Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adventure in Europe 2008 PART 16 (Switzerland-Blümlisalp, Zweisimmen, Montreux and Brigg)

Saturday 13 September.

Today we had planned to go into the Alps but unfortunately it was raining. However, our clever tour guide, Bill (sometimes referred to as the Boot Camp Sergent) had made alternative arrangements in case of rain. Bill and his friend Roland organised lunch on the renovated paddle steamer, "Blümlisalp". So the 8 of us grabbed our umbrellas and walked to the wharf.

David (my brother), Bill, me, Roland (Bill's school friend), Ann (my sister in law), Helen and Paul (our travelling companions). Carol-Ann, our daughter took the photo.
Here she comes out of the sinking clouds. She is a beautifully renovated ship originally built in 1906. She has a fascinating history which I might retell in a later post.

Roland had booked us a table for lunch. Most of us had the local fish from the lake......
..... washed down with a glass of wine. Carol is getting into holiday mode.......
.... and savouring a traditional "Apfelkuchen" too.
So we all had an enjoyable time on the beautiful Lake of Thun sailing to Interlaken and back to Spiez, even though it was a gloomy day.

Sunday 14 September.

Today is Sonya's birthday, our other daughter in Sydney, we all wished she could be here with us. We had a booking on the MOB panorama train from Zweisimmen to Montreux, so raining or not we had to go. Firstly, we caught a local train, which climbed through the mist into the mountains to Zweisimmen, where Bill had arranged to meet yet another cousin, Kurt. He hadn't seen him for 50 years.

They were the best of friends when growing up together. After hot chocolate and a chat, we walked back to the station.......
...passed the flag bedecked streets and.......
....traditional mountain houses, (the mountains were hiding in the clouds), until we reached ........
.......the MOB panorama train to Montreux.
Kurt and Bill said an emotional goodbye, knowing they probably will never see one another again.
Kurt had booked us great seats in the front carriage, where the driver has a little cabin to one side and passengers can sit next to him looking out the front window.
Looking back to the tail of the train.
Front seat view of going into a tunnel and........
...out again. We wound down through the mountains to........
...Lake Geneva. It was a fantastic trip with magic views even in the cloudy weather.
Coming down the mountain to Montreux.
We had lunch and walked along the edge of the lake.

Montreux Castle Chateaux Chillion and autobahn.
We explored the town and then made our way back to the station for another train ride. This is fun! This time we were going back to Spiez a different way. We travelled along "The Valley" to....
...the town of Brigg, very close to the Italian border.
Then we changed trains and went through very long tunnels from the southern side of the Alps to the northern side. It was a very long day with long comfortable train rides with magnificent views all the way. We had covered a big area of the south west of Switzerland.


  1. WOW!:)

    I love the pictures of the flowers (of course), and how you can see them blowing in the wind. So romantic!

    Lake Geneva looks beautiful!

    Dumb question? Is that dessert "Apfelkuchen" similar to an apple pie?

    That is very touching about your husband and his friend. Sigh...

    Have a lovely day!
    God Bless,

  2. Diane,
    A beautiful country..the buildings so different from what I am used to...centuries older..The town of Brigg is in an interesting position.....Do the slopes cover in snow during their winter months?

    The visit would have special significance for you and your family being your husbands birth place.

    Keep well

    Kind regards,

  3. Diane, wonderful pictures and commentary! Your blog was recommended to me by "Lucy." I'm very envious and hope to make it to Europe soon myself... someday!

  4. How beautiful are these pictures? WOW! Made me long to go someplace far away from home...:) Hope you don't mind my popping over here from Amy's blog. I liked you last comment to her so I just had to see who you are.

  5. It must have been a bittersweet time for Bill, at least you all have such beautiful memories to take home with you.

    Paddleboats hypnotise me. That rythmic sound of the water splosh, splosh, splosh.

    Such lucky ducks you guys!