Lucerne to Zurich

Duke planned for us to return our rental car to Basel airport which is just over the Swiss border in France, because if we returned the car to a country other than France, where we rented it, there would have been a $2000 surcharge!

We left Lucerne relatively early this morning so that we could return the car by 11. We got to the airport with no problem but when we got to the rental car return counter the lady said that we needed to return the car to the French part of the airport and we were at the Swiss part of the airport. It turns out that the airport is divided in two. We followed the signs to Car Rental (CH). We should have followed the signs to Car Rental (F). We packed up our bags again and got back in the car. It was about a ten minute drive to go around through customs to the other end of the terminal. But we got it done and successfully returned the car.

From the Basel airport we took a bus to Basel train station and then a train to Zurich where we are tonight.

First attempt to return the car at Basel Swiss
Successfully returning the car at Basel France
Having a snack in Zurich train station while we wait for the train
Deciding which snack to have was a challenge!

Once we had checked in to the hotel in Zurich we went for a walk down to Lake Zurich and then stopped for beers along the river.

Enjoying our beers in Zurich

For dinner we went to a nearby beer hall.

My bratwurst and Rosti
Duke’s Pork Liver and Rosti
Enjoying our last meal together for this trip.

Rick and Elaine fly home tomorrow.

Graechen to Lucerne

Our road trip through Switzerland is almost finished. Tomorrow we will turn our car in in Basel. Today we drove north and a bit west to Lucerne. It was basically clear and cold today, a wonderful day to enjoy the Alps. We stopped to stretch about an hour into the drive at the GOMS suspension bridge.

GOMS bridge
I went a ways out on the bridge. It sways a lot! This is the view from the bridge.

Then we took another car train. This time we were on the Furka car train which takes about 15 minutes and goes about 9.5 miles.

Waiting for the train.
Cars coming off the train that we will be getting on.
In the tunnel.

In Lucerne our hotel is right next to the train station. We parked the car, checked in and then went for a walk.

The Chapel Bridge was originally built in 1333.
The four of us on the Chapel Bridge.
The weather was nice enough that we could sit outside for our beers.
Our hotel
The view from our balcony.
For dinner we had pizza.
Our pizza.

Le Locle

Today we spent the whole day exploring around Le Locle.

This rabbit is outside the Audemars Piguet watchmaking factory, one of many watch making factories in Le Locle.

We started our tour by driving to Champ du Moulin in Areuse Gorge. In Champ du Moulin we stopped for coffee.

The restaurant where we had coffee is on the left.
Having coffee

Then we drove to La Chaux-de-Fonds where we visited the Farmers and Craft museum. The museum is in an old farm house built in 1612.

Old farm house containing the Farmers and Craft museum.
The farm people and the animals lived on the ground floor and the barn was above.
You can see where they would pass the hay from the barn down to the animal mangers below.
There were two ladies doing a lace making demonstration.

We drove back to Le Locle, had some lunch and then went to Cave Mills “Col-des-Riches”, a subterranean mill built and first used in the seventeenth century. We had an audio guide and went down into the caves where the mills , waterwheels and workshops were. It was cold, wet and fascinating.

A model of the enormous underground mills.
Looking down into the caves
One of the underground water wheels.

For dinner we went to a crepe place a couple of blocks from where we were staying and had galettes. They were savory crepes.

Special Galette made with Gruyère, asparagus, pesto and zucchini.
Ham and cheese galette.

La Tour-de-Peilz to Le Locle

We took it easy at our hotel in La. Tour-de-Peilz this morning. Our room overlooked Lac Léman aka Lake Geneva. It was fun to watch women going ready to go out rowing.

Women going out rowing

We had a short drive today to Le Locle where Elaine’s father was born.

The town of Le Locle
Our room at Guesthouse Le Locle
The flowers in Roger and Elaine’s room.

This afternoon we had beer and hot wine at a local bar near our hotel.

My vin chaud (hot wine)

Then we went across the street to a local restaurant.

This the list of Propositions ( proposals aka specials)

The first thing on the menu is horse steak. Duke and Rick had the second thing on the menu. It was a very good beef steak. Elaine had a half order of the roast beef. I had a Swiss specialty, number five on the menu Bolets roesti. It was a kind of potato pancake with mushroom stroganoff. It was all very good.

Our dinner has just been served.
My Bolets roesti.
The crowd eating all seemed to be about our age.
Our restaurant Au Moka

Lac d’Aiguebelette, France to La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland

It was raining when we woke up this morning and it rained most of the day.

We had a great breakfast at La Bageatière where we were staying.
La Bageatière
It stopped raining long enough for us to pack up.

We drove into the Alps to the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the top of Mont Blanc but we had many glimpses of the stunning mountains through the clouds.

On the way to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
In Chamonix-Mont-Blanc we stopped and walked around a bit and then had hot chocolate We only got a bit wet.

From Chamonix-Mont-Blanc it was only a few miles further east over the mountains until we were in Switzerland.

Overlooking the Rhône valley in Switzerland.

Tonight we are staying in La Tour-de-Peilz on Lac Léman.

Lac Léman from our hotel.

The sun came out as we were checking in. But then a bit later an enormous storm with lightening, thunder, hail and rain completely obscured the view

For dinner we had pizza at a nearby pizza place
A view of Hôtel Bon Rivage where we are staying as we walked back after dinner.