Our last day was magnificent!!! All of the pictures are of Switzerland. If you didn't know what Switzerland looked like, now you do. If you did know what Switzerland looks like, the pictures reconfirmed it!! It's just beautiful!!
We started out on our bus driving toward the mountains. Our Program Director/Trip Leader Sjaack (pronounced Jock), talked to us as we drove; giving us interesting information about Switzerland:
There are over 100 lakes.
There are over 1300 tunnels. The longest tunnel is 35.5 miles; but you don't drive through it. You drive your car onto a railroad car and the engine pulls you through. There were too many accidents the other way.
There are 8.5 million people in Switzerland.
There are 3 million fire arms. Guns are not a topic in Switzerland since every male has one in his home.
The biggest controversy/hot topic here is "Cow Bells"!!! Apparently it's about animal cruelty. The purpose for cow bells is so the farmer can find his cows when they graze and wander through the mountains. But unofficial studies have found that wearing the 12 pound bell makes the cow so it's not happy; and therefore, doesn't produce as much milk. The average Swiss Brown cow produces about 20,000 pounds of milk a year. It is preferred over the Holstein cow because it has better climbing skills. The Holstein produce more milk than the Swiss Brown, but it's climbing skills are questionable.
We stopped in the village of Brienz. This is the home of wood carvers.
We then stopped in the village of Interlaken where we saw hang-gliders. They jump off the tall mountain, sail down, and land on the village green. We also saw "Hooters Restaurant". We haven't taken any pictures of the McDonalds and Burger Kings because you know they are all over Europe. But this is the first Hooter's we ever saw.
Sjaack gave us some more interesting facts:
The Amish and Menonites originated in Switzerland.
Swans have been present in every river, stream and lake we have visited on this trip. And now here they are again in these cold, cold lakes of Switzerland.
The bus dropped us off at a cogwheel train that will take us up over/around/through this mountain range, and will meet us on the other side.
The train station was at Lauterbrunnen at the base of the "Three Peaks Mountains". The Three Peaks are Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. The Eiger was featured in the movie "The Eiger Sanction" with Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy. The Jungfrau is the highest point in Europe, vertically. Remember when we were in Norway, we went to the top of Europe. That was horizontally.
You can see a glacier in one of the pictures. The glaciers of the Alps are shrinking three inches per year.
The village of Kleine Scheidegg is at the base of the Three Peaks. It is a great skiing area in the winter although it's at only 6000 feet. We had lunch there. Got back on the train and rode down the back side of the mountain to the village of Grindelwald where our bus met us and brought us home to Lucerne. (Home is where your clothes are.)
Well, that's it! We have completed another great adventure!