A Travellerspoint blog

Lucerne

(crappy hotel...internet too expensive...room too small...too far from city centre)

overcast 19 °C
View Europe: August 2007 on tracebc's travel map.

Hello again!

As you can see from above, I didn't write yesterday...thought I'd save my franks for today.

Say hi to Norma for me & tell her I'm thinking of her. I'm glad you got the post cards...I was worried that birdie's post card would get there before yours, mom, and thought that would go over well!

Two days ago we went to the Trümmelbach Waterfalls. It was very pretty, but you had to go up an elevator in the mountain and then hike up a bunch of stairs inside the mountain to see them. I made it to waterfall number 8 (out of ten) before I turned around and headed down.

Then we travelled to Lucerne. Darrin & his mom (along with more members of our group) went up Mount Pilatus, but I just went to the teeny tiny hotel room instead. Then we had our folklore dinner...more alphorn blowing and a variety of other instruments and, of course, yodelling. I never saw any slap dancing, though. I don't know if I mentioned the giant cow bells, though. Imagine very large, very loud cow bells. Then imagine 50 people walking with them, clanging them with every step! That was in the parade. They only had two (thank goodness) in the restaurant.

Yesterday we did a morning tour of Lucerne (there really isn't that much here), and then wandered around town. What was good for the minimal franks I had left was that yesterday was a bank holiday in Switzerland, so most stores were closed. I opted to go on a one hour cruise on Lake Lucerne...that was worth it. We saw Sophia Loren's and Audrey Hepburn's summer home and (Brad will like this!) the summer mansion of the Heineken's (I took a picture for you!) And, Brad, of course I've had a beer here! It's as cheap as soft drinks in most places, and it's way better than the water!

Then we had our farewell dinner. It's sad to say goodbye to some of the group...the two sisters (84 and 82 years old) from Ottawa (the oldest reminded us of Aunt Clara from Bewitched), the retired principal and his wife from Pennsylvania, the 56 year old (very funny) guy from Australia, the social worker and his librarian wife from Boston, the retired optometrist and his wife from New Jersey, the two widows from Tennessee and Oklahoma, and even the back-injured construction worker and his wife from Boston. The others...it's a more fond farewell! Overall the group was nice, except for the three that I didn't mention, who were very loud, opinionated, and vied for attention all the time.

We're up early this morning as we have to take a limousine (!) to Zurich airport. It's cheaper than a cab, and we're splitting the cost with the woman from Oklahoma (who has bought out Austria and Switzerland, I'm sure!). Who knows what the internet is going to be like in the Czech Republic and in Hungary! So long for now...

Luv
Trace

Posted by tracebc 19:41 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Bern

(with a trip to the Castle of Chillon on the way)

semi-overcast 25 °C
View Europe: August 2007 on tracebc's travel map.

We journeyed for a long time today. As I said, yesterday morning I shopped. Then we took the train back to Tasch and boarded our bus for yet another long journey. Everyone is getting very tired...I think most of us slept for at least an hour along the journey. The castle of Chillon (in French-speaking Switzerland) is beautiful...if I remember correctly, it was pictured on my lit text from high school, and it's still exactly the same! We took a tour of the inside, saw where the Prisoner of Chillon was held and where Lord Byron signed his name on a pillar inside the prison. Here the tour group cheered me for hopping into teacher mode and keeping naughty children (and parents) quiet while our local tour guide was giving us a tour.

Then we travelled to Bern (back in German-speaking Switzerland...zut, alors!) and went to our hotel fairly late and tried to figure out how to make the lights work. After several minutes of trying, we exited our room, only to find the other members of the group out in the hall as well, wondering the same thing. It turns out that the key card that opens the door (and also, we found out later, controls the elevator) fits in a little slot by the door. You need to leave it there in order for the lights to work. (Whatever.)

Today, we take a quick local trip of Bern, stop in Interlaken to go to some waterfalls somewhere, and then go to Lucerne. I can't believe that this part of our journey is almost over! We need to leave our hotel around 5:30 the day after tomorrow to take our flight to Prague.

Not much else to say today. I'm glad you guys like the pictures...that is only a VERY small percentage of the volumes of pictures I have taken. If I showed you a slide show of all my pictures, at 5 seconds each, you'd probably be sitting for half a day! (Perhaps I exaggerate...a bit!)

Later,

Trace

PS...I tried to call again this morning, but have no idea how telephones work here. I have a feeling you won't be hearing from me via telephone this trip.

Posted by tracebc 21:16 Archived in Switzerland Comments (5)

Picture update

it's useful to make friends!

sunny 18 °C

Ah, an English keyboard!!!

Darrin and his mom have gone up the Klein Matterhorn today with the group but I stayed back in the city...too many high altitude trips for me in a row! Of course, now I've spent around 150 francs instead...bought a pair of eidelweiss earrings...that was the most expensive part!

The bonus was that another Globus traveller wanted me to look after his computer while they went, and he said I could use his internet if I wanted to!

This means I can upload a whole bunch of pictures.

So...here they are!

Salzburg:
castle.jpg
Salzburg castle

castle2.jpg
Salzburg castle again, with statue

salzburgsunset.jpg
Salzburg sunset

waytosalzburg.jpg
Way from Salzburg towards Switzerland

chur.jpg
Chur

matterhornsunset.jpg
Matterhorn sunset, first night

matterhornsunrise1.jpg
Matterhorn sunrise number 1 (I went with another avid photographer from our group!)

matterhornsunrise2.jpg
Matterhorn sunrise number 2

matterhorndaylight.jpg
Matterhorn in daylight (from our trip up the cogwheel railway to Gornergrat...beautiful!)

zermatt_parade.jpg
Zermatt folklore parade...these alphorns sound neat, but I think they only know two songs, and after hearing them all day, they can get a little tiresome! (We even went to sleep hearing them!)

That's it!

I'll try to call soon. (And as you may have noticed, the weather has improved this afternoon!)

Trace

Posted by tracebc 01:24 Archived in Switzerland Comments (3)

Quick update

(only had so many coins)

overcast 14 °C
View Europe: August 2007 on tracebc's travel map.

Now, everyone, quit telling mom about Pogo!!! I want my computer back on the 25th of August, 2007!!! Nice to hear from you, Sharon.

I tried to call home, but couldn't find a pay phone, and I have 3 minutes left on line.

Yesterday's weather was beautiful and we went up the mountain and took great shots of the Matterhorn. Then we wandered around the city. Switzerland is expensive, but they have great stuff!

This morning, the weather doesn't look too promising. That's OK as I've seen the Matterhorn in all its glory.

Off to Berne...hopefully they have good computer access.

Trace

Posted by tracebc 21:27 Archived in Switzerland Comments (1)

Zermatt

And you thought Leavenworth was cute!

sunny 15 °C
View Europe: August 2007 on tracebc's travel map.

First of all, thanks for writing your message with the top post...it's much easier to find! Now, if the punctuation would just stay the same on every keyboard, I'd be happy...I think I'm almost too used to the y in the z position now...I'll need to adjust when I come back. When is Dad actually going to type a message?!

I have to pay here for the internet, so this will be shorter.

We drove away from St. Moritz in the fog. Some of the more neurotic people on the bus were afraid, but it was beautiful...you could see about 20 feet, and the rocks and cows and sheep in the foggy distance were magical. However, that broke up soon and we were again under the clouds in amazing valley after amazing valley. At one point, on a narrow bend around a cliff, we passed another bus at about 1km/hour, with centimetres between us. We all cheered our driver Stefano when we cleared that! The ever-growing lineup of cars behind us didn't cheer, however.

We reached Chur, and our tourguide got us our first class tickets for a panorama car on the Glacier Express. Until about half way it was cloudy, but then the sky cleared and lent itself to even more beautiful scenery. It has to be one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world! Our tour guide ended up sitting with us, so we got even more information about the surroundings (and a couple interesting scoops on other tours where he had to break up fights for seats!). It's absolutely amazing how some of the houses got where they are, so high up on the cliffs. Very often, the church is the highest building in the little villages.

Once we got to Zermatt, the weather was beautiful, and we saw the Matterhorn for the first time. Of course I've already got tonnes of pictures of the Matterhorn, Mom and Brad! I'm known on the bus as the woman with the camera at her face constantly...although I'm still on card number one.

We had a wonderful dinner and our hotel is just absolutely adorable. We have a balcony with flowers and two bathrooms (which meant I could do some washing and hang things up in my own private bathroom!). The only problem is that for the three beds, two were bunk beds, and no one wanted the top bunk! The main bed was king-size, though, so we put pillows in between the sides and Darrin's mom and I shared the bed.

We took a walk later and took pictures of the Matterhorn in the evening light just before sunset.

Today, we take a trip up one of the mountains and in the afternoon enjoy some leisure time. There is a folklore festival going on this weekend (which meant very busy streets last night), and a parade, we think, goes by our balcony at 2:00 this afternoon...should be fun!

Running out of time now, so I should go.

I DO want my computer back eventually, Mom. Don't listen to Brad. Pogo is not fun...nope, not at all.

Luv,
Trace

Posted by tracebc 20:54 Archived in Switzerland Comments (4)

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