Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day Twelve: Lucerne, Switzerland

We spent most of the morning, and afternoon in a little town called Lucerne. I think this was my favorite stop in Switzerland. Our first stop was a Lion Statue in honor of The Swiss Guards' who were sent to protect King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their children who were taken to the Tuileries Place in Paris. More than 700 Swiss officers gave their life when the Parisians stormed the palace, and it turned out that Louis, and the family had snuck out a back way.

We were dropped off in town, and Mom and I walked around, and tried to grab a few souvenirs. We did get Jason a Swiss Army knife that they put his name on, and some chocolates (Calait-which is supposedly only sold in Switzerland, it's less rich, and very creamy....but I prefer Hersheys myself. :O)). I was also on the hunt for the perfect Cuckoo clock. If you have ever been, or will ever be a visitor to my house, you will be glad to know I couldn't find one I loved (and could afford)....next time!

We then joined our group again, and were driven to Mount Stanserhorn. We took a Funiculaire 1/3 of the way up the mountain (a train on a very steep track). Next we boarded a Cable Car. Unlike Aspen, this car was built for standing visitors, and many more than the 4 person cars I've ridden in the past. More than twenty of us squished in the car like sardines, and we made the rest of the trip. I'm usually NOT a fan of dangling heights, but I was in the middle, the clouds completely covered the mountain far below, and the ride was pretty steady with all that weight anchoring us down, so....I can't complain. We made it to the top. They have walkways that dangled over the side of the mountain, so when it's not cloudy you can see hundreds....and hundreds of feet below. The problem was that we were above the clouds....and clouds were all we could see!

We went inside, and grabbed some lunch (which also double as dessert-cake), and after hanging out for about 45 minutes, some of the clouds were swept away, and we got our first....and last view of the valleys below.

We made the trip down, and then headed back into town. We walked around, and shopped, and headed across the famous Chapel Bridge. Even in the clouds, and the rain, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places.