Back last year, when we were in Europe, for the second anniversary of our wedding, my husband and I decided to take a drive around Switzerland. This ride held both promise and potential problems for us. My husband insisted that we had to cut costs on fuel and emit as little pollution as possible around the continent. That meant we had to choose a fuel efficient eco-friendly car. Since we had no way of measuring carbon emission rates, we assumed that a car with lower fuel consumption would emit less CO2. After testing a number of cars over a ten kilometer distance and becoming something of a spectacle at the Geneva car hire company, we settled for the Volvo V40 hatchback.
I must admit that our choice of the Volvo V40 had to do with more than just fuel consumption. Our own crude tests revealed some five different fuel efficient cars in the 22 miles per gallon range, including the V40. We loved the car because of its design both on the inside and the outside. The controls were easy to reach and there were airbags all over, including for the rear seats, in which we had no passengers. The trunk was small, but we had only very light luggage for our drive.
Our journey began in Geneva, meandering through Lausanne, Bern, Lucerne all the way to Zurich: a 174 mile journey by road; made longer by our meandering detours. We stopped at different points along the way to admire popular landmarks and tourist attractions. We visited the Geneva museum, the Lausanne Notre Dame Cathedral, the breathtaking Bern Beer Park, the Luzerne steamship family transport and the Zurich Zoo among other attractions. Against the background of mountains, glaziers, lakes and rivers, Switzerland simply has it all.
The Sense of Adventure
Our heightened sense of adventure was further enhanced by the different types of cuisine on offer and our laughable attempts at skiing down the Alps. Laughable, because we should really have started out on a less challenging terrain: neither of us had gone skiing before. We ended up tumbling a number of times before settling down to watching others do it, while we sipped some drinks.
On the brighter side, the Volvo never let us down even once. Its fuel consumption went as we had planned it, just below 18 gallons two-way. Even the ascending roads that we had not factored into our planning did not alter this. The soothing music from the car stereo kept us entertained all along, so we made it a point to pick a CD at every stop.
We soon had to come back down to earth and resumed our travels on to our next destination. After the dreamy adventure, my husband has set his mind on buying one of those Volvo V40s. Why not, it proved to be our greatest companion in Switzerland.