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28 July 2019

Alp Trip 2019: Eagle's Nest

Today is our last full day in the Alps. Tomorrow we leave very early for the Munich Airport and our direct flight to Denver. But that's tomorrow; today we are off to visit the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden.

What's the Eagle's Nest? It's a retreat at the very top of a high, steep mountain. It was built by Martin Bormann for Hitler. The construction was rushed and no expense of money or life was spared - many workers died because the terrain was rugged and often covered with snow. On completion, Hitler used Eagle's Nest to entertain visiting dignitaries. Hitler himself went there less than twenty times, as he lived elsewhere when he was in Berchtesgaden.

Eagle's Nest

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26 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Salzberg

Today - no travel! We just stay in Salzburg.

The morning begins with a formal tour of Salzburg Old Town and the Castle above it. We cross our street to the Mirabel Gardens to begin our walk to Old Town and the start of the tour. The Mirabel Gardens are sort of famous with Americans because scenes in the Sound of Music were shot in them.


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23 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: trip to Salzberg via the Tyrolean Farms

The Inn river is still high and overflowing a bit and the farmlands adjacent to the river are sometimes flooded. For a time, we thought we the roads might be flooded, and we would have to cancel our trip to the the Museum of Tyrolean Farms, but luckily we did not.

John especially liked the Museum of Tyrolean Farms. We had a very knowledgeable local guide who explained living conditions on a farm in the 1600-1800s. I liked the kitchens, and wondered what it was like to cook a meal on the equipment they had.

Tyrolean Farms

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18 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Innsbruck

Our view from the Hotel Seelos in Seefeld is lovely. Before we board our coach to Innsbruck, I take a photo:

Hotel Seelos

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14 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Maienfeld, Leichtenstein, and Austria

Today we say good-bye to lovely Switzerland. Its mountains and lakes are astoundingly beautiful. And Switzerland is the cleanest country I have ever been in. Streets and sidewalks are swept, graffiti is washed away, buildings are well maintained. And the roads! No pot holes, no trash on the roads, advanced infrastucture, including bridges and tunnels and overhangs to prevent snow on the roads. And the people were helpful and friendly; many of the waitresses and store workers were especially efficient.

I took a lot of photos on the drive out of Switzerland. Some aren't perfect since most were taken from inside our coach, but you get the gist of the lovely green country sides and tall mountains.

travel to Maienfeld
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10 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Lake Lugano

We slept in today - for a change we don’t leave until 10:40 am!

Our adventure today is a boat tour of Lake Lucerne and two of its towns. Odyssey has hired a private boat for our group. We set out across the lake:

Lake Lucerne

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07 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: touring Ticino

We are staying in Lugano, in Ticino, an Italian-speaking Switzerland canton. Today we coach to several different areas in this canton.

We stop first in the town of Bellinzona. The square we first come to is bounded by a fortress-like castle. Note the city buildings just behind the ancient stone wall, and note how the wall itself runs right into a large rock face.


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06 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: trip to Lugano

Today we are up early to begin our travel to Lugano, Switzerland. It's sad to leave the pretty mountain town of Zermatt, but we are on to more adventures!

Since our bus is not allowed in pedestrian Zermatt, we catch a shuttle train to the town of Tasch. There we board our bus, which is more appropriately called our "coach". Our luggage has already been transported to the coach.

We descend the narrow, steep valley from Tasch. Then we climb back up through a pass: Simplon Pass, a high notch in the Swiss Alps. Napoleon constructed a road over this strategically important pass in 1801.

Simplon Pass
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03 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Zermatt and Gornergrat

The next morning, I took this photo of the meadow next to our hotel in Zermatt.


By 9 am we were boarding the Gornergratten, a cogwheel train that will take up up to Gornergrat, a great viewing area for the peaks around Zermatt. These peaks include the famous Matterhorn!
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01 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: trip to Zermatt

June 6 is only our second full day in Switzerland, and this is a travel day. We are going across Lake Lucerne on a ferry, up and over a pass on our bus, then on the Glacier Express train to Zermatt.

We get on the ferry about 9 am. Here is a look back at our lovely hotel, the Beau Rivage in Weggis.

Beau Rivage hotel

Our bus will take our bags and catch up with us later. The driver has a longer trip than us, because one pass is closed and he has to go the long way around. The ferry gives us an excellent view of the steep hills around Lake Lucerne. Imagine it as a high mountain range filled in with water - the hills rise steeply and tower over the lake. There are picturesque houses on hills with cows - and everything is so so green.

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