Our trip to Lucerne, Zermatt, Montreux, and Interlaken
First Swiss food. At the airport, rhubarb yogurt and a croissant.
Had to have fancy coffee and a snack while waiting for the train.
On the train. Swiss trains (and busses) run EXACTLY on time. Comfortable and inexpensive too.
Leaving the train station in Lucerne, this is the first building we saw. As we found, this is a typical design for a hotel.
The gate to the city of Lucerne. Right in the heart of town.
Along Lake Lucerne. Just a beautiful day and the sights were stunning.
More Lake Lucerne with the Alps in the distance.
The view from our Lucerne hotel window.
One of the many parks along the lake. Our hotel is in the background.
We ventrured out to enjoy a Lucerne specialty, Kirche cake. Kirche is a tart black cherry brandy. It was quite delicious. Look at the display cases inside.
This is the tower of the Chapel Bridge. Top floor is for torture, middle floor is for the torturer to rest, bottom floor is a dungeon with a 'door' to the river.
This is 'the' shot of the Chapel Bridge. Anyone who has visited the town has taken a similar photo.
The setting sun brought the colors of the flowers to their best. Look at the outdoor seating across the river.
The Reuss river through the town is gorgeous.
Some of the buildings along the riverfront.
A needle dam and another covered bridge. A needle dam has many small wickets that look like paddles so you can control the flow much more closely. The old city wall and tower can be seen in the background.
No matter where you look, the views are great. European/Swiss buildings, the defense and church towers, people strolling about.
A view back towards town looking at the dam and an old church.
Our first dinner in Switzerland. We found out that everything closes at 6:30 except fancy dining and bars. Luckily, we got these chicken schnitzel sandwiches at 6:27. Sitting along the river having a picnic was fun.
Most of the buildings around the many small squares are elaborately decorated.
Our first gelato! One of many, but this shop had the best we experienced during our vacation.
Sunset from the hotel window. We were very tired after our flight, train ride, and walking the city. Not too tired to take this view in though.
The beverage bar at breakfast. Hanhan loved the Swiss milk! I loved the coffees they made for us.
A typical Swiss breakfast. Milk, juice, coffee. Fresh baked bread (I mean right out of their oven!), various cheeses, dried meats. For Gary, the braunschweiger was sliced paper thin and it was fantastic!
A closeup of our first breakfast. Makes us hungry every time!
A Swiss breakfast buffet's meat table.
The cheese selection. Hanhan liked the goat cheese, and Gary found that it is good. Not at all gamey like the US goat cheese.
The bread and the orange eggs. Look at the bowl of croissants. Flaky, buttery, and gone in about 60 seconds! No idea why the eggs are orange, never asked.
Bircher muesli, Swiss oatmeal Hanhan found that she loved this! Chia seed and coconut flake were her only addition.
Rested, well fed, ready for the first full day in Switzerland! What a glorious day this is!
Hanhan, Lake Lucerne, the Alps.
The park along the lake runs for miles. This was near a marina.
Hanhan with a old castle behind her on the hill. A Russian ex-KGB figure bought it years ago and runs a hotel there.
Switzerland is like America in one respect. They love their country and their flag. The Swiss flag flies everywhere.
Just like the sign says, this is the Old Swiss House restaurant. More than 150 years old, traditional Swiss food, costumes, entertainment. All at a very high price. We didn;t go.
The Lion of Lucerne. The Swiss were mercenaries at one time. When the French Revolution took place, 1000 Swiss guards were killed. This is a memorial to them.
We thought this souvenir shop mascot was cute.
A strange apartment house covered with plants.
Walking to the Lucerne city walls.
This was the city defenses in the 15th century. Today, there is a school right next door. See the track?
Ready to climb the clock tower.
One of the clocks inside. All of them work, except one.
A statue of a guard from when the defenses were active. Notice the early beginnings of the Swiss emblem.
Switzerland has many, many civil defense bunkers. They are built everywhere. Hanhan found this one in the basement of a building where we were using the restroom.
The Swiss love flowers and this was a unique display along the river.
Typical of the absolutely lovely nature of Lucerne.
Our hotel host arranged the best seat in the city for us to enjoy a traditional Lucerne meal. Just look at our surroundings.
Hanhan hoisting the local favorite, plum brandy in coffee.
Our appetizer. Cheese and meat board with freshly baked bread. Wow!
This dish is only found in Lucerne. It is Chögalipaschtetli, veal and mushrooms in a gravy inside a delicate pastry shell. Hanhan loved it.
Gary's dessert. Red wine pears, fresh whipped cream, apples, and semolina pudding. Fantastic!
The guide for the Night Watchman tour of the old town. Very good guide and an excellent tour.
These faces and creatures you see on medival buildings are actually demons that were supposed to ward off evil.
This building was started by one stone mason. He had a falling out with the owner after the second story was complete. Found guilty of being a heretic, he was executed. Note the third floor is not done to the same standard as the others.
The Chapel Bridge at night. Almost as pretty as daytime.
A lake side village from our boat to Rigi. We'll return here by cable car, the cables are heading up the mountain in the background.
Another view from our boat. Boats here are used as public transportation, just like a bus or train.
The cog train to the top of Mt Rigi.
Beautiful views from the cog train. This has the snow capped peaks of the Alps in the distance.
Hanhan took a quick side trip to a famous mountain in China.
A panoramic view from the summit of Mt. Rigi. Switzerland is full of lakes.
I tried to match the color of my shirt to the blues of the lake and sky.
We've made the summit! Just look at the lake, the valley, and the mountains! Simply stunning.
They wisely put the TV tower and snow fence up here.
There are benches like this everywhere in Switzerland. People live slower and enjoy their life and their surroundings.
Having coffee at a trailside stand. It was served as always in Switzerland. China cup and saucer, metal spoon. Nobody rushes with their enjoyment of their coffee.
Pasture land, little houses for the shepherds and family.
The signposts tell you how far and by what means of transportation to nearby villages. If you look closely, you can see cog train, cable car, and walking as ways to get around.
The source of all good things Swiss. Dairy cows. We never saw one farm with more than about a dozen cows. Each cow is belled and each bell has a different sound.
This is where I want to live. Except for the long ride to get groceries!
Love the color of the lake.
Going through a cow gate.
You just walk right up to the cows while walking from village to village.
Another civil defense shelter entryway. They have 1000s of these across the country.
This is along the trail outside a smaller village. "The Eagle has landed" Apollo 11 AM 21.7.1969
Hanhan being a kid!
We found a real life saving Barry (Swiss name for St Bernards) and Hanhan took a picture with it. This is only about 10 months old and already as big as Hanhan.
No matter where you look, you'll find something eye pleasing.
A Swiss chalet along the lake.
Chapellbrogg–Röschti (Swiss roasted potatoes with tomato, bacon, cheese, chives, and a sunny side up egg on top). Gary loved his!
On the old buildings and houses, stone was used for roofing material.
A chalet in the mountains.
That's where we are heading by train. I admire the Swiss engineering feats.
Flowers are a part of every house and building. This one is a hotel in Zermatt.
Heading to the glacier fields by train, I saw this avalanche cover built over the tracks.
The picture doesn't do this justice. There are waterfalls that roar, winds whip past you, and the lake you see is huge. It is just dwarfed by the size of the glacier.
There are 5 glaciers here, I tried to get them all in one photo.
A break from glacier viewing. Such a gorgeous day, great views, clear sky, sun. The next day, this was in clouds and fog.
We are so happy, this is one of the few places on Earth where you can see so many glacier fields.
Clouds are coming in, the rain will start soon. A final shot from the glacier field.
Togetherness, no matter where or the conditions!
Again, I love the Swiss! Where else can you get great food and drink alongside glaciers? Eat quickly though, the wind is freezing!
The station at Gornergrat, elevation, 10000 feet.
The train passing by. We are walking down to the next stop.
This lake is supposed to reflect the Matterhorn, but today was not our lucky day.
Passing a waterfall along our way down.
The Matterhorn playing hide and seek with us. It won.
We walked around the town and stumbled upon a cemetary. I love the way they do things. Look at all the flowers.
Hanhan and the blacknosed sheep.
Alpenhorn players in the town square near the train station.
Our Michelin rated wild boar stew pizza and delicious beer! When we ordered one pizza for two people, it came sliced in half on two seperate plates.
The next day we walked around Zermatt waiting for the weather to lift so we can go to the Matterhorn.
The only Matterhorn we saw. Hanhan says it was delicious.
This shows a cog train in action.
This is the cog track.
We had a lunch on our hotel porch. Got cheese and bread from a local grocery store.
Even in Switzerland, this took the prize for gardening. Can you spot the gardener in the picture?
We have no idea why the old buildings were built like this.
Zermatt from one of the many walking paths around the town.
You just have to pet a blacknose sheep when in Zermatt!
Crepes are a big thing here. Also, they are affordable!
Spinach and swiss cheese. Yummy!
We went to a bar along Main street and enjoyed some music, people watching, and local beer.
When we arrived in Montreux, we went straight to Lake Geneva.
The Montreux Palace Hotel. Does it look very French? Yes, this is the French region of Switzerland.
This car show is for the Montreux Grand Prix. The car show is in the Jazz park.
This church has the silliest tress in front. Why have two trees with such a height difference?
Haeding towards Chillion Castle along the lake.
The park/lake front is heavily landscaped for miles. The temperature rarely dips below 48, so there are all sorts of palm trees and other tropical plants.
The blooms are the size of Hanhan's face!
One of the lake boats that run like a bus from town to town. These are real steam engined paddlewheelers too. French flag on a ship named 'Italie' in Switzerland.
We've almost reached Chillion Castle.
Chillion Castle. The castle started off in the 12th century and was extended for centuries afterward. Right until gunpowder made castles useless.
Hanhan posing with a defense tower.
This is near the entrance. A couple of watchtowers and the keep in the background.
A view of the interior from the first courtyard.
This cellar dates to the 11th century. The gothic vaults are typical of the period. This was used for wine and storage.
The Constable's Dining Room. The constable is the governor of a royal castle. The oak columns are original. Look at the wooden panels that make up the ceiling.
The Coat of Arms. The Swiss flag's symbol is a decendant of this.
This is a depiction of a feast. An amazing amount of food, drink, dishes, fuel, oh just everything went into one of these occasions. The feasting went on for days.
This is the ladies gossip room. The women would retire to this room where they could trade gossip and stories with one another.
These painting on the celiing were done with tempura paint, egg whites mixed with pigment.
The keep. A refuge of last resort. The money and valuables were kept here. In event of attack, the governor and some troops would make a last stand in the tower. Entry was only through a ladder, made it harder for someone to steal from the keep.
This shows the base of the original castle. See the sloped rock walls? Those were to slow attackers coming up to the castle after crossing the moat.
This is part of the weapon collection. Here we have halberds and pikes. Halberds were called Swiss Hammers at the time.
Clock tower, Swiss emblem, and a bridge over the moat.
Hanhan and Gary had a great visit, and learned a lot. We love this sort of thing.
The castle was located in a strategic area where it commanded a narrow pass that was a key to tade between Rome and France. For a fee, the owner of the castle kept the road maintained and provided security.
Sundown over Lake Geneva.
We had to find somewhere to eat since things close about 7:00 PM and we came across a sandwich shop. The guy working there was SO happy to talk with Americans and made his 'special' sandwich for Hanhan. We had to wait for the bread to come out of the oven, then he prepared the veggie laden half loaf. Hanhan loved it and we had fun talking with him.
We are off to Lutry today to hit a farmer's market and visit wine terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a part of the town center.
Lutry's town harbor on Lake Geneva.
Wine terraces. Miles and miles of them. These were started by Benedictine monks in the 12th century to turn steep mountain sides into productive land.
Little villages dot the terraces. The families who own the grapes live there. We saw many wine growing families harvesting the grapes while we were there. This is part of the Swiss Riviera region.
Swiss/French style houses and buildings in this region.
Hanhan in someone's vineyard. The netting is on some vines and not other vines. It seems that the ripe ones are covered while the not ripe ones are covered to keep birds away.
This is one of the best views of the terraces, lake, and mountains.
Hanhan was surprised that when there were raisins for sale, she actually got grapes. What's French for grape? Yep, raisin.
We noticed that every house, chalet, and building has shutters. They have curtains too, but these are always closed overnight and well into the day.
The narrow cobblestone streets were always a favorite of ours.
Just look at the detail on the shutter latch.
Yes, we're in grape country.
This is an old castle that is still in use as the town hall. Look at the keyhole arrow firing slit in the wall and the pair of knights above the gateway arch.
Elaborate stained glass windows were in every church. This one has gargoyles flanking them.
If you need a quick pick me up, may we suggest getting some cannabis tea from the vending machine. 18 CHF! That's around $20
We rode the city bus down to Vevey, home of Nestle. Very French old town.
This great old castle right on Lake Geneva has been converted to apartments. No idea what the rent is.
This seahorse and rider are part of the lakefront park.
Hanhan met a genuine organ grinder! We both loved him. Such cheerful music and a happy guy.
The giant fork in the lake. Someone had the idea that an 8 meter tall stainless steel fork is art.
Hanhan wanted to eat with it.
Charlie Chaplin lived here after talking pictures ended his career.
You may think these are cheap people eating stuff on a bench. You would be wrong! This is self-catering. Look at our spread, you'd be hard pressed to equal it in the US.
Look at the view of the sunset, and the fine dining.
A simply gorgeous sunset to enhance our self-catering experience.
This is just a photo from a train ride from city to city. If we posted every beautiful scene, you'd never finish looking.
This shows the two regions dividing point. On the right are vineyards of the French region. On the left, the cow pastures of the German region. We prefered the German region.
I'm enjoying the best beer on Earth. Bitberger Pils. This was the best seat on the train, nice glass of beer, comfy seating, great views from the windows.
Macroons and Swiss chocolate. There were 4 of each but Hanhan is too fast for pictures.
Hanhan ordered a glass of milk. This was the surprising way it is served. It is cold milk with latte style foam on top.
These people fell out of the sky for our entire walk around Interlaken. They start on a mountain top a few miles away and glide to the main city park. Next time were are in Switzerland, we're going for it!
This is the park, and in the background you can see the Jungfrau, Top of Europe.
A cool fountain in the park. Makes for a pleasant walk.
This is one of the most elaborate chalets we saw in Switzerland. It is right in Interlaken, just a regular house for the locals.
A cool old hotel near a canal that runs through town.
The canal, and the mountain where paragliders take off from.
This is a tempura painting above the doorway for a church. I just thought it was cool.
A little town square where we ate our last dinner in Switzerland.
Hanha is smelling her first (and only) glass of grappa. Grappa is made from the grape skins and is a favorite in Italy.
I'm waiting on our appitizer. The sparkling water cost more than the beer!