THE GREAT JOURNEY
This trip was labeled the Great Journey by Gohagan Co. and it truly was. We flew out of our home area at 6:00 AM on May 26, 2009 and arrive in Zurich, Switzerland at 8:00 AM on May 27, 2009. We had a comfortable bus ride to Lucerne and an uneventful check in to the Hotel Schweizerhof right on Lake Lucerne with a suite and balcony overlooking the lake. That evening we had a walking tour of Lucerne with a very knowledgeable guide and went over the Mill Bridge and planned to come back on the Chapel Bridge, but it was blocked off because of repairs so we crossed back over the Reuss River over another bridge then walked on the Chapel Bridge for until we reached the repair blockage. We had a nice cocktail buffet furnished by Gohagan and had enough to eat.
Next day after a nice breakfast we took a bus to Mt. Pilatus Bahn and went up Mount Pilatus on the cog railway. Had lunch at the top and came down to catch a nice boat ride for 90 minutes on Lake Lucerne back to Lucerne.
We had a nice Weinerschnitzel meal at the Old Swiss House in Lucerne. It was expensive, but very good. Bill was $189 with a $70 bottle of wine. Good thing we don’t do that often.
The next day after breakfast we were off on a bus to the city of Andermatt where we boarded the Glacier Express train to Zermatt.
We walked to the Hotel Schweizerhof in Zermatt. We had a stroll around town and then a nice included dinner. Good thing we got some pictures because the next day we went up the Gornergrat Bahn and the visibility was terrible. So the day before we went up and the day after was beautiful We had snow on our day.
We had a nice walking tour around the old town of Zermatt.
The next day, day 5 we boarded the train to Tasch and then on a motorcoach following the course of the Rhone River to Lake Geneva. We had a picture stop at Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva and then stopped at Montreaux for walk around and shopping and picture taking.
We then proceeded to the mid-evil town of Gruyeres and had an included lunch with Swiss Cheese Fondue.
After lunch we proceeded to Basel, Switzerland where the navigable portion of the Rhine begins and boarded the Amadeus Symphony for our Rhine River day 1 of a cruise along the Rhine to Amsterdam.
Rhine River Day 2, we stopped in Strasbourg, France and had a walking tour with a good guide. We visited the Notre Dame cathedral and other sites.
On Rhine River day 3 we were in Mannheim, Germany where we took a bus to Heidelberg, Germany to visit the magnificent Heidelberg Castle ruins overlooking the Neckar River. We then proceeded to Rudesheim, Germany arriving at 8:00 PM
On Rhine River day 4 we visited Rudesheim and left Rudesheim at 2:00 PM and went to Koblenz at the joining of the Mozelle River where we did a walking tour. The walking tours were made enjoyable by use of the FM transmitters to each person’s ear receiver so there was no problem hearing the guide.
On Rhine River day 5 we stopped in Köln ( Cologne) one of Germany’s most ancient cities dating back to 38 BC when it was founded as a Roman military outpost of Colonia Agrippina.
We cruised through the night arriving in Amsterdam at 4:00 AM on Rhine River Day 6. We disembarked the ship at 8:00 AM met up with our friends and went to the RHO hotel just off Dam Square for two nights. We bought the two day pass for the tram and also did a one hour canal tour. Visited some nice markets in Amsterdam and of course the famous Red Light District. We enjoyed one dinner at an Argentine Restaurant and one at a Uruguayan Restaurant. Both were very good. Passed by the Anne Frank house but lines too long just like our last visit.
Return home June 7, 2009, 17 hours after leaving the RHO hotel.