After a short bus ride into Lucerne, we took a walking tour that started with the Lion of Lucerne. It is a solemn place and a beautiful monument to the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution. I believe it was the last conflict the Swiss ever took part in. I was struck by how much emotion the sculptor managed to get in the lion's face. You really feel this pain.
After that mournful start to the day, we walked the streets, learning about Lucerne and Switzerland. We ended the tour at the Swiss army knife super store where I got Alex, boy scout extraordinaire, a real Swiss army knife from Switzerland. Then we had a few hours to explore the city ourselves.
Marc, Karen and Eric
Working on Alex's knife.
First stop, chocolate! We went to Laderach, which was amazing. Eric and I got watches at the Fossil store, and then we took a fondue break. Because every day should have a fondue break. You start with breads and cheese and finish with fruits and chocolate. It was spectacular.
Left to right: Jayna, Benny, (waiter), Kirsten, Frances, Jaxon, Marc, Eric, Cody, Karen, Me.
(Angee must have been our photographer for this shot)
After lunch, we met up with the rest of the group for a nice boat ride (most of the rest of the group, we had a couple get confused and miss the boat) across Lake Lucerne to the base of Mount Pilatus where we took a trammy/trainy type thing to the top... well, to the almost top.
Sadly this was a day that my weather mojo failed us. It was misty and foggy and what would have been spectacular scenery was shrouded in cloud cover. It was still pretty cool though, I must say. And Marc almost took a header off the mountain, which there IS video of, so if I can get it, I will post it.
Day 6 and Eric's harem is firmly established. Grandpa will be proud.
Even with the haze, you can see how beautiful Lucerne is.
Marc was filled with song.
Oh hey, there's our ride!
Where we boarded the train.
Wish this wasn't blurry.
Eric, Marc, Karen & Cody
getting into the clouds now.
i didn't do this climb, from the looks of it, probably a good thing. (Karen and Angee)
this picture is the same as the one above, just zoomed in. mom's camera is awesome!
the pile of snow seemed harmless when you couldn't see more than 5 feet below...
I took this photo of a photo... this is what we were supposed to see while up there. VERY bummed we didn't.
we took these gondola thingies down. very cool.
After we descended the mountain, and because the fog shut down other activities such as going down the world's longest bobsled course. watch that and you'll understand why we were so bummed out.
Anyway, since we didn't get to do that on the way down, we boarded the bus and had more free time back in town. we meandered around for awhile. this was actually when i bought alex's knife. the crowds were a little thick earlier.
We went back to our hotel for another wonderful dinner. We had celery soup, which i had one bowl of, then had another helping on top of my mashed potatoes. Pear sundae for desert. It was fantastic.
Little bit of Starbucks to warm up the florida folks.
The proprietor of our hotel served up his own home-made, incredibly delicious ice cream every day. He was SO excited that someone had a birthday and was delighted to show off his sweet skills.
And, on a final note, when in Switzerland, don't stand to pee. Good thing I don't. :-)