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Published: July 27th 2012
Cortina d’Ampezzo to Switzerland and Germany.
13th July to 22nd July 2012.
We head off for a very long drive to Lucerne. We are caught up in traffic due to roadwork’s. When we left this morning the GPS estimated we would take 4 hours. After 1 hour, it still said 4 hours – going nowhere fast.
Eventually we hit Austria – it was €8.50 for each stretch of Autobahn and there were 2 stretches. We went through the longest tunnel we have been through so far. It was 10.4km long. So many mountains – we go through lots of tunnels. We also were held up for another 45 minutes with an accident.
Then into Switzerland and stopped at the border. We handed our passports – no – we not on the wanted list (phew). However, they ask how heavy the vehicle is. Tom says he thinks it is 4 ton. The border policeman says he thinks it 3.5 ton and asks for the rego papers. Well that was when the fun began. We could not find it and could not remember where they were filed. Eventually Gaye
finds them in the suitcase packed for home, where Tom had put them. Nearly divorced over it !!
Yep, it weighs 3.5 ton, so we have to pay 40 Swiss francs (SF) for road tax (which is enough cover for the calendar year). Bloody hell, we are only here for 4.5 days and two of those we will be parked in the caravan park. So 20swiss franks (SF)/day for driving , about 200kms each day.
On to the campsite without any more drama. Campsite called ‘Camping TCS’ and is located in Horw, about 20 minutes bus ride from Lucerne.
Into town and go to the tourist information office. Then onto a boat for a 1hour cruise up Lake Lucerne. The boat is new and was launched in March this year, but the audio guide not working well – it kept intermitting, so we told the crew manager, so they could fix it !!
Then we walk to see the Aion – the world’s largest rolling-ball clock in the Bucherer building. This clock is now recognised in the Guinness Book of Records.
Then off to the Lucerne Museum of
Art. Very interesting building. Some interesting sculptures and paintings and some where you think that the artists are taking the micki out of you.
Then home on the bus. Tom goes for a bicycle ride.
New neighbours in the campsite – from Ireland – Kathleen and Dennis – lots of chatting and then dinner.
Off on the 8.30am bus so we can do the ‘Guided City Walk’ tour which starts at 9.45am and which went for 2.5 hours.
Some of the things our guide pointed out besides the old city squares, painted guild hall and town hall were:
1. The water tower – built in 1300 as part of the city wall. It’s octagonal, over 34metres high. Used as archives, treasure, prison and torture chamber.
2. The Jesuit Church.
3. The Needle Dam – built in 1860. Has been renovated in 2009 and the flood protection has been improved. Even today the level of the lake is regulated by hand through the removal and placement of the so-called needles (wooden posts).
4. Chapel Bridge – constructed first half of the 14th
century as part of
the city’s fortifications. The paintings were added in the 17th
On the tour there was a couple from NZ and a couple from Texas – he was just like George Bush – ‘why do they want to control the lake level?’ – ‘well it stops it flooding or becoming too shallow for the boats’ – ‘Oh’.
Then he says as we walk along the river ‘It’s 10º colder here than over there’ – ‘yes,’ Tom says, ‘we are in the wind’ – ‘Oh, guess so’ – Tom tells him about the wind chill factor – ‘Oh’ – hmmm !!! He also asked where does the water come from, and the guide tells him it comes from the mountains that we can see, when the snow melts and when it rains. WTF - where did he go to school and what did they teach him?
After we finished the tour we then went to see the Lion Monument – ‘The Dying Lion of Lucerne’. It was hewn out of natural rock – 9 metres long - in memory of the heroic death of the 800 Swiss mercenaries at the Tuileries in 1792. Mark Twain described
the Lion of Lucerne as ‘the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world” , and he was so right.
Off home after an enjoyable day.
Ring Martin (from my Italian language school in Bologna) at 10am and organise to meet him at 4pm in town. Tom goes for a bicycle ride and then we pack up the van ready to go early tomorrow morning .
On the way out we pay up for the campsite so we can leave without delay in the morning – 180SF. Not cheap.
Meet up with Martin and Martino and they take us to a restaurant for a traditional swiss dinner.
An end to a great couple of days in Lucerne and great to catch up with Martin and to meet Martino.
Up and leave by 7am and head towards Wackersberg, Bad Tolz, Germany. A long easy drive, except when Tom wants to overtake a truck. The motorhome is good for 110km to 115kms/hr and then it is not enough in some cases – as on the autobahn – the cars come
15.7.12 Lucerne - The Dying Lion of Lucerne
The Dying Lion Of Lucerne-9 metres-Memorial to 800 swiss mercenery soldiers killed whilst trying to protect the king during the french revolution
up at 180 – 200kph.
Finally going to catch up with Manfred – who used to own the cafe across from my work many many years ago.
We find his place and he comes out of work to meet us.
We set up the motorhome next to his flat, have a beer and take Manfred back to work, while we have his car to have a look around the area. Very picturesque.
Manfred has the day off, so we go for a bicycle ride – about 17km with a stop for a beer.
Then into Munich Olympic site, for the Tollwood fair with Manfred and Elisabeth (his sort of boss). More beer and food and it was very sunny and hot.
Had a great time and then on the way home we pick up Pizza and go to Elisabeth’s house that she has built with her sister. It is a traditional style house inside and out.
We have breakfast and say goodbye to Manfred.
We head out at 11am to go to the Hymer service department in Bad
We got nearly everything we needed.
Then off to Jurgen’s (from my Italian language school in Bologna) house in Ravensburg where we set up the motorhome in his back yard and connect to the electricity in the garage. Gaye and he are excited to see each other and talk about Italian school while Tom and Angelica (his wife) just look on.
Then into town to see local traditional folk band and have a beer.
Home for dinner.
Jurgen’s takes us to see two Zeppelins flying and then to Lake Constance at Bordersee to see the Zeppelin Museum. It was very interesting to see how big they were and how they were built. Also learned how far they travelled – to North and South America.
The method of construction was using aluminium ribs and rivets very similar to Boeing aircraft at Qantas.
Off home for a BBQ.
Tom goes for a MTB ride in the forest with Markus, Jurgen’s son who is 13 years old.
Then into town to look at the markets and a bicycle shop.
The owner is Dietrich – and has done 20 Iron Man races – he hopes to win the 60+ age group at Hawaii in 2 years time.
Then we walk and look around the markets – food is local and there are some speciality shops from other countries. The markets are held every Saturday. While in town we go to a Games shop, and found that Ravensburg is famous for is games, puzzles and books for children.
Also there are the drumming bands from the local schools in the old traditional costumes – as this is part of the Rutenfest Ravensburg festival.
Then in the afternoon they take us to the thermal pools – Schwaben Therme at Aulendorf for a few hours.
Really good and relaxing.
Then home for a traditional German home made pasta dish with local cheese - a speciality mountain cheese and fried onions on top.
We stayed home instead of going to town as it had started to rain very heavy, so we had lots of wine and talking.
Up at 5.30am – load up the motorhome and have brekkie and on
the road by 7am.
Just as Jurgen had told us, everyone would be going south for the holidays and there would be no trucks on the roads as it is Sunday, so an easy run to Rotterdam - 9 hours of driving.
We drive onto the ship, and settle in for the night. £293.00 for the ferry for 2 people, motorhome and a small 2 bunk cabin.
The ferry sails at 8.45pm. The cabin was situated on the floor above the entertainment deck so we could hear the performers, but we were so tired that we slept through it all.
Up at 7am and boat lands at 8am in Kingston on Hull, England.
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