Saturday, August, 13th
We left Portland on the 12th and flew into Zurich. We immediately caught a train for a little village called Appenzell. We stayed for a couple of
days at a cute hotel called the Hotel Alder.
|Switzerland Trip in August 2005
Our trip to Switzerland had some very bright spots and some not so bright. Very clean and beautiful Country. We just happened to pick one of the
wettest months in the last 50 years. By the time we left, many cities were flooded including our last stop. So, we ended our trip a little early and
headed home. One of the interesting things about Switzerland. In the North, they speak German. In the South they speak Italian. In the West,
they speak French.
While in Appenzell, we jumped on a train and traveled into the Alps to Ebenalp. From there we caught a tram to the top. Our plan was to hike
back down after enjoying the views. We did hike back down, but we got caught in a rain storm. This made the trip back down much longer and
very slippery. We were not prepared and looked like very tired drowned rats at the end.
Monday, August 15th. We took the train into Luzern. It rained all of the first day. I bought a long sleeve shirt to stay warm. We also bought a
couple of umbrellas to try and stay dry. By week 2, this city was under water. The train station was closed and the restaurant where we had
Sue's birthday dinner had water lapping onto their doorway. The 2nd day we were here was much better. The Chapel Bridge and the famous
Lion Statue are worth seeing. There is also a wall around the city, which is pretty common in Europe.
While we were waiting for the rain to clear. We did take a ferry across Lake Luzern over to a park and a museum.
Flowers for Sue's Birthday.
Wednesday, August 17th. Back on the train through more Alps. We were off to Lugano on the Italian border. Finally, very warm and sunny!
Very clean town, where the store their trash underground. Link to Hotel International
We did ride a
tram to the top
of the main city
hill. There were
great views of
was also a
Church at the
Thursday, August 18th. Our next leg of our journey takes us by bus to Tirano to catch the Bernina Express train up the steep back side of the
Alps from near Lake Como. Our bus did break down forcing a slight delay in our progress.
We spent August 18th and 19th in Pontresina and St. Moritz. We did ride another tram high above St. Moritz and the Dorf lake. We were
well above 7000 feet at this point. But, we did not hike down - learned our lesson in Appenzell. Link to Hotel Mueller
It was cold up on the
top of the world. As we
were coming down, we
saw a hang glider
floating towards the
lake. Once back
down, we went back to
exploring the cities.
Saturday, August 20th. We took the Glacier Express train from St. Moritz, through Chur and onto Zermatt. This is considered the most senic rail
trip in Switzerland.
Zermatt, a cute little car-less village at the base of the Matterhorn. We stayed at a fun little hotel called Hotel Romantica. We had a cabin all to
ourselves. Link to Hotel Romantica
Now for some adventure. We climb aboard 3 different trams to get to the top of Klein Matterhorn. This takes us from 5265 feet in Zermatt to
12530' at the summit. It is too bad that the visibility is not that great. Rain at the bottom and a blizzard at the top. We figure, we are here - so we
are going to the top and visit the ice cave called the Palace. We bought gloves this morning and Sue is wearing sandals. Yes, we were cold!
Monday, August 22nd. We boarded another train for Lausanne by Lake Geneva. There was some flooding near the lake and by now we have
heard of a good deal of flooding in other parts of Switzerland with train closures and road closures. Link to Hotel Regina
Tuesday, August 23rd. We set off for Interlaken by train. By the time we got near Interlaken, the train personnel informed us that the next stop was
the last (which was Interlaken), due to the flooding. We actually drove through water that was beginning to cover the tracks. The lower portion of
the train station was flooded in town. We got off of the train and checked into our hotel. Walked around the city a little and had lunch. We were
basically trapped in a small portion of town by flood waters all around. Interlaken had become just Laken. We went back to the hotel and checked
out, got back on the train and went to Zurich two days early. The next day we caught a flight back to Portland. Link to Hotel Lotschberg