Day 56: Lucerne

Yesterday I woke up and decided to go swimming down by the lake. I knew it was going to hot outside so I walked down the street to buy breakfast and sunscreen at the local supermarket. I bought some fruit, a towel, and some sunscreen, which was pretty expensive at $21. It’s not like I was going to lie out in the sun without it though.
I walk to the lake and notice what looks like a large two story dock, which turns out to be a local swimming spot. I paid the 5 CHF (~5 USD) entrance fee and got access to this two story dock with chairs and umbrellas on the top floor, along with swimming in the lake. You can’t see it very well in this picture, but its behind the boat.  You can see the roped-off swimming area to the right.
They also had what was like two indoor pools, which was basically just an opening in the dock to swim in the lake.
I ended spending most of the day there, switching between swimming and lying out in the sun.  At one point, I fell asleep while lying on my stomach, which didn’t turn out very well because I didn’t put any sunscreen on my back.  Good thing I paid $20 for it…
 I got some dinner at a Kebab place (typical) and then took a couple of pictures at dusk. 
I wish I had a cable release for my camera, because the shutter can only stay open for 30 seconds, and when its really dark outside, the camera won’t get enough light, even at 30 seconds and the widest aperture of f/3.5.  I’ve been keeping my eye out for a cable release, but haven’t found one yet.
Today, Saturday the 10th, I was planning to going to Mt. Pilatus, a large mountain where you take a cable car and a gondola to the top, but I realized that the trip would cost about $65.  I know I’m over in Europe, and I shouldn’t worry about all the little expenses in exchange for a good time, but these little side trips can add up fast.  Plus, I feel like I got my share of mountains in Innsbruck.
Instead I decided to go back to the swimming area.  I spent about half the day there before realizing that sitting out in the sun wouldn’t help my sunburn at all, no matter how much sunscreen I put on.  I wandered around and grabbed something to eat at a McDonald’s, mainly because it was cheap. Or so I thought – a large fry and medium coke ended up costing $8.00. Switzerland definitely isn’t a cheap country – I think my medium frappachino at Starbucks cost about $7.00.  Plus, you have to use their currency instead of the Euro.
I went back to the hostel for awhile and caught up on some emails and blog postings.  Luckily the wi-fi in the hostel works again, so I’m happy.  I’ve been uploading pictures to Picasa online albums, and I think I’ve uploaded around 30 GBs to far.  
I am running out of space on my laptop though.  For those who don’t know, you can shoot pictures in Raw or JPEG, which is a compressed version, whereas Raw is straight from the camera.  Hence, a Raw file takes up much more space, about 3x as much.  On my trip, I’ve been taking almost all my pictures in Raw+JPEG, so I have two copies of each picture: one for editing (raw) and one for posting online (JPEG).  
Even though I’ve only uploaded 30 GBs (all of JPEGS), I have about 110 GBs worth of pictures on my computer, mostly from Raw files.  I still have about 10 GBs free, but I need to start moving them to my portable hard drive, to create space for new ones.
After doing some work, I went to the supermarket and got some lunch, consisting of Swiss cheese and chocolates.  OM NOM NOM.

The chocolate was really good (I might buy some more and ship it home), but I quickly realized that I left my Swiss Army knife in my hotel in Innsbruck.  Instead, I had to use a knife from the kitchen downstairs.  I might be another knife, I’m not sure.  It’s the first thing I’ve lost since I started my trip, but I guess there’s no better place to buy a new Swiss Army knife.

I walked around the lake some more before grabbing pizza for dinner and watching the first half of the Germany-Uruguay match.  Not sure what I’ll do tomorrow – probably taking more pictures and just relaxing.  It’s nice to not always have something planned.

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