I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The GoldenPass Train to Luzerne, Switzerland

I knew we were on the right train when I saw that the Chocolate Train would be our engine!

Beautiful scenery from panoramic windows

A church for every town

Notice the airstrip in the background

vineyards with netting to keep the birds away

We always wondered where people stored their luggage in train stations...Now we know!

Beautiful view in Interlaken

Waiting for the train so we can cross the street to ride the funicular

Riding up the funicular in Interlaken

Our view of the Swiss Alps during our lunch

Good thing the menu had english or we wouldn't have had a clue what to order

My rosti (hash browns) had bacon, a fried egg and cheese. I might as well have been eating breakfast! This is a very traditional Swiss meal

Danny's meatloaf over rosti (hash browns)
Danny standing in front of the tallest mountains of the Swiss Alps

Riding the funicular back down the mountain, thankful that we were squished into it, wishing it was going faster, and hoping we wouldn't miss our train

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the lakes here are the most beautiful shade of milky aquamarine blue.

Between Interlaken and Luzern, the train climbed up through a pass in the mountains.

Danny and I both thought the spire on this church was beautiful. The actual church is behind this building

The train station in Luzern

Our room at the Ameron Flora Hotel, Luzern, Switzerland

Swans are everywhere here

View from the bridge over the lake toward downtown Luzern

Our dinner spot. We thought the painted building was really cool

The cheese fondue that we shared. I also ate a salad that was really good

Danny's sausage with onion gravy and rosti

We left Montreux early this morning to catch the GoldenPass Panoramic Train. This train is part of the Swiss-Austria Rail Pass that we have for the next four days. The pass enables us to get on any train at any time which will let us be more flexible. I took the advice of a traveler on the internet and went ahead and booked our seats on the GoldenPass train. This would limit us to a specific time to travel today, but would also assure us that we would have seats on the train we wanted to travel on. I was delighted to arrive at the train station and discover that the Engine for our train today was The Chocolate Train Engine. The actual Chocolate Train doesn't travel on Sundays so I guess they used the Engine on off days too. The Chocolate Train is a train that leaves Montreux and goes to Gruyere, where the cheese of the same name comes from, and then to Broc, where the Nestle factory is.When you tour the Cailler-Nestle factory, you end the tour in the tasting room and can sample every kind of chocolate they make. Unfortunately for me, we had to skip that on this trip. The GoldenPass would take us first to Zweisimmen, then to Interlaken and finally to Luzern. We saw beautiful countryside today through the panoramic windows on the train. We had a layover of about 2 hours in Interlaken and we found lockers to put our bags into storage so we could walk around outside of the train station. We rode the funicular up to the top of Harder Kulm mountain and ate lunch at the restaurant up there with a view of the tallest mountains in the Swiss Alps. We forgot how long it takes to eat in a restaurant in Europe and then how long it takes to get your bill which is very very long. Dining is never fast in Europe. Danny had to say something to the waitress as we began to see that we might miss our train if they didn't serve us soon. We ate a traditional Swiss meal that included Rosti, which is actually just hashbrowns. The line at the funicular was very long to go down, but somehow they managed to squeeze us all in. We ran (actually Danny ran this time) to get our bags out of storage and then find the train. We sat down in our seats 5 minutes before the train left the station. We were so thankful we had reserved seats because the train was full. Whew! We arrived in Luzern around 5 p.m. and checked into the Ameron Flora Hotel. We left our bags and went for a walk around the city which is close to the hotel. We ate a traditional supper tonight of cheese fondue, sausage and rosti. It was delicious! Fondue is usually not served before October, but there are a couple of restaurants that were serving it now. We have really been surprised by the number of people walking around in wool coats, big jackets, and gloves. It is currently 55 degrees and the high today was 67 degrees. I am walking around in a short sleeve shirt and receiving stares. It was the same in Paris. Tomorrow we will spend the morning here in Luzern and then board a train when we're ready and go to Innsbruck, Austria. Until then....

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