6/9/15

Motor Coaching Our Way Through the Black Forest to Lucerne, Switzerland

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are off to a great week.  I'm planning to (or I should say, try to) finish up the pics of our European Vacation.....I always think of Chevy Chase whenever I say that!  Today we boarded our motor coach with a brand new driver, Michael, and our Tour Guide, Annette, for the rest of our tour.  We will be traveling through the Black Forest and stay in Lucerne, Switzerland for two nights.

Annette was a great tour guide, and she worked really hard to make everyone comfortable and saw to it that we were able to enjoy everything.  Our driver, Michael, was a bit camera-shy.  But, wow, he could really manipulate that bus in and out of some extremely tight spots -- excellent driver
and very polite.  


This was a true "tourist trap," but one of few places along the way for a potty stop!  Yes, we were getting wet!

 This nice young man told us everything we ever needed to know (or didn't know we needed to know) about the making of these gorgeous time pieces.

Seeing the detail on this particular one almost reconciled how costly they are.....almost.  I did buy something (not a clock) for Christmas, but you'll have to wait to see it!

This rest stop also had a shop filled with everything "hand-blown glass", and two men were busy making more beautiful things.

This was our first stop in Lucerne.  The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock above a pond at the east end of this medieval town. It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.  When the revolutionary masses attacked the royal Tuileries castle in Paris on August 10, 1792 the Swiss mercenary troops tried to defend the royal family and make sure the royals could escape.

Our hotel & room were rather nondescript, but we did have a balcony with this view!  We will be traveling to the top of that mountain -- Mt. Pilates, tomorrow.

This promenade was also just across the street from our hotel.  It was just beautiful and the perfect solution for working out some tired "butts" after sitting on the motor coach for most of the day!

What?  They can grow palm trees in Switzerland!

The Kapellbr├╝cke, Chapel Bridge, is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River in this beautiful city. Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge sustained much damage during a 1993 fire but has been restored.  It's considered the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and the oldest surviving truss bridge in the world.  

The workmanship is amazing!

This is a postcard showing how beautifully adorned this bridge is once the temps warm up a bit.


The Kapellplatz, St. Peter's Chapel, is the oldest church in Lucerne.

Its beauty is definitely inside!

Is this a chandy or what?

Grandiosity at its best!  

Now we are off to make the climb to Mt. Pilates........

On the steepest cogwheel railway in the world!  We were lucky enough to grab the very front seat.
It kind of reminded me of "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" in Disneyland! 
Just to prove to everyone that we were actually here!  And, yes, that's snow and it was COLD!


The view was incredible!  We really lucked out with the weather.  The day before was windy, and the mountain was completely socked-in with cloud cover.


What looks like string down there, is actually the longest summer toboggan track in Switzerland.

We rode in an enclosed gondola for our descent.



There were small cabins scattered all over the mountain.




It was lunch-time when we completed our Mt. Pilatus tour and warm enough to eat lunch outside.

Some new friends were just leaving this restaurant & recommended the lasagne and salad to share.  The recommendation was spot-on, both for yumminess and size of portions!

In the afternoon, we opted for a boat tour of Lake Lucerne.

Such a different perspective.


We were on a boat like that one.



There were lots of very simple abodes.......

And many that were what you would typically expect to see in Switzerland.

And there were quite a few like this.....yes, please, when we win the BIG LOTTERY!

A beautiful view of Mt. Pilates.

Takes your breath away!

Dinner tonight will be some cheese, a fresh baguette, and wine on our little balcony while 
we enjoy this view.  We will be saying goodbye to Lucerne early tomorrow morning and making our way to Liechtenstein & Innsbruck.  There will be a "Mad King" and his well-known castle in 
tomorrow's tour.  You are welcome to come back and travel with me!
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