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Swiss Tour 2017

Posted on: 11th October 2017

We left Surval early Friday morning with our lovely, friendly driver Ricardo. The journey took us past Martigny and Brig up to the Nufenen Pass, where we stopped for a snack and (many) photos with the stunning glacier behind us. The road then dropped quickly down the other side on hairpin bends as we made our way to the Italian speaking canton of Ticino. An hour later, we entered beautiful lakeside Lugano, the 9thlargest city in Switzerland with a population of just over 60 000.

Arriving at the wonderful Bellevue Hotel, we put their bags in their hotel rooms before exploring the city with a guide. The Italian feel made it seem very unlike the Switzerland we recognized from Montreux, however we were quickly reminded it was Switzerland when we saw the prices we had to pay for our lunch!

The second day saw us heading up the funicular to the top of Monte San Salvatore which is part of the Lugano Prealps range. The panoramic views were outstanding of the lake, the city and the surrounding mountains. We descended after a snack in the restaurant at the top.

From there we had lunch in Lugano, with most girls opting for traditional Italian dishes of pasta and of course pizza. Some girls rented pedaloes for the afternoon, seeing the city of Lugano from the lake. Others made the most of a Saturday afternoon shopping in the bustling streets bathed in Swiss sunshine.

The next day we headed off on our journey to Lucerne (Luzern), which took us through the famous Gottard tunnel under the Swiss Alps and into the German speaking canton of Uri, culminating in fantastic mountainous countryside.

The old cog railway of Mount Pilatus led us to the summit of 2128m, where, after a long line of trees, we were greeted with huge limestone rock faces. We continued our majestic journey on the  ladders and paths that surrounded the top of the mountain, from which we gained unique views of the cities and lakes below.

For our final stop of the tour in Lucerne, we walked through the picturesque old town with its medieval architecture on our way to dinner. The well-known landmark of the Chapel Bridge, which dates back to 1332, was colourfully illuminated as we walked back from the restaurant to the Hotel.

On our last day we took part in a guided walking tour of the city, which included The Dying Lion of Lucerne Monument. This extraordinary engraving of a lion in a rock face is a monument to commemorate the Swiss mercenaries who died in the French Revolution serving the king of France Louis XVI. We were told how Lucerne still provides 200 guards a year to protect the Vatican.

With the morning completed, the only thing left to do was some final shopping for souvenirs and gifts before our journey back to Surval.

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