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Published: June 10th 2010
Day three of the group trip was definitely one of my favorite days, maybe my favorite. We went into Switzerland and the Swiss Alps, so that should give a clue as to how beautiful everything was. Even though we drove for over seven hours today, it was worth it. Today was definitely a nature day, rather than a cultural day. There is not a lot of description here, but enough, and lots of pictures.
The day started with another great breakfast, then we left at 7:45 AM. The drive from Austria into Switzerland was gorgeous, with the Alps rising in the distance, then traveling next to, and finally into the mountains. We stopped around lunchtime at Vitznau, which is a town built around Lake Lucerne. At the train station, we got out and had time to look around town for about 30 minutes. It is definitely a tourist town, but down by the water it is hard to notice. I walked around a church that was across from the train station, examining the architecture. Pretty soon it was time to get inside the train and go up the mountain for lunch.
Now when I say a train,
it is not like the trains that one takes to travel across Europe. This was a special train, much smaller and with fewer cars, that was built on a track basically going straight up, specifically to take people up. I really thought that the ride would drive me crazy, since we would be going almost straight up, but surprisingly I was able to look out of the window and take some pictures. Every once in while we would pass a house, built by some person who must want to walk or bike up and down a huge mountain every day. I cannot imagine getting groceries up that mountain. Anyway, we got to the top, where there were a few small hotels, a restaurant, and the train station. Reservations had been made for lunch for our group there, so we chose to sit on the second story (or here they call it the first), looking out over the lake and town.
The lunch was amazing. First we had salad, which was okay. Then we had a pasta-cheese-sautéed-onion dish which was fantastic. After all that, we had a dessert called Swiss Burned Cream. It was basically really sweet caramel with
a piece of waffle cone stuck into the top. I could not believe that some people could not finish it, they said it was too sweet. Some even said that they did not like it. I do not know how that is possible.
After our lunch, we wandered around for a little while until the train came to take us back down the mountain. Then we had to quickly board our bus and drive most of the afternoon to Montreux. We got into Montreux with plenty of time to admire Lake Geneva, the Alps, and the sunset across the water. Dinner was a pasta-type dish that was not as great as the lunch, but in Montreux the scenery was everything. After dinner I walked along the promenade and took some pictures from my hotel balcony of the sunset.
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