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Yesterday morning, I woke up bright and early.  Bill managed to sleep a little bit longer, although he wanted to get an early start.  We packed everything up to load up the car, not realizing that the lobby of the hotel is locked until approximately 8:00am.  Remember, I mentioned the times for breakfast?  Turns out they are rather strict about it at Hotel Les Grillons.  We came down the stairs to find this…

The doors were locked.  There is a night door that has a code.  We didn’t know the code, so I held the door while Bill loaded the car.  Then, we sat on the steps and waited for the doors to open.

 

Bill was perturbed about the closed lobby, since it meant we pretty much had to wait to check out.  There is no night clerk, which is probably not a problem for most people.  This is a very old fashioned hotel, though, right down to the weird room keys that look kind of like Phillips head screwdrivers.  So when you check out, you have to present your credit card.  I paid a 30 percent deposit when I booked, so I thought maybe they had my card on file.  Nope.

The doors opened at about 7:30am or so, giving us the chance to eat before we got on the road.  We were the only ones eating that early.  I’m glad they let us go ahead and take care of it before the prescribed official 8:00am opening time.  Bill was convinced breakfast started at 7:00.  I told him it was at 8:00am and he insisted it wasn’t… then he checked it and had to admit I was right for the second time in less than 24 hours.  Sometimes, he just won’t listen.  I love him anyway.

Bill and I enjoyed one last breakfast, then checked out.  We said goodbye to the adorable pregnant proprietor, who was so warm, gracious, and personable.  Her hospitality and the fantastic food made Hotel Les Grillons truly memorable.  The final bill, minus the deposit, plus the wines and drinks, came to about $800.  I’d say it was money well spent, even if I have stayed in fancier digs.

I should mention that Hotel Les Grillons is dog friendly.  If my two were better behaved in public, I might consider bringing them along.  As it was, I’m kind of glad we left them in Germany.  It gave us the chance to do some unhindered exploring as well as the ability to take my convertible.

This place was obviously for bikers and included some friendly looking goats.

On the subject of Mini Cooper convertibles, I have this to add.  We saw I don’t know how many people trying to hitch a ride.  Some were rather pointedly thumbing at us.  A Mini Cooper convertible is definitely NOT a car that handles more than two adults at a time.  It’s always funny when hitchhikers think they’re going to fit in the back seat.  Not unless they are super tiny people!  There’s a reason they call it a Mini.

Our drive back through Switzerland was uneventful.  This time, we were able to stay on the main highway and were mostly spared the ugly industrial areas we came through on the way to France.  We stopped in Winterthur for lunch and a potty break.  I was actually very pleased by the Italian restaurant where we found ourselves.  The place was called Santa Lucia and it boasted really nice homemade pastas and wines by the glass.

Bill gazes outside, where there was a terrace accommodating smokers.

I had an order of tagliatelle with salmon.  The pasta was excellent.  It tasted housemade.  Also, it wasn’t too much!

Bill had rigatoni with basil, garlic, and pinenut pesto.

 

And this restaurant was a bit less expensive than the one we stopped at in Bern.  Total bill for this was about 65 Swiss Francs– still not cheap, but not as pricey as it could have been.  Switzerland is expensive, I tell you!

Yeah, a corporate looking sign…

But good food and nice, friendly service.  This restaurant is located very close to the Bahnhof in Winterthur.  It’s also near a large shopping area and parking garage.  I’d eat there again.

 

We got back on the road again and before I knew it, we were back in good ol’ Germany.  Bill pulled off at Neckarburg (near Rottweil) to get some gas.  I happened to take note of the very tall structure in the distance.  Actually, you can’t miss it.  I had been wondering about it since I first spotted it on a trip down south via Switzerland.

Notice the “phallic” looking structure in this picture?

 

Well, I finally looked up that structure and found out what it is.  That, my friends, is the world’s tallest elevator testing shaft.  It was completed in 2017 and stands at a massive 807 feet.  While Bill was gassing up the car, I read up on why it was built and what made the developers choose Rottweil as the site to host it.  There is an observation deck at that tower that is higher than the one at the television tower in Berlin.  And yes, you can visit!  Tickets are 9 euros for adults.  You can also get a family ticket good for two adults and up to three children for 26 euros.  Pretty cool, huh?  Now, you know.

That about does it for my Annecy series.  I will finish up with my customary ten things I learned post, which is probably all most people care about anyway, if they care at all.  If you’ve been following along in this series, I thank you for reading.  I like to write detailed posts, not so much for readers, but for myself.  There will come a day when I no longer get to travel like this and I don’t want to forget anything.

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