavering stares that immediately remind you you’re out of place, and the language barrier sort of makes your mind freeze and just HOPE that a person knows English.  I met up with another girl from the program three days before we were to head to Riva san Vitale.  After a drivel plane ride of 8 hours we arrived in Zurich and spent the night in the Hotel Leonek.  That, I can say with confidence, was my first cow themed hotel I had ever stayed in.  We were immersed right away into the Swiss culture through the amazing food, great chocolate, language…oh and the prostitutes.  That little sighting definitely threw us off for a few minutes as you don’t exactly see that kind of thing in reasonable safe areas of the cities back home.  One thing that I quickly learned was that you do not wear high heels in any of these cities, towns or basically anywhere in Europe.  Everything is paved with cobblestone or uneven surfaces! I made that mistake the first night and ended up walking on my tip-toes the entire time. MISERABLE! After Zurich, we headed over to Lugano and spent two days there in Hostel Montarina.  I could tell this was just a little differently set up than American places when the woman asked if we had brought our own sheets.  For a second I thought she was kidding, but no, that is custom in most hostels.  Lugano was gorgeous, not what I expected at all, but I’m starting to get used to that.  We arrived in Riva before noon and made our way to the villa.  It is so interesting to me how you can take a train from a different part of Switzerland for a few hours feel like you’re in a completely different country!  Riva is an adorable little place that almost has a village-esque vibe to it.  We found right away that there was no air conditioning in the Villa which was a little discerning!  We thought at night to just open the windows for a little, but then turned around and there were about 300 bugs on the walls behind us!  Luckily we have gathered a group of fans so the nights are not as hot.  So far everything has been extraordinary and unreal and I am looking forward to the rest of my time here.