Memories have been made, friendship renewed & new ones started. Switzerland and its people welcomed us with open arms. The weather was perfect!
Sept. 17 & 18th -Flew from Charlotte to Munich to Zurich. We were met at the airport by our tour guide Wolfgang Fineder (from here out known as Wolfie). He took us to our first hotel of the week in Konstanz, Germany. Where we settled in for a little rest, our first group dinner and much needed sleep!
Sept. 19th - Up and out (with our bags in tow) we boarded the bus for our first day of our Switzerland adventure. First stop, a walking tour of Konstanz market area, waterfront and the first of many shopping times! From Konstanz a short 45 minute ride to Steckborn, Switzerland to see where our Bernina sewing machines were built. An enjoyable and enlightening afternoon. We had lunch at the plant with the owner/president of Bernina an his 2 children(the future generation of Bernina). From there to our first Chocolate stop,and then to hotel in Zurich, supper and to bed.
Sept. 20th - After breakfast our first stop was the most powerful waterfall in Switzerland (not the tallest) "Rhinefalls". It is knows for the amount of water that flows over the falls in a minute! Scenery as we traveled from stop to stop is beautiful. Arrived in St. Gallen about lunch time. Wolfey came us a quick tour of shopping area of St. Gallen and then set us free. Most of us toured the Textile Museum. Where we saw an exhibit of some of this years new apparel fabric and a exhibit of fashions pass. And again there was shopping. We boarded the bus about 3 for Zurich and our hotel, supper and bed.
Sept. 21st - Today our first stop is the Lions Gate in Lucerne. Back on the bus, quick walking tour of the waterfront and shopping area. Wolfley again let us on our own. A few of us walked about 4 - 5 blocks to the Picasso Museum. Beside Pablo's' works there where Paul Klee, and otherImpressionist paintings. Back across the lovely covered woodenbridge that crosses one of many of the fingers of the lake Lucerne surrounds. Lunch, shopping and we again met up with Wolfey to board a boat for a boat tour in and around the lake that Lucerne surrounds. Beautiful vistas all a round. Back to hotel, supper and bed.
Sept. 22nd - Today we found ourselves in Interlaken. After 2 bananas and 2 train rides, we arrived at the Top of Europe - Jungfrau (which means Maiden/virgin). The views where unbelievable. Back to Interlaken and supper. Some of us had Swiss fondue and one the of biggest beers I've tried to drink! It was an enjoyable evening. The weather gods have been with us for the whole trip. Supper was out under the stars and mountaintops of Interlaken.
Sept. 23rd - Again up and out early for a boat ride across Lake Brienz to the town of Brienz were we toured a wood carvers shop and many of us helped their economy by making a few purchases! After lunch we were back on the bus to check in to our next hotel in Engelberg. We did a short walk about before meeting back at hotel for a horse draught carriage ride around the area and where dropped off for a tour of the Cloister in Engelberg. After the tour most of us just walked back to the hotel. A short (15 minute) rest, then it was off to supper, a tram ride to the top of Engelberg for a night view of the town. Back to the hotel and to bed.
Sept. 24th Up and out, bus ride to catch cogwheel train up to the top of Mt. Pilatus. What makes this train so special is because at times it is going up the mountain at a 47 degree angle. Pretty steep! Again there where beautiful vistas. What goes up must come down! So it was a gondola ride down, bus ride back into Zurich and our farewell dinner Sadly to say our wonderful adventure was soon to be over!
Sept.25th - Sadly we said Good-by to Switzerland and arrived safe and sound in the good old USA, with many wonderful memories