Germany and Switzerland.

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First stop today was Heidelburg, where we stood on the bridge to see the castle. Unfortunately the light meant that my photos weren’t the best, so here’s a lovely picture of a bridge instead.

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Remember my photo of Greyfriars Bobby from Edinburgh, where people are wearing the statue’s nose away by touching it for luck? Here the students are doing the same thing with the disc the baboon on the bridge is holding. If you want good luck in your exams, this is the thing to do.

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The light was better on the walk back to the bus once we got into town. I love how people around here just go on with their day to day lives with a castle ruin looming above them every day.

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When I first came over here I was obsessed with cobblestones. Then I got used to them. But this morning I was walking ahead of the group off the bridge and paused to wait for them. A student riding by on a bike caught my attention, purely by the sound her bike was making as it shuddered over the stones. It’d be hard work to live in a town like this and ride a bike or be in a wheelchair.

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Then we zipped across to the Black Forest to see a cuckoo clock and black forest cake making demonstration. They were one after the other, not both at the same time. This is an example of a slightly large clock.

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This man loves his cuckoos.

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Well ok, he doesn’t look very enthused here, but trust me. He was bubbling inside.

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Here he is demonstrating the bellows that make the ‘cuckoo’ sound. I like a man who loves his work!

They made a sale from our bus, with a guy from South Africa buying one and getting it shipped home. He was wise and chose one with a solar sensor that sends the cuckoo to sleep once it gets dark. I was making jokes about possibly getting a grandfather cuckoo clock and sure enough… they had one there.

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Here’s the traditional hat of this region. Jaunty, isn’t it?

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I took photos of every step but they all look the same. Basically, cut your sponge cake into 3 layers. Soak the bottom layer with kirsch. Then add cherry jam and cherries, with a generous layer of whipped cream. Put second cake layer on top and add heaps of whipped cream. Repeat with the last layer.

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We had a piece with coffee, then we set out for lunch and souvenirs.

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Christmas tree ornaments. Both glass, both light. Both tiny, so the pile of souvenirs in Leicester at the moment hasn’t been added to too much. The owl reminded me of the big owl Pam and I saw in the street in Edinburgh outside the castle.

 

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The Black Forest looked just as I imagined it would, even under a very Australian looking sky. As we were riding in the bus towards Switzerland, I tried to take a photo to show the weird way the trees sometimes look, as if they’re growing in waves.

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This was the best I could do.

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Here’s how they look when they’re not all clumped together in a forest.

Once we were over the border into Switzerland we stopped at the biggest waterfall in Europe, the Reinfall.

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Gigi asked if anyone had been to Niagara Falls or Victoria Falla before we got there. Yes… they were pretty tiny. But considering it was the middle of summer there was plenty of water coming down.

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The view from my hotel room in Lucerne. It’s the Willem Mann hotel, an old place that was once a private home I think. My room is small and has an adjoining room with a door that sound travels through. I’m next door to Gigi, the tour director and I didn’t realise at first how the sound travelled. (She may have possibly heard some Australian choice phrases when I couldn’t get the internet to work on my computer.)

It’s within walking distance of the shops in the old quarter, which suits me fine as I’ll be wandering down there tomorrow afternoon.

We were supposed to go on Lake Lucerne for a boat ride tomorrow, but apparently there’s going to be a big storm sweeping Europe (in the middle of summer) and so Gigi was able to organise for us to leap aboard a boat with another tour, so we were able to see Lake Lucerne on a glorious summer day.

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After the tedium of the Rhine cruise I wasn’t really looking forward to this terribly much. But when the boat pulled out and we started seeing mountains upon mountains, I was happy. It was glorious.

This is Mt Pilatus. So named because the legend has it that Pontius Pilate is buried here. It looks like the profile of a man, doesn’t it?

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We were out here for an hour and it was excellent. Everyone chatted and gazed at the scenery and it was a very pleasant way to see the area.

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I even saw my first selfie stick being used here!

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Just breathtaking. We were all so glad that we were seeing it today and not tomorrow.

IMG_3508Lucerne is a very pretty town:

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We spend the whole day here tomorrow. Lots to do!

 

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4 Responses to Germany and Switzerland.

  1. scottsabode says:

    It’s my dream to have a cuckoo clock one day. Mark doesn’t approve. Love Schwartzwalder Kirschtorte! You are in my idea of heaven.

  2. Kateedee says:

    I have been quietly stalking you thus far, but now you’re in Lucerne I can’t stay quiet any longer!! Love, love, love Lucerne. And Switzerland for that matter! I too bought a cuckoo clock, which initially drove the family demented but they got used to it eventually… And then it started cuckooing odd hours which is not restful in the middle of the night and you count far too many cuckoos. For my own sanity in the wakeful hours I had to turn it off… Glad to see your having fun and thank you for the effort you put into your blog each day. It’s been an awesome journey so far.

  3. Lucinda Sans says:

    Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

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