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Springtime in Luzern (& Rigi, Basel, Zofingen, Rapperswil...)

Springtime in Luzern (& Rigi, Basel, Zofingen, Rapperswil...)

Old Apr 23rd, 2016, 08:18 PM
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Really enjoying your TR! Thanks!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2016, 08:42 PM
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Thanks joannyc!
Sat with the locals on a park bench, in the sunshine, where the river level/water works are, near Spreuerbruecke (the overlooked wooden bridge!)to eat my picnic dinner (as so many others were doing).

Good weather is still forecast for tomorrow, so I better make my trip up Rigi while the gods are still smiling! Maybe I can fit in Arth-Goldau Tierpark (zoo, in a dramatic natural setting--visited two years ago in the pouring rain!)
Back in my hotel room, I ended up devouring both pieces of the liquory Kirschtorte (so damn good, I couldn't stop)! Stored the second yogurt in my minibar.
Sinus headache, couldn't enjoy the opened beer, ended pouring in down the drain
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Old Apr 23rd, 2016, 10:14 PM
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So glad you went to Zug! I know some folks who live nearby, and I've met them 3 times in that city -- it is lovely. A pleasant, un-touristy, lakefront town with a very pretty old town. Did you see the open-front van that "rents" bicycles for free after you deposit a form of id?

Sorry about the massage -- I hate it when you decide to splurge and get a special indulgence, and it backfires.

Also so happy that you are including some of the great prepared offerings from Coop!! On my last trip to Switzerland, I had neglected (senior moment -- senior month!!) to budget for food, so I had to eat on about 20 chf per day. I really loved the variety and tasty items at Coop, from the ubiquitous roasted chicken to quinoa or bulgar salads to rare-roast-beef sandwiches. It's an excellent way to economize and eat nicely.

s
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 03:21 PM
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Tuesday 5.April~~
What can I say? One of the last three to breakfast @ 9:25 (hey, they serve until 10:00 a.m)!
My runny nose persists :--(
Rain and deteriorating weather are forecast for Wed/Thursday/Friday.
Late morning ship to Vitznau, cross the street with everyone else to the Rigibahn (fully covered on Pass).
Three cabins of Asian tourists, who seemed to know one another, one of 'the rest of us!'
As we ascended, winter's grip became apparent! At the top, some of the paved paths were still blocked by 6 inches of slushy snow. The beautiful ringing views of snowtops enthralled all...
Even Hotel Rigi Kulm was still closed for the season (I did know this in advance, having studied which mountain infrastructure could be availed).

Still it seemed odd to have a little self-serve cafe/souvenir kiosk and temporary toilets for those of us desperate to ascend a peak in April! Even the metal ?weather tower was still locked shut- no uber-high pics today!
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 03:29 PM
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After looking about, I sat outdoors at the self-serve resto, enjoying 2 Wienerli mit Brot und Senf natuerlich (6.80 with mustard)-notice a trend here?
Decided to catch the BLUE train down the opposite mountain flank to Arth-Goldau zoo.
Met a couple from San Francisco vacationing for two weeks in Switzerland with their 2 year old daughter en route.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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The Tierpark/Zoo cost CHF 20-2 for pass. Many families enjoying the large park.
I didn't see any curly-horned sheep this time (?muffloon).
Bummer- they are a favorite.

I sat in a picnic area to enjoy my pain au chocolat and water, when a wandering deer got a little aggressive about relieving me of my plastic-bagged treat ( I won, and no animal was injured!)
My favorite today was the wild boar exhibit.
Mama pig had borne 13(!) piglets about 8 weeks earlier, who were now slumbering in a huge, intertwined striped pile under the den roofing of twigs and branches.

At last, the soft pile of babies awakened and chased one another out one end of the den and into the other...repeatedly racing in circles... great fun to watch!
Just as quickly as they had awakened, they then tuckered out, clustered along lying mama's taps for liquid refreshment!
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 01:35 PM
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After meandering through the waterfowl area, peaceful with lake, level walk, I sat for a spell in the Zoo kiosk area, enjoying a Rivella. Its getting windy, cooler and overcast now.

I explored the Arth Migros (a nice alternative to Coop stores). Bars of the very good Frey chocolate are discounted 20% if 3 or more are bought...so of course, I took advantage for more souvenirs!

Back in Luzern, the cloud cover was increasing.
I bought a turkey/cheese baguette with a THIN layer of hard-boiled egg from the Aperto shop at the station, to enjoy on my personal red river bench for dinner (6.95 CHF).
I think I'll visit Basel tomorrow-I've never been there!
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 01:54 PM
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Wednesday 6. April~~
Relatively quiet night. I had trouble falling to sleep and awakened often.
It was raining in the morning, but finished by the time I was done with breakfast. Turned much cooler.
Caught the 9:54 to Basel, arriving just one hour later.
A bustling, BIG train station. Located the helpful TI and got a nice placemat-sized map.
I walked through St. Elizabeth Park to the church, mistakenly thinking that this might be the Muenster, but nah. Still very impressive stone and fretwork.
I climbed nearly to the top of the spire, but it became SO very narrow as I ascended, that I grew claustrophobic, and decided to quit!
I meandered a bit further to find the 'real' cathedral and Pfalz, with stunning views across the water.
It was a nice, sunny day here with many people out on benches and steps along the River.

I found the busy produce market, and enjoyed a standup Kalbswurst mit Brot und Senf (again...clearly a favorite) @ 6.95.
Still finding it peculiar to wrap the sausage in a napkin, and eat the hunk of bread separately--what is wrong with a bun people?

Watched one of the ferries going back and forth. I will have to experience this today! Just 1.60 CHF, the current propels the little wooden boat (which is tethered to a metal zip line)
from Grossbasel to Kleinbasel (and vice versa). A short ride, but new perspective being so close to the water!
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 02:09 PM
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A lovely slow trip, am enjoying wandering with you. Just looked up Zug, nice looking town. Good tip about the Coops store, maybe it is possible to visit Switzerland without going bankrupt.
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 03:23 PM
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I strolled along the Kleinbasel Ufer, taking in the renovated old houses with old grapevines trained in pretty patterns around their entryways...Occasional pops of pastel colors.

I found a Coop with an extensive display of Lindt Easter bunnies for 50% off!--milk, white chocolate and hazelnut! Hollow---how to protect on the long trip home?
I connected to the cobblestone shopping streets... Freie Strasse.

Passing a Baeckerli Huus-selling Basel's namesake soft spice cookie, dipped in chocolate....With a butterfly adorning the outside (dad's motif), I had found mom's gift!
A quick peek inside the courtyard of the red, decorated-with-frescoes Rathaus.

A pretty city, with a number of museums, worth another future visit!

Back in Luzern, yearning for Flammkuchen, went to the Nix Restaurant (Nadelwehr area), closely replicating a delish meal of two years ago. For my toppings on this crispy cracker-like pizza (sour cream topping), I chose stinky cheese and Speck (bacon) 21.50 + a dark Hubertus Bier (4.90). Can you say SALTY?!
I drank a lot of water that evening!
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 04:06 PM
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Thursday 7. April~~
Interrupted sleep again/restless night again. Pondered Aarau as today's destination.

During breakfast there was the repeated roar of supersonic jets flying low overhead -?! There were 4 jets flying in formation, then peeling off repeatedly..windows shaking...did I miss something important? Is Switzerland at war ? Being invaded?

I asked at the front desk. They just shrugged and said 'military exercises' take place from time to time!
Cold and drizzly today.

I knew as soon as I disembarked in Aarau that this was a mistake. A quick jaunt revealed a pedestrian town without discernible merit (my apologies to residents).
Had a thick 'italian' hot chocolate at the train station, before
I jumped on the next train headed to Zofingen!

A pretty town, visited once before-I'd still consider it for a future base!
The sprinkles had stopped, but it was still chilly - U opted for lunch at the Restaurant Rathaus on Nicholas Thut Platz.
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 04:30 PM
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Menu #1- cauliflower, French fries and Wurst in onion sauce + salad & Rivella *17.50+4=21.50 CHF.
I am too full!

Located an ATM on the church square to finish out the last 36 hours in Switzerland...
Then into famous Laederach for small boxed chocolate gifts.
Left knee pain from all this walking!

Dare I say it? I feel ready to go home. I feel punky and incredibly tired!
(A 4-hour nap followed at my hotel!)
Not my best day overall...what/why?
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 04:36 PM
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Still here and enjoying your trip!

I experienced those really loud supersonic jets also while in Switzerland. They were startling while being out in the countryside!
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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Friday 8. April ~~
My last full day in Switzerland, and really, I'm ready to go home!
Big choices regarding my career await me...

Ate my usual breakfast of yogurt, fruit, muesli, croissant, cheese and vitamin juice.

On to Rapperswil today (my 2010 home base) via the 10:40 Voralpen Express Train. Foggy and drizzling.
A new route today-- enjoying the different views.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:51 AM
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A short visit to Rapperswil:

Walked up to the Parish Church, Castle, Deer Park area for beautiful views over Zurichsee and the mountains opposite.

Spent some time in the tidy, compact cemetery, so well-kept with flowers. Noticed the sign announcing in several sections that the graves from 1996-2001 would be 'cleared' in late August, making room for newer occupants (see my other thread with questions regarding burial customs).

It seemed especially poignant in the section devoted to deceased children and infants...but I now understand, that given space constraints, this is a prevailing custom, fully anticipated by the surviving family. Still...it almost seems that the loss would be revisited/renewing the pain and melancholy....

I watched the deer for a bit (no buck this year), before climbing back down to town via the Capuchin Monastery steps.
The famous rose gardens are not in bloom yet...
I was seeking a simple meal for lunch, and located the Ristorante De Medici, where I had had a wonderful pesto pasta on my 2010 trip.
Menu #3- Boneless chicken filet with roast veges (spinach, baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower), was preceded by the mist flavorful tomato bruschetta topping that I have ever had! (CHF 19.50 + bottle of Henniez Water @ 5.50).
Warm and cozy atmosphere with garlic wafting through the air-a brick pizza oven in use.

Still drizzling outside, I returned to Luzern to start a bit of packing.
My plane is not so early that I gave to get up before dawn TG!
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:57 AM
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I still have an almond croissant and strawberry yogurt which I will have for dinner on my last evening...

But now, I went back to the small jewelry store where each day, I had been admiring a pair of handcrafted aquamarine drop earrings from the window!
Beautiful @ 125 CHF, no bargaining...
Maddening initially when both my cards were declined...finally, the charge went through! MY souvenir!
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Old May 1st, 2016, 11:13 AM
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I decided to treat myself to Konditorei at Heini Cafe, where I had a white chocolate/meringue torte and a latte (10chf) while I watched the steady parade umbrella-carrying pedestrians.

Used the phone booths at Schwanenplatz to call mom one last time, then back in the opposite direction to Coop City to purchase the small bags of tiny Caillier chocolate bars for work and friend souvenirs.

Back in my hotel to figure out mt morning departure times...
I should be able to grab a quick breakfast...yes!
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 02:36 PM
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Saturday 9.April~~
My final hours in Switzerland were smooth and uneventful.
Enjoyed a small breakfast, plenty of room in the direct train to the airport.

Full flight to DC-no extra space .
Watched two full movies on the stupid screen on the back of the seat--(way too
close, makes for eye strain headache!)
SNOWING at hone--we had none of that in Switzerland!

Already revisiting my trip notes to make the NEXT trip better ;-) .
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 04:14 PM
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Thanks, mokka4! Enjoyed your TR!
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Old May 11th, 2016, 06:07 PM
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I loved your trip report mokka4! I really enjoy your laid back travel style. My husband and I will be back in Switzerland in two weeks and your trip report helped to hold me over.



This sounds like a little bit of heaven to me!
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