Switzerland for the weekend...
We left for Lausanne immediately after class got out on Thursday afternoon and headed to the train station. Since Germany is not a very loud society, 4 people walking down the hauptstraße with rolling bags definitely caused a lot attention to be drawn to us. We jumped on the bus in the middle so we didn't have to pay to go the few blocks to the train station. When we arrived at the train station half of our group had to get their Eurail verified so they could use them. Luckily our friend Sarah met us at the train station bringing things we had forgotten at home (including a passport). With a few people running ahead, we some how all made it on to the train, with McDonalds in hand.
After searching between train compartments for about 10 minutes, we found a entire compartment, empty, and not reserved. We felt like we hit the jackpot. We instantly claimed it and put all of our bags inside. After sharing some champagne and good conversation, it was time to get on our next train. We had 5 minutes between transfers and sprinted to the next train. We ended up transferring multiple times and taking four trains. When we finally arrived in Lausanne it was just after midnight. We rolled our bags up a hill from the train station to the Pepperdine Lausanne house where we were fortunate to be able to stay. We arrived and were greeted by a couple Pepperdine students that hadn't left for their weekend travels yet. Luckily we had some friends in that program that were staying that weekend and we later got to hangout. A friend gave us a tour all around the house and we ending up staying in their breakfast room for about an hour talking about all the different programs, the differences between them, and how we are having such different experiences. Then we went to bed and instantly fell asleep.
The next morning we got early and headed to the train station. We bought tickets and jumped on a train going to Gruyère, Switzerland otherwise known as the "Cheese Capital of Switzerland" of course we were beyond excited. With just one train transfer this time we only trained for about an hour when we arrived at this little train station with one platform in the small town of Gruyère. Next to the train station was the cheese museum so we obviously bought tickets to that (PSA not worth it !!!) and had way more fun in the gift shop. When we did some yelp searching taking advantage of the wifi at the cheese museum and found out a cute lil fondue restaurant about a 20 minute walk into the cute little town just on the other side of a small hill. That walk to the restaurant ended taking us at least twice as long because it was the most beautiful walk any of us have ever done. While walking there we found a sign with a map of the little town and found the restaurant was just 5 minutes further, right next to the castle (yes, this town has it all). On the map was a quote from The Wall Street Journal naming the restaurant to be the best fondue in all of Switzerland. We instantly picked up our pace.
After having a delicious lunch we had to skaddle back down to the train, while controlling ourselves from stopping and taking pictures. We then got on a train to go to Broc, Switzerland the "Chocolate Capital of Switzerland" and I couldn't wait. We toured the factory, ate too much free chocolate, got a bunch souvenirs and then got back on the train and went back to the house to drop off our stuff and head to dinner. We had some yummy (but expensive bc #lausanne) burgers before heading back home to go to bed from our long day.
The next day we slept in. We didn't head to the train until about 12:30pm and not until after stopping at McDonalds #health #werekindabroke. We then went to Château de Chillon. We made friends with the man who works at the gift shop and he gave us a bunch of recommendations of places to eat and visit. While taking pictures with the beautiful lake and mountains I noticed a group of young adults around our age speaking english. They asked us if we were studying abroad and they said they were too. I told them we go to Pepperdine and one of the girls said a girl in her sorority just transferred in from Pepperdine. I asked what sorority she was in and she said Pi Phi. Being a Pi Phi myself, we instantly bonded and took a picture of us "winging it" with the pretty backdrop and got each others numbers. We were all super tired so we headed back to Lausanne but not after waiting in 20 degree Fahrenheit weather for 40 minutes waiting for our train.
We got back to the Lausanne station and were starving so we got a bunch of microwavable food at CoOp and went back to the house. After eating we met up with our Lausanne friends that were home for the weekend and we all went out and got drinks and walked around the city. Then tired from our long weekend, we went to bed.
Again, we slept in. Half of our group took the early train back to Heidelberg but Sarah and I decided to have a lazier morning and train back later. We Ubered to the Olympic Museum with our friend Jacob and explored the entire thing in under 45 minutes before calling another Uber and running back to the Lausanne house while our Uber waited outside so we could quickly say goodbye to our friends and grab our luggage. Somehow Sarah and I made it to the train station with enough time to get food before getting on our train back to Heidelberg.
We found a compartment on the train with just one guy inside and asked if we could join him. We ended up chatting with him learning that he was a musician and got to hear some of his music. Something I've learned from abroad is that being nice to strangers and asking questions can get you almost everywhere.