Lucerne, Switzerland

Guatemala Mission Trips                      Australia New Zealand Cruise March 2010

         John Knox Mission Trips           

       Nicaragua Mission Trip Nov. 2011

London to New York Transatlantic Sept. 2009                         Europe August 2010

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The Swiss have a long tradition of supplying mercenaries to foreign governments. Because the Swiss have been politically neutral for centuries and have long enjoyed a reputation for honoring their agreements, a pope or emperor could be confident that his Swiss Guards wouldn't turn on him when the political winds shifted direction.

The Swiss Guards' honor was put to the test in 1792, when--after trying to escape the French Revolution--King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and their children were hauled back to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. A mob of working-class Parisians stormed the palace in search of aristocratic blood. More than 700 Swiss officers and soldiers died while defending the palace, without knowing that their royal employers had left the building.

In the early 1800s, the Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen was hired to sculpt a monument to the fallen Swiss Guards. The sculpture was carved in a sandstone cliff above the city center, near Lucerne's Glacier Garden and the Panorama, and it has attracted countless visitors since its dedication in 1821.

 
Lucerne’s Lion Monument

    One of our two days, we took the cog train and cable car ride up Mt. Pilatus.

    But we still had plenty of time to just wander and enjoy the beautiful, peaceful, picturesque town of Lucerne, situated on one end of the Lake of Four Fingers.  Switzerland consists of 23 kantons (like our states) and 4 half-kantons.     

    On the second day, after lunch, we had our boat ride on the lake, which would take us to the other side, where we would catch the bus to take us the final stretch to Zurich.  Ornulf had a horrible time making the head-count work, and we found out later that Charlie & Rana were on the wrong side of the bridge, at a wrong pier, meaning that Ornulf and they had to get to the other side of the lake via public bus. 

    Previously, Rana had left her cane in a tour bus in some other city, but it luckily got returned before the boat left dock.  Ahhh, but there’s more of the Charlie/Rana saga coming....stay tuned......

    I had seen these kinds of signs (above) on virtually all our city tours, had even seen the numbers change before my eyes.  My description wasn’t accurate enough for Ornulf to tell me what they were.  So I took a photo.  He immediately explained that the changing numbers told motorists how many vacant parking places were in various lots.

    And then there are those who get around with even less hassle:

Outside our hotel (left) and hotel lobby (right).

Room card went in the slot on wall to activate electricity, but the window shade (below)was activated by the sunlight, regardless of your key being in the slot.

This double-sided wall of photos with their eyes slashed out was outside the convention center.  No one could tell us what it represented.

Swans are everywhere in Switzerland and Germany

Gutsch, a 5-star hotel and restaurant; we didn’t eat there.  The Swiss franc and the US dollar are about an equal exchange, but Swiss restaurants are EXPENSIVE.

Carol’s theme for his photos was people, regardless of whether he knew them.  He’d just walk up to strangers, and ask if he could take their picture.

Our hotel was to the left and behind the train station (above), very conveniently located.  Under all the train stations are mini shopping areas, always with small grocery stores to fill our mini fridges in the hotel rooms.

Unique practical way to support scaffolding and not impede pedestrians and businesses.

A leisurely walk across the bridge and you’re in the center of the town’s activities: stores, cafes, restaurants.