Monday, April 20, 2009

View over Lake Lucerne

[1.] Fountain in front of the Grand Hotel, currently closed for renovation. [2.] View over Lake Lucerne. [3. and center] Caroline on the ferry. [4.] Wild flowers and tree on top of Bürgenstock. [5.] Tavern characters welcome guests for lunch. [6.] Adams family warning sign, very high up indeed.

What is more Swiss than an alp or a lake? Easter Monday we decided to visit both, and faithfully followed our brother-in-law, Micha, along two-lane roads that went up and up in dizzying curves and swoops until we stopped, in the middle of a field, across from a lone fire station.

A terrible back seat passenger, I stumbled to the grassy bank by the parking lot, declared that we'd landed in paradise, what a nice field, and was it true we didn't have to drive anywhere ever again? Caroline and her cousin Julian started to collect buttercups, and the baby met grass and decided the spikey stuff just wasn't for him.

I could have stayed there all day (I was sure we could find bottled water, if not the fire station did have hydrants nearby) but just as we were starting to hook daisies into chains and discuss snack options, Micha looked up from the map he'd been pouring over since we arrived and called his troops to order. Time to march!

We started our hike in the Obbürgen valley.* It wasn't, at first, the most scenic of routes, though we did pass a long barn filled with whispering cows and a radio turned to country music. But it was stroller friendly and snow free, and after pushing the stroller, carrying the baby, and cajoling Caroline up the mountain (in turns), we felt we'd earned our lunch. The view from the top of Bürgenstock is gorgeous too - Lake Lucerne stretches out far below, the hotels that line the ridge are Magic Mountain worthy, and you can see alps nearly to Austria.

After lunch at a ridge top tavern, we hiked down a path steeper than our route up. The guys carried the stroller over the bumps and my sister and I swung Caroline between us and reminded her of the ice cream just a few kilometers away. We found her cornet at a ferry stop on the south side of the lake, and she nibbled it up while we waited for our boat (and drank martinis, yum). The ride across the lake was short but wonderful, and on the way back to my sister's house I dreamed of houseboats on the lake, and hikes in high summer. Switzerland in August, here we come!

* You can also reach the top of Bürgenstock by funicular. Built in 1888, the Bürgenstock Bahn is the oldest electrical funicular in Switzerland.


lizardek said...

Lovely pics! Sounds like you guys had an excellent vacation. :)

Ellen said...

I had to laugh (just a little bitterly) at the description of M calling his troops to order. So incredibly true. My legs are still dying from yesterday's straight upper. I only made it to the top due to the realisation there was no way I could go back down at that angle. So good when ya'll are here to keep us slightly reasonable!

Julia said...

We did, it was wonderful!

Ee, we just have to remind the captain every now and again that his crew will rebel if certain conditions aren't met - we've mutinied before, we can do it again!

Barrett Bonden said...

Martinis in the Swiss Alps! The view echoed on the palate. You certainly know how to choose your pleasures, PP.

Julia said...

Ellen ordered the martinis, she has (always) superb taste.

Lucy said...

We had a holiday near Lake Lucerne when I was about 5 - magical!