Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back on the Air: Leaving Muerren

Blogging a trip can be difficult. So much happens each day and so little makes it into the blog. As things happen, I try to make a mental note to myself “put that in the blog”, but I have a tendency to lose my mental note pad. It boils down to my not having the time to make it any more elaborate than it is and you, my faithful reader, lack the time to read it if I did!

I am typing this on Monday as we drive from one of our activities towards our “home” for the next two evenings. However, this entry will be about Saturday and our departure from Murren. I always think I can get two entires in one evening and get caught up, but it doesn’t happen. The writing is the easy part. Culling through the dozens of photos taken during the day and trying to select the ones that best represent the day and a few photos that I found interesting. Then the speed of the connection impacts how long it takes to upload the photos. A slower connection makes for a long evening. There are always many more photos that you don’t see. I keep thinking that I will have a blog like a blooper reel, or a blog of all the animals that we have encountered. Until then, we’ll keep to the events.

We were able to get packed up and out of the apartment by 10:15 and down into the valley by 10:45. I finally got a video of the bells on the cows.

It was a sad parting from Grace and Marcel. I don’t know when I will see her again. Her life is up in the air right now as she applies for various grants and “post doc” positions which is what one does after getting a PhD. I’ll have to content myself with “seeing” her on Skype in the coming months.  Both cars left in the same direction, but we passed some cars and lost them within the first 20 kilometers. I had forgotten to tell Marcel that an Italian driver is a lobotomized driver and that he needs to be careful on those narrow twisty roads around Lake Guarda.

Since the drive from Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne was a short one, we stopped at an open air museum in Ballenberg which is a town at the head of one of the lakes on which Lucerne sits. This museum has collected examples of buildings from the various geographic regions of Switzerland into one large park set in a forest setting (naturally). Inside some of the larger dwellings, they covered regional costumes, musical instruments, and forest uses as well as taking care of theIt was fascinating to walk through the different farmhouses and barns and see the similarities as well as the differences between the different regions, different decades and different economic standing. We all enjoyed climbing up and down and into the darkened rooms, seeing how they were decorated, looking at the equipment used and even feeding some of the bunnies. The museum claims to have species that are no longer found in Switzerland in the “wild”.
 They hand-pleated these sleeves!
 Six different harmonicas in one spinning device.
An assortment of accordions.
The original double-paned window?
 This is a closeup of a wall.  They used newspaper to cover cracks and for insulation.  When they could afford it, they would cover it with colored wall paper.

We didn’t leave Ballenger until about 2:30 - 3:00 and drove into Lucerne. We had only a 20,000’ view map and a little 3” x 4” map from the Bible according to Rick Steves, but we made it without too much confusion and checked into the room. The room was on the second floor above the restaurant, facing the street and the church across the way. It had four beds jammed into it and you had to take turns standing up and walking around in it. Ok, maybe not that bad, but really close to it. The others dropped their suitcases next to or at the foot of their bed, but if I did that, we’d all die if there was a fire, so I kept mine in the little wall closet. A wedding at the church had just finished as we arrived.  The bells were ringing and ringing.

We rested for a while, before Bob and I headed out. The kids decided to chill in the room, playing cards and eating pretzels when we didn’t show up for a couple of hours. We had arrived in Lucerne as the shops were closing, so we walked across the old Kapelle bridge into the old part of the city, looking into the shop windows and simply getting our bearings. I guess I was heading towards the area where I had stayed when I visited Lucerne back in high school in 1973 because as we came around a corner, there it was in front of us. Hotel de la Paix. To confirm it, the first floor was the Lapin Restaurant with it’s logo of a red rabbit and I had remembered that too. 

At this point we headed back by heading up hill to reach the old town wall with its many towers. We walked back along the top of the wall, going up a few of the towers and taking pictures of the city and outlying countryside.

We returned to the hotel, got the kids and went to dinner at the Taube Restauraunt. Taube means pigeon in German. After the meal we headed back to the hotel and planned our next day before retiring for the evening. Across the street the church bells marked the time all night. Justin says that it doesn’t strike every hour or quarter hour at night, but none of us were awake to be able to contest his statement.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, it is very hard to blog & vacation at the same time. That is why I kept a journal and posted my Nepal adventure, day by day, once I got home. Too hard to edit photos, when you would rather be sitting back and enjoying the atmosphere. Having said that, I am enjoying your adventure, both edited photos & words.