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August 7-8

Written August 15

Dear Friends and Family,


Lucerne, Switzerland was the last stop on our European drive. Our drive through the Alps had been interesting, but very long and we arrived in town tired and a bit later than we prefer. Our hotel was in the pedestrian zone of the old city and our GPS navigator ("Gertrude") kept sending us across a pedestrian bridge to get to the Hotel Krone. Finally, we gave up and parked outside the old town and walked in to find the place.

That worked and the desk clerk said we could indeed drive through the pedestrians to the front of the hotel where they would take care of our car, for 27 Swiss Francs - about $35 - per night. Fine, we were tired and the public lot we were in was the same price anyway. After that, it was off to dinner, a pleasant little pasta and pizza dinner on the side of the Reuss river, for 70 francs - about $100! Ouch, this place is expensive!

The next day, our only full day in town, we mostly just walked around. Lucerne really is beautiful, with ornately painted old buildings, excellent shopping, a beautiful harbor, and all wrapped in surrounding mountains. It is no wonder it has been a tourist destination ever since the trains opened up practical travel into the place. We were surprised at all the tourist busses filled with Japanese and Chinese tourists, many of whom were shopping for Swiss watches and flash in the multi-story jewelry stores. They did not seem intimidated by the high prices!

We spent some time walking up the hills to the town wall to get better views over the city. Despite the cloudy day, it was worth it. I can only imagine how spectacular the setting is in bright sunshine or in snow. Maybe another trip will happen, after the Swiss government succeeds in reducing the value of the franc.

We did have one "art fix" with a visit to the Rosengart Art Museum. The Rosengart family had been successful modern art dealers in Lucerne and had built a collection of the most interesting pieces from Picasso, Klee, Braque and numerous other Twentieth Century artists. True to the rest of our city visit, it was an expensive experience (36 franc entry for two), but certainly worth it.

Early on Tuesday, we headed out, taking the shortest route Gertrude offered. We were definitely ready to be at home for awhile. (Nevertheless, we did manage one tourist stop on the drive, but that's another story.)


John and Marianne


Hotel Krone
In the square in front of the hotel.
The harbor offered nice boat trips, but the sun was not reliable enough to invest $100 in a lake trip. The Franciscan church was a quiet oasis, as it may have been since the 13th Century.
Pictures from the walk up to the city wall.
Sunset pitctures along the Reuss River - another HDR experiment.



Rosengart Art Museum

Hotel Krone



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