Showing Mike Some Swiss Sights
Lake Turler -- Zug -- Flumserberg -- Lucerne  (August, 2008)
August offers perhaps the warmest and most pleasant weather of the year in Switzerland, so it is an ideal
time to plan a trip over from the states.  My childhood friend, Mike, did just that, arriving for a ten-day visit.
Mike and I met in Hacienda Heights, California, when we were both six years old.  We lived just around the
corner from each other for more than nine years, until my family moved thirty miles away to Garden Grove
in the spring of 1963; but we had survived the painful transition to puberty together, and that bond forged a
friendship for life.  Over the decades, Mike and I had gone our separate ways, but we always managed to
remain in sporadic contact; and, although years might pass between visits, whenever we did meet again, it
always felt as though the two of us had never really been apart.  This time would turn out to be no different.
Mike's late wife, Cathy, worked many years for Delta Airlines, and the company graciously extended some
of her retirement benefits to Mike, including the authorization to fly worldwide on standby basis.  Mike took
advantage of that opportunity often over the preceding three years, but this was his first visit to Switzerland.
One day, after Irmi had left for work, Mike and I hopped in my old convertible and
drove twenty minutes up to Lake Turler which lies on a plateau about 500 meters
  above Lake Zürich.  Walking on a path around the lake, we passed this swim area.
One can hike around Lake Turler at a leisure pace in less than an hour and a half.
Naturally, we built up an appetite and stopped here afterward for coffee and cake.
Leaving Lake Turler, this road will lead us to the city of Zug and Lake Zug.
The day is turning quite warm, as we stroll through the old section of Zug.
A few young people lounging on a wharf along the Lake Zug shoreline.
  The newer part of town, the Zug city center, lies in the background.
A day or two later, Irmi joined us for dinner with our good friends, Graham and Beam.
Graham and Beam own a beautiful home in Immensee which overlooks Lake Zug.
This is the view from their terrace.  From left to right:  Ron, Rolf, Alice, and Franz.
Turning slightly to her left, Irmi snapped this shot of Lake Zug.
The city of Zug, where we spent the previous day, lies beyond the ridge in the middle.
The next day, Mike and I drove to Unterterzen and rode a cable car to the top station
  of the Flumserberg, my favorite ski resort in winter.  For the next five hours, we hiked
 back down the mountain.  Fog obscured the scenery, but we had some good exercise.
Halfway down the mountain, this small hotel offers a good lunch on a large terrace
 with a great view.  Encountering our first bit of bad luck, they were closed that day.
In the Village of Flums (1400 meters), we boarded a cable car again and rode
 back down to Unterterzen.  Lake Wallen is visible in the background.
Yes, it's a steep ride down, but you get used to it.  (Lake Wallen in background.)
 The cable car terminates near the cluster of buildings on the lakefront to the right.
Irmi took a day off from work and joined us for a tour of Lucerne.
  Here she is on the promenade along the Lake Lucerne shoreline.
Still on the promenade, a little farther away from the city center.  This old boat
house must be an historical landmark, no longer in use but maintained nicely.
Still on the promenade, still farther from the city center, Mike and Ron caught in a light rain.
A curious swan inspecting someone's rock art on the shoreline. 
Lunchtime in old Lucerne on the banks of the Aare River. 
The Aare has just exited Lake Lucerne (hidden at left) and is flowing from left to right.
The famous Lucerne wooden bridge across the Aare.  Lake Lucerne is hidden in background.
The bridge has burned twice in the last fourteen hundred years but retains much original art. 
On a foot bridge spanning the Aare River.
Ron and Mike, childhood friends, a lifetime later.
The Aare River, making a sharp bend to the right and exiting downtown Lucerne.  A few
kilometers downstream, it will join the Rhine; eventually this water will empty into the North Sea.
Mike hopes to visit us again in June, 2012, and we look forward to it.  There is so much more to show him!

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