Touring Switzerland by Train
Zürich-Neuchâtel-Montreux-Interlaken-Luzern  (August, 2010)
On Friday, August 6, Irmi took a day off from work, and the two of us rode the rails from early
morning until late at night.  For a total of 35 Swiss Francs each, we purchased special unlimited
passes authorizing travel on any train, trolley, bus or boat anywhere in Switzerland all day long.
Employing mainly guesswork, we charted a route that seemed feasible within twelve hours.  The
day began with mild temperatures and intermittent clouds, so we packed our rucksacks with rain
gear, water bottles and munchies, and climbed the hill to the train station for an 8:00 a.m. start.
The first two stops on our itinerary, Neuchâtal and Montreux, went smoothly.  We were able to
spend a couple of hours at each location wandering about town, snapping photos, and grabbing 
a quick cup of coffee before another train departed in the direction we wanted to go; however,
with only one hour in Interlaken between connections, we used the time to walk from one end of
town to the other, squeezing in and out of shops, and taking few photos.  By the time the train
left on the next leg of our trip (Interlaken to Luzern), the clock hands pointed toward eight-thirty
p.m., the sun set quickly in the mountains, and our cameras were rendered useless.  So, we
snuggled together in our seats from that point on, sharing small talk as lovers do, and gazed out
the window at the dark, craning our necks to peek into lighted windows as the train passed by. 
We arrived home after 11:00 p.m., exceeding our self-imposed time limit by over three hours,
and we were pretty beat by the time we finally crawled into the sack; but it was a good tired.
Map of Switzerland with our route superimposed.  Generally, anywhere "left" of Bern is  
French-speaking -- still Switzerland, and the people are extremely friendly, but it feels like
a foreign country.  Fortunately, Irmi speaks French, so we didn't get lost or go hungry.
Ron, on a promenade in Neuchâtel (noy-sha-tell), on the shoreline of Lake Neuchâtel.
One section of the marina at Neuchâtel.
A small cobblestone square in the "old town" of Neuchâtel.
Side street in Neuchâtel.  Note fresco-type painting on the wall.  Nearly every building
on that street had similar artwork.  The solid wooden double doors typically lead to
private inner courtyards with decorative fountains and multiple apartment entrances.
A local university building with manicured gardens.  Irmi made a bee-line for the flowers,
   while Ron fell captive to the (obviously female) stone statue guarding the entranceway.
Having arrived in Montreux on the far end of Lake Geneva, we are walking along an
 absolutely pristine promenade.  The disc-shaped object is a combination dock and
  municipal swimming platform -- reminiscent of a 1950's futuristic art deco design.
Beautiful, energetic Irmi pausing on the promenade, with Lake Geneva in the background.
Irmi, pivoting to her right, snapped this shot of an incoming side wheel steamer.
Note the French pennant on the bow.  The people of this region are proud of their
  French heritage; the hills in the background are Swiss territory, but the shoreline
 extending to the right from those hills lies within France, a short boat ride away. 
Every element incorporated into the shoreline of Montreux was designed with the comfort
 of casual strollers in mind:  wide walking lanes, ample seating, shade trees, and small food
 concessions, etc.  Beyond and below the couple sitting on the bench lies another pathway 
for sunbathers and swimmers, with water access and chaise lounges provided by the city.
This shot was taken from our seats on the renown "Golden Pass," from Montruex to
  Interlaken, a steep and winding mountainous route through spectacular landscapes.
    We felt fortunate to get such a good shot through reflecting glass on a moving train. 

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