Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 21, 2011

Rain Keeps Fallin’ On My Head (No Seriously): Lucerne, Freiburg, and How Baking Brownies Saved the Day

Dearest Readers,

Some days, it rains. Gina and I are beginning to get the impression that these puffy gray clouds are following us.

We are arrived in Basel to stay with our wonderful hosts Sarah Arbogast and her brother Robert. She showed us around and then we made a plan to travel together for the next two days: Lucerne (Tuesday) and Freiburg (Wednesday).

Today (Thursday), we were supposed to go to Zurich, but instead, we ended up watching Parks and Rec and baking brownies. It was wonderful and much needed. You’ll see why after we describe the last two day trips.


We arrived to this Alp-ian village and walked along the flower-laden wooden bridge just in time for it to begin pouring down rain.

Flower Bridge!

We boarded a large boat and headed to the small lake town of Weggis, which I am sure is beautiful on a nicer day. As it turns out, we ended up trapped in Weggis for an hour, shivering as we wandered the streets searching for anything to do in this small village (a shop owner kindly told us it is not big enough to qualify for a town).

Weggis is nestled between large mountains we could barely make out between the smatterings of rain and layers of fog. We took a small respite in a coffee shop and drank hot chocolate while we waited for the boat.

yes it's pouring...and I'm cheering (sarcastically)

We decided Lucerne would be one of those trips we would look back on and laugh about … just not yet.


Freiburg, Germany is famous because it is right in the midst of the Black Forest. Why the Black Forest is significant … none of us really know. The forest is not black (haha literalist joke), but looks much like other lush green forests we have seen on other mountains.

we did have fun in freiburg!!!

We arrived in the rain, and stumbled upon an archeological museum where the kind woman behind the desk gave us a list of activities for the day. We heeded her advice and headed to the top of a decadent cathedral.

We had to walk up a million steps to get claustrophobically slammed against the sweating bodies of dozens of other people, but it was a great view from the top. We could see the mountains rise and fall around us, and the town seemed candy coated with its multi-colored roofs. The big attraction at the top was a giant church bell. We are still not clear why, because it was an ugly rusting bell that you couldn’t even ring (where is the fun in that, I ask you?).

Freiburg from the top!

We then spent the next 30 minutes wandering the streets in search of Cafe Schmidt and Black Forest Cake (dark chocolate and cherry cake). To the town’s credit, everyone was so friendly as they gave us directions. We finally made it to the cafe, which was small and quaint and smelled like sugar and pastries.

The cake looked amazing. When we took the first bite, no one spoke, because, well … it tasted pretty darn awful. It was doused in cherry liquour that dominated the cake and gave it a bitter aftertaste. It was comical. Here we had searched and searched and the cake was gross.

oh the cake...

Luckily, I had a truffle from the cafe to make up for it, and I can soundly say that it was delicious. We spent the rest of the day wandering the shops before heading home for a night of Swiss fondue courtesy of Robert and Sarah and Magnum Mcflurries from McDonalds.

What are Magnum McFlurries, you may be asking yourself. Well, dearest readers, Magnums are amazing European ice cream bars, and they are mixed into McFlurries with brownies and chocolate syrup. We were about to have a dairy-splosion when we got back.

Which Brings us to Today:

So, as you can see, we were a bit worn out and tired of the constant rain. And, honestly, we may be a little mountain-ed out. The mountains here are amazing, but I feel we keep traveling around just to see what we have already seen. So today, Gina and I decided, let’s just have a down day.

I slept in, and we woke up and had breakfast/lunch before heading to the grocery store here for brownie mix (we wanted chocolate chip cookie mix, but apprently that is not something they sell here … who knew).

We deciphered the German instructions with the help of Google, baked the brownies whilst blaring our favorite tunes from home and gorged on them straight out of the oven while watching Parks and Recreation on Gina’s computer.

Look Gina Mixes!!

I would never snack while mixing...

This was our set-up for the day (note the towel under the brownie plates)

I consider this a super successful day. Now Gina is napping, and I am typing away with a cup of Peppermint tea and a smile on my face.

With love from Basel,



  1. I laughed when I read about the Black Forest cake. I remember trying multiple times to love it and other similar cakes when I studied in Germany. They look so amazing. Problem was they were never baked with the amount of sugar I deemed necessary to call themselves cake. Once I learned that lesson, I opted for gelato and things bursting with whipped cream.

  2. Jessie! I know your trip is almost over but I just started following your blog because I would LOVE to do exactly what you’re doing! Have tons of fun during your last week!

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