You can see that we’ve arrived by this photo of me in Lucerne sitting next to the river with a champagne cocktail. What a great way to start off.
We left Santa Barbara at 2:00 pm on Sunday and we arrived at our hotel in Lucerne at about 6:00 pm on Monday — so about 28 hours later. Well, not really, with the time change it was only about 19 hours of travel. We flew into Zurich and were met in the baggage claim area by one of the staff. She had train tickets for us and walked us over to the train station and made sure that we got on the right train. Everything was so easy and efficient. Of course, we are in Switzerland.
After the champage cocktail (complimentary from the Hotel des Balances) we walked around the town and looked for a spot to have dinner. After walking all over, we ended up at an Italian restaurant right next to our hotel. And we definitely made the right choice. Valentino’s was authentically Italian, so it reminded us of our usual travel destination.
We started of with a Caprese salad. It was a large one, so it was good that we split it. Then I had the Tortelloni Noci e Spinaci (walnut and spinach) and Steve had his favorite, Penne Arrabiata. With two glasses of wine and two bottles of Pellegrino, the bill came to 73 Swiss francs (about $62).
We were fortunate that the only table when we came in was a large round table in the corner. So, even though it was set for at least 6, they put us there. Then later they sat two Swiss men across from us, one of whom spoke perfect English and we had a great conversation with them, learning a little bit about Lucerne and what it's like to live in Switzerland. We also learned that we had indeed picked a good spot for dinner, when one of them asked us "Did someone tell you about this place, or did you just get lucky?" Just lucky, I guess.