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blue pin: visited; yellow pin: transit;

Friday, September 30, 2005

Day 19: Mt. Pilatus - Lucerne - Mt. Pilatus

Mt. Pilatus
Early morning when I woke up, I opened up the window and I saw snow... Yes, snow in the autumn. So I quickly freshen up and went out to take some photos before the breakfast.

I'm the only one who wears slippers in this kind of weather ;)

Lucerne (Luzern)
Eventhough Swiss is famous for their watches, but it is much more expensive here than in Singapore for the same brand and model. Even Swatch is cheaper in Singapore.

Most souvenir shops sell Swiss Army knives, they have quite a lot of models which I never get to see before.

Chapel Bridge

14th century bridge

Checkout the line-up pigeons

Lake Lucerne

The Nine Towers
The old city wall have nine towers, three of them can be climbed. Up here, we could get the city view of Lucerne.

One of the towers

View from tower


Lion monument

Instead of taking a cable car back to Mt. Pilatus, we had a chance to try the cog train. It is the steepest railway in the world.

Cog train

View from the train

Mt. Pilatus

The military satellites

A little chapel out of nowhere

Our hotel


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Day 18: Hopfgarten (Austria) - Vaduz (Liechtenstein) - Mt. Pilatus (Switzerland)

Swarovski museum

It is the capital city of Liechtenstein and is the fourth tiny country we visited. Its famous attraction is the castle on top of the mountain overlooking the city, which is the home to the royal family. But, we didn't have enough time for sightseeing as we were here only for lunch.

Swiss countryside

Our hotel in Swiss was up at Mt. Pilatus, 2,000 m above the sea level. We had a 20-minute cable car ride to reach its peak.

Nothing else up here except the two hotels. So tonight, we only had a relaxing dinner in the hotel followed by a movie.

Next morning we would ride a cable car down to Lucerne.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Day 17: Hopfgarten

Hopfgarten is a little village where I could finish the sightseeing in less than an hour. It had 2 supermarkets, pharmacy, bakery, hair saloon, hardware store, a few restaurants and pubs, that's all.

It was a free day, and we didn't participate in any optional activities. Some people either took mountain bike riding or paragliding or both, but none for us.

There is a waterpark nearby, about half an hour walk, but we decided not to do anything and just laze around. We bought our lunch from a nearby supermarket, sandwiches, fruits, cake, desserts and some drinks, then climbed up a hill nearby to have our own picnic.

Up here, the view was exceptionally beautiful, the traditional houses, the grazing cows with bells on their neck (the ringing bell was like a music to my ear), mountains full of pine trees, and a cool weather, it was the best picnic I ever have.

Pretty houses

Our picnic surroundings

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day 16: Munich (Germany) - Hopfgarten (Austria)

The weather was rather cold, it had been drizzling since early morning. We were going back to Munich city center to continue our sightseeing.

Frauenkirche (Women's cathedral)
Once upon a time, an architect asked the devil to help him build a church and in return, he promised him that the church would not have any window. After the church was completed, the architect led the devil to the middle of the church where he couldn't see a single window. But in reality, there were windows at the side walls which were hidden by the pillars. The devil stamped his foot with so much rage that his footprint was visible on the stone floor.

Church hall

Devil's footprint

Neues Rathaus (new city hall)

Glockenspiel (the cuckoo clock) at new city hall

Alte Rathaus (old city hall)

Both of us love Munich (see the cookies)

The new city hall looked older than the old one. The reason was the old city hall was burnt once and they rebuilt it. So now, it looked newer than the new city hall.

The Glockenspiel chimes every hour on the dot. And that day without exception, people was waiting for the chime even under the rain. Finally, a little routine started, there were six or seven statues rotated slowly and it went on for 10 minutes. There it was!! Very boring and absolutely overrated.

Water rafting
We would get a little adventure later in the Austria countryside. But, it had been raining all day and the weather was getting cold as well. I even wore my jacket in the coach. I actually hope that it would be cancelled. But as it turned out, it would be going on as planned. Oo, it would be freezing out there.

After quickly put on the wetsuit, boots, life jacket and helmet, we were divided into 3 groups of ten each and then they briefed us on the safety precautions. Soon after, we were asked to carry the raft down the stream via the muddy path. It was heavy and we only had 3 guys in our group. After that, the instructor asked all of us to go into water and soak for a while, so that we were used to the cold, it was damn freezing...

Our team

Then, for safety training, each of us had to jump to the water and swim back to the raft in the middle of the river. It really scared me, but after I did it, it was not so bad after all.

The rapid looked quite big, but actually it was not that scary after we passed through it, but we were all be wet for sure. This was exciting...I preferred this than any roller coaster ride.

The journey was 15 km long which took about 1.5 hour. We passed a few big rapids and some big rocks, all of us were completely wet and freezing except our instructor. The weather didn't help us at all, it was still raining.

Once we reached to the other end, we had a very hot shower. Then I ordered a bowl of goulash soup. It was a beef soup with lots of pepper. It really felt so good!!

This was truly memorable. Both of us had a lot of fun and felt very excited.