Internet cafes are now so few and far between that I actually wrote the whole of our Swiss trip in a hostel in Stockholm much much later. Went to publish it and must have been timed out as I lost it. This was after writting 3 days of Switzerland in France and lost that too. So I gave up - OK? I then got various comments that you all were enjoying it to here I am getting back to it on my own reliable computer 1 week after returning home.
Sunday 6th May Zurich to Lucerne Day 18
Up at 5.30am to be taken to the airport in Rome by a mad Italian driver who talked constantly and went through a red light because "It's OK when nothings coming!" Very nice time had in Italy but God has definitely looked after us in Italy.
1 hr 10 mins with Swiss Air finishing with coffee and a yummy swiss chocolate on board. As arranged previously, we met Barbara at the airport. Barbara stayed in our B&B in 2011 and kept her word she would be there for us when we arrived in Zurich. How kind she was too as she then drove us around high above the town to look down on Zurich and point out where she would take us later. She then took us through the beautiful forest, to her 1920's era home set in the forest, with lots of her own artwork, to meet her Husband, Emmanuel, son and 2 daughters aged from 21 - 18. We then had a sumptuous Swiss lunch at their home then off to have a walking tour with Barbara of the old town of Zurich. We also squeezed in a trip on a trolleybus and a canal boat trip before Barbara took us to the train station, where Emmanuel was waiting with our luggage and to say goodbye. Barbara then spoke in Swiss German to the ticket office person and got our rail pass validated then took us to the train and showed us which is the 1st class compartment. Our train journeys through Switzerland were all first class which was very luxurious I might add. She then waved us goodbye and off we went. We were only with Barbara from 11.30am - 5.30pm but she had arranged so much for us and completely orientated us to beautiful Switzerland and its friendly people all in the space of a few hours. What a wonderful lady and thank you Barbara. We are so grateful to you for this wonderful experience.
Our first stop at Arth Goldea where we had to transfer. All this was quite easy with Barbara's orientation to the train stations and Lisa's (our daughter and travel agent) very good directions on our 16 page itinerary. The viewfrom 1st class section is amazing as it had wide windows, comfortable seast and the Swiss not only speak English fluently, but are very friendly too. We arrived at Lucerne for our first night in a 4 star hotel only 3 mins walk away with Lisa's directions very easy to follow too. Kingsized bed with a beautiful balcony in the heart of town. We loved the breakfast the next moring, now able to go to breakfast when we wanted to unlike the tour in Italy ofcourse.
We loved the mountains, lakes, everywhere the green (and I mean lime green) countryside, plenty of animals, fresh air and cleanliness. & days may not be enough we think!. The exactness of everything is wonderful. Trains leave exactly at the time they say they will e.g. 2.06!
Monday 7th May Lucerne to Interlaken. Day 19
Yep we sure like Switerland!! another wonderful breakfast at the hotel after getting up when we wanted too. We left our bags at the hotel saving the cost of leaving them in the strain station. first, we went to the gorgeous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke) and then looked arount the Old Town. Next, we used our Euro rail pass for the free bus to the Lion Monument,(Lowendenkmal). So beautiful and so sad, this lion. We noticed some steps leading to a museum beside the Lion Monument and as we didn't know what this was about, we headed us there. WOW WOW WOW that definitely became a highlight of the trip (along with many many others). We asked if our rail pass got us in cheaper and were told it would be free as would any other museum in Switerland with our pass. Well worth it as it was to cost 29 swiss francs each otherwise.
In this museum was the underground cellar which a fellow discovered in the 1800's, while digging out a cellar for his wine to be sold to the tourists who were visiting the Lion Monument. His house was built above it and this is also part of the museum. what he had discovered underneath his diggings was the remains of the ice age from 20 million years ago preserved including a baby mammoth and bears and tools used by cave men. We spent about 2 hours in this amazing and unbelievable place but could have spent the whole day there as it is so cleverly shown. You are actually looking into the ice ponds that are kept maintained by cold to preserve them. You see amazing videos of the discovery and see all through the home and gorgeous garden complete with a hillarious hall of funny mirrors outside in the garden. What a remarkable place. We then cought our FREE bus back to the lake to take a FREE boat trip for 3 hous on Lake Lucerne using our rail pass all the way of course. We were sitting outside on the lower deck enjoying the warmth and blue sky day and looking at Mt Pilatus in the background when the ticket collector came to check our tickets. He looked at them and told us we were sitting in the wrong place .... ooops!
"No these are first class tickets and you should be upstairs on that deck or wherever you want to be upstairs" Oh OK off we went feeling like royalty really. This area was even more comfy and beautiful especially looking down on the plebs downstairs. What a beautiful and all surreel trip that was for us. We still had time to see the Jesuit church although it was closed by then and the Spencer bridge (Spreuerbrucke) which was almost as old as the Chapel Bridge and in better repair as the Chapel Bridge had caught fire in the 19th century and lost half its beautiful paintings in the roof. We then collected our bags from the hotel and headed to the train station in plenty of time for our Golden Pass train trip of 2 hours to our 5 star hotel in Interlaken called Lindner Hotel. What a beautiful trip through the golden pass. Switzerland is amazing. No 7 days is not going to be enough definitely. A wonderful trip through the mountains with snow still on the ground was so fabulous. Again, the train station was just a quick walk away from the hotel thanks again to Lisa for her organization of this. We had dinner in the town in a little French restaurant preparing us for French food on our next trip which was a tour through France. Lovely waitress. So friendly and we are loving the small towns comparing it to busy, dirty, noisy Rome.
Thats enough for today.