Hi and welcome to my travel-page. Are you up for some exciting stories? Then you are at the right address!!
Jan 17, 2005 11:00 PM Shipment...
The weather wasn't good when we got up, but we had a lot of travel to do, so we didn't really mind in the first place.
We drove to Olten, and because we had to start working there again, but the weather only got worse, we decided to do a shipment first.
This would be our very first shipment in the three trips we already did...
What we had to do is send a package with HD's with all the data on it we already captured during our period in Switserland. So after filling in a lot of papers, we got it done.
Sweet, we thought...until 2 days later. We had called Joris (our boss) because of a problem we had. Meanwhile he asked us what we had done with the HD's. Because, apparently, we had somehow managed it to illegaly import those HD's over the Swiss border, and now wanted to send these illegal things back to where they came from :o)
So, Joris would have to pay quite a lot of taxes on the HD's, before he could get them back. What he will do with them, we don't know yet...we'll hear the story afterwards I guess.
Jan 16, 2005 11:00 PM Hot, hot, hot...
On monday, we we drove all the way back towards Zurich. So, going from Sierre, over Sion and than taking a smaller road through the mountains over Chateau d'Oex and Gstaad towards Thun.
I noticed that during the mountainroad-trip, the engine started to smell a bit weird and heat up quite a bit. Just on the moment we arrived in Chateau d'Oex, the gearbox started to act really weird. I couldn't get any power on the engine. When I gave some more fuel, the engine made more noice, but didn't go faster.
We stopped immediatly on a parking and opened the hood. There was a bit smoke comming out of the engine and apparently, we had been pushing the car a bit too much to the edge. Anyway, we let the engine cool down, visited the town (I had been there twice before) and drove on, working off the whole area of the Thunersee.
When it got dark we parked at the lake itself and stayed there during the night.
Jan 15, 2005 11:00 PM Skiing...without snow
8AM...we got up, took a shower and got breakfast. We dressed up and went to the skiingstation to take the first train possible.
We came up the skiing area...and there was almost no snow. The weather had been so great for weeks, that all snow had melted. Something I had already noticed even before we went to St-Luc the day before.
I went up the green piste, just to check how my material handeled and it all looked good. So we took the lift up the red piste. For me this would be the first time I did a red one, but there wasn't really a blue one anymore, because there was no snow...
I didn't really do good on the red slide. I didn't had the nerves to just go loose, certainly not because there was a lot of ice on it, which makes it way more difficult to brake without falling.
So I decided to stay on the green one and exercise my turnings and try to do some paralleling, while Wouter tried to find out how the blue once were.
He came back about two hours later...he had fell on ice, been on rocks, mud, in woods...he had been almost through hell :o)
So, blue was not an option. I stayed on the green one, while Wouter tried out the red one again, slowly, because he truly had hurt himself.
In the afternoon we met with a french man on the terras of the skiing station and talked about the area. He told us this was even the best place at the moment to go skiing, because all others had lot's of more ice on them.
Eventually we went back to our hotel, a bit disappointed, but still, we had some movement and had been skiing while most of our friends were studying for there exames :o)
Jan 15, 2005 11:00 PM Cold, cold, cold
We had booked our room in St-Luc for 2 days, but after the skiing, we decided we wanted to already go back to our camper and sleep in it.
So we took a shower, packed everything, brought back the material (which costed a lot) and took the bus down to Sierre.
It had been freezing in the camper...there where stalagtits hanging out of the watercranes. It was cold as hell!! It took us a while to warm up, but eventually everything was back alright.
Jan 14, 2005 11:00 PM Saint-Luc - Chandolin
We've been at so many places in just one week. We've travelled from the north to the south of switserland, on the westside of it. We've seen cities like Neuchatel, Fribourg, Bern, Basel, Biel, Vevey, Montreux, Geneve, Lausanne, etc.
It's been a wonderful experience to see how many differences there are between all the cantons. The language is either German, French, Italien or Reto-Roman. Basel is flat and so is Geneve, but in between, Montreux and Fribourg show already small parts of the alps.
We've slept at the lake of Geneve in Lausanne, after we had free water on a camping.
But now that the whole western part of Switserland is driven, we move over the south to the middle. This brings us in the canton of Valais. A valley which has many high and beautiful mountains on wich you can find lot's of small villages.
This area is the place in Switserland I love the most. My parents met in Chandolin, a very small village on a mountain above Sierre.
We decided we had worked enough for the week (over 50 hours) and wanted to go skiing.
So we drove to Sierre, parked the camper on a small parking under a bridge (so it wouldn't be too much visible) and took the bus up the mountain.
We got of in Saint-Luc, another small village just a couple of hunderd meters under Chandolin and went to look for a place to sleep.
There's a hotel in St-Luc which is used as an hotel for camps during summer and winter. And this for the organisation in which both Wouter and I are leader in. So we went to visit the hotel and met the director, which I knew from a couple of summer camps. He told us he didn't had any rooms left, but said we could always try in some other places.
In the first one the director had pointed us, we were already lucky and got ourselves an economic room.
Next stop was the intersport, where I had to hire my skiingmaterial (Wouter had bought himself a brand new snowboard before we left and so didn't need anything anymore). I got the material, took it to our room and we went to the skiingstation where we bought our ski-passes.
So we were done in a very short time and were able to take the bus up to Chandolin.
I couldn't believe my own eyes. The village had been growing and growing in the past 5 years that I hadn't been there. It lost it's 'old small village feeling'. Too bad...
Anyways, I told Wouter a couple of things about it, we visited some places and took the bus back to St-Luc.
Jan 10, 2005 11:00 PM The Swiss borders
The Swiss douane doesn't like us...
We had been sleeping on the parking of the douane. For trucks, this parking is obligated. You have to take your papers to the Swiss and French douane offices to arrange everything.
So we did, we first went to a place where they told us to go to another place where they would decide what to do with us.
When we arrived there, the douane asked us to go back to the other place and order a special kind of ID card for truckers.
We wanted to go back but realised that we would have to pay for this card, so we first went back to the parking to get our DKV card (creditcard). When we arrived there, a man notified us that there was someone looking for us (because he had seen the camera's on the vehicle and didn't trust it).
We immediatley found this person from the douane and he wanted to see everything.
After a good check and a couple of questions he told us we could go and do our job. Therefore we simply had to pass the battle tree and drive straight in to Switserland. It was that simple.
When we drove towards this battle tree another man (who was sitting there) asked us what we had to declare (he knew nothing about the fact that we were comming). He simply let us through...it was all that easy!!
We started to do our job and came to another place at the border. Going outside of Switserland was peace of cake, but then whe had to go back in.
A man stopped us and asked what the car was for. He eventually asked for our papers and let us through after checking them. We still didn't had a road-pass, which is needed by every car in Switserland.
We kept on working and came to another boarder. There we could drive straight into France, turn back around and drive into Switserland.
The people at the douane asked if we had a road-pass, and because we hadn't, we had to buy one. Damned, first time in 3 hold we were 'caught'.
The guy asked jokingly what the camera's were for...We could have been terrorists, the guy wouldn't have a clue.
Anyway, our trip continued, but now with this pass.
We went back outside of Switserland and drove back in. This time there was a sperate road for people with a pass already in the car.
So when we drove through it, I friendly stopped at one of the guards. He apparently didn't understand why I stopped and asked me "what my problem was". But he let us through.
I can tell you now: Swiss border isn't funny. They're dead serious.
Jan 10, 2005 11:00 PM Water or Wouter?
We had found a spot to park. Somewhere we couldn't even see, because it was dark as hell and we didn't know the roads. We'll see in the morning where we are :o)
Wouter made spaghetti and I cleaned up the camper, which already got really messy.
Wouter first wasn't able to eat, his stomach hurted. A good time later he threw up (outside the camper of course) and felt already a bit better.
On the other hand we noticed there was suddenly almost no water anymore. We did it again, left a little button stand in the wrong way and the water heather flushed all the water out of our tank. Damned, now we would have to go to a camping already on our third day of the trip...
Jan 09, 2005 11:00 PM Starting up
At about noon we arrive at Tele Atlas, get a look at the maps, go have an expensive meal in the student restaurant of the university of Gent and eventually leave for Switserland at about quarter past 3pm.
The trip goes well and we arrive at the border of Switserland in Basel, just after 9pm.
We watch a movie and go to sleep.
Jan 06, 2005 11:00 PM The job gets better every time
yes Yes YES!!! The next trip will be no less than: SWITSERLAAAAAAAND!! My second home!! My life's spirit!!
We get to drive around on all the highways. It's only 3100 km's, BUT we get to see the whole of Switerland. And in other words: we're going to be skiing :o)
Don't you just love my job ;o)
We'll be leaving on monday (evening probably) and don't know when we will come back.
You'll hear everything about it when we come back!!
Dec 19, 2004 11:00 PM Boat-Bateau
In the morning we took one of the first boats towards the mainland and drove back homewards. It was strange, after all these km's driving left, now driving right again...
We came home and everyone was glad to see us back :o)
Happy Christmas and Merry New Year ;o)
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