Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Cow Bell!

We had a fabulous day yesterday in Lucerne/Luzern! We knew we wanted to go somewhere, but we also had plans to eat dinner at Nathan's boss's house (in Thalwil) around 5 pm so we decided to go to Luzern since it is only a 1 hour train ride from Zurich and Thalwil is on the way! We didn't do a lot of planning (busy week) so around 11 pm on Friday night we looked up the train schedule, typed Luzern into google, and figured we'd wing it!:) It was amazing how brilliantly this worked out!

When we got to Luzern we went to the Tourist Office outside the train station - I had read that there was a guided walking tour of the city and thought we could check into it. However, while standing in line, Nathan saw a picture of Mt. Pilatus and said "I want to go here"! Mt. Pilatus was marketed as "360 degree Switerland on Lucerne's doorstep". So when we got up to the counter we asked for details, found out it was about a 4 hour excursion, and with our half-pass card it was on 45 Fr. each! We were in! The only caveat - the lady looked at how we were dressed and said "Are you sure?" It was only 10 degree C (around 52F) at the top! Of course that wasn't going to stop us - I figured we could just buy a sweatshirt or something - we were here right? "

Note a VALUABLE LESSON - Always bring your jacket with you when traveling in Switzerland! The temperature changes frequently!

For those of you who know me - you will think this is funny. So we only had 15 minutes to find a store, buy a jacket, and get on the boat - so we found the first store, saw a rack of hoodies for 16 Fr. and it fit so we were off. The funny part is that once we left the store I figured out that the hoodie part had a bunch of cats and dogs on it and the tag read - "I LOVE ANIMALS!" - nice! My "token" from Luzern - I will be gifting this to someone when I get back to the U.S.:) Here's a picture b/c I know you won't believe I ever wore this:)
Anyway, the "Golden Round Trip " included a 90 minute boat ride on Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, from there a ride on the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the top of the mountain at Pilatus Kulm, and on the way back down a gondola to Frakmuntegg, Cable Car to Kriens, then a bus back to Lucerne. I don't think I've ever taken that many modes of transportation in one day in my life! At the top of Pilatus it was 2132 m or 7000 ft. Also, there was an amazing ropes course in Frakmuntegg which we wanted to do but weren't dressed for it. I'm sure we will bring visitors back here as it was breathtaking - so we will hopefully do it then! This was also the first time (that I can remember) that I heard the cows walking around with their bells - so Swiss:). They were EVERYWHERE! And of course Cow Bells always remind me of Will Ferrell - love it!:) Here are some pics:

On the boat:

At the base of Pilatus:
On the Cable Car/View from Cable Car:
Top of Mt. Pilatus:

View from Gondola:

View from Cable Car:
When we got back to Luzern around 2pm so we decided to do the 2 hour walking tour of the city before catching the train to Thalwil (I am married to Nathan Becker so no resting or downtime:)) Luzern is absolutely beautiful! Twos pics - The Water Tower and the City:

After Luzern we went to Thalwil to visit with Hakan (Nathan's boss), his wife Jasmin, and their two beautiful little girls Flurina (3) and Hanna(16 mos). They made us the most amazing dinner and answered all my Swiss questions!
Fabulous day in Switzerland!
love and miss you guys, Mandy and Nathan
ps - If you would like to see the rest of the pics, here is the link:

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