Now it looks like we are in Switzerland!! Basel wasn't very pretty; but it's an industrial town on the Rhein River and it was a convenient spot for our boat to let us off; pick up new travelers and sail back the way it came.
We got on the bus and drove through the countryside to Lucerne. Beautiful countryside!! Lucerne is in central Switzerland; in the German-speaking part of the country.
Switzerland is land-locked but has many, many lakes and rivers that connect it to other parts of Europe. It is not part of the European Union because it has always been an independent country and wants to remain that way. It does, however, have lots of treaties and trade agreements with other countries in Europe.
The Chapel Bridge that we took many pictures of, was built in the 14th-century and is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. It is built of wood so of course has burned down in the past, but not until 1993. It was allegedly caused by a discarded cigarette. The Swiss people still smoke more than any country we've been in so far. Part way across, the bridge runs by the octagonal Water Tower, a fortification from the 13th-century. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th-century depicting events from Lucerne's history. The Bridge with its Tower is the city's most famous landmark.
Lucerne's sister-city in the USA is Chicago.
Everything is very expensive here; but they also earn more than the average person in other European countries.
Switzerland used to have very tight banking laws that allowed people to hide their money in the Swiss Banks. This practice has ended and is no longer allowed.
You will see picture's of the Lion Monument. It is a famous carving that commemorates the hundreds of Swiss Guards of who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution when an armed mob stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Today, you only find Swiss Guards guarding the Vatican.
The sun came out today for a minute and the weatherman predicts nice sunny weather for the rest of the week. We can only hope!!