Switzerland-France September/October 2019

It was raining the morning we left Innsbruck heading to Lucerne Switzerland by train.  But, after 5 hours on the train we arrived in sunny Lucerne for a 3 day stay. With another short walk from the train station to our hotel in old town.  We stayed at the Le Stelle Luzern Alstadt Hotel, again it was in a perfect location, but the rooms very small.  On their website they don’t show pictures of the rooms but only of the bathrooms, stating that it is a boutique hotel.  Well, there is a reason you don’t see the actual room, very old and in need of an update, the bathroom was all that got a facelift.  And our courtyard view was of a brick wall about 6 feet away from the window, not my idea of a courtyard view.  We also had to check in with its sister hotel around the corner, kind of weird, and the gentlemen at the check in desk was quite rude. After dropping off our luggage we headed out to enjoy the beautiful day.  We strolled across the Chapel Bridge and watched a rowing competition taking place on the River Reuss. Saw the Nadelwehr and Spreuer Bridges before stopping off at Mr. Pickwick’s Pub for some fish and chips for lunch.  We had wanted to see the Fortress Furigen outside of Lucerne in Stansstad but due to time constraints and hours open to the public we were unable to make it this trip.  Check out Rick Steve’s for information on it, it looked really cool.  We found out waking up on Sunday that not too much is open, bakeries were closed along with many stores, luckily we brought along some oatmeal to make up for breakfast.  We had booked a trip through Viator to go to Mount Titlis in the Bernese Alps for today.  The last time we were there it was a blizzard so we were excited to see it on such a clear blue day.  The bus ride to Engelberg was nice and the scenery beautiful. After taking the aerial cable car to the summit of Mount Titlis we boarded a rotating cablecar to take us to the top, the views were amazing.  While at the top we walked across the cliffwalk suspension bridge, rode the ice flyer chairlift and watched the snow tubers at the glacier park.  We walked through the Glacier Cave and made our way back to the observation station for lunch.  All in all, a fantastic day.  On Monday morning we got up early again to wander before the tourists woke up and got some wonderful pictures on the Chapel Bridge, Nine Towers Park, and the Lion Monument.  Later in the afternoon we made our way up the funicular to the Chateau Guetsch; high above Lucerne for an afternoon beverage and stunning views of the city down below.  We ended our evening and stay in Lucerne at the Penthouse Bar that also had views of the city and nice hors d oeuves.  Tuesday morning, we again boarded a train to head to Bern Switzerland for two days. We stayed at the Hotel National Bern. Upon arriving we had only a few things listed to see in town.  We wondered by the Clock Tower, the Child Eater Fountain and an outdoor market.  We stopped for lunch for a dish of Rosti; a very popular dish in Switzerland.  It is kinda a hashbrown dish with various things in it served in a skillet, its sort of like a potato pancake.  We walked the entire length of the main street and found our self at the Altes Tramdepot Brewery which overlooked the river Aare, the longest river flowing entirely within Switzerland. Great outdoor seating and a beautiful day. Making our way back towards the hotel we stopped for taco Tuesday at a cute Mexican restaurant called El Mexicano. Food wasn’t to bad actually. The next morning, we took a train to Zermatt to see the famed Matterhorn, it was another beautiful day.  Upon arriving in Zermatt, we jumped on the Cogwheel train to take us up closer to the Matterhorn.  The Matterhorn is in the Alps and is located between Switzerland and Italy, its one of the highest summits in the Alps standing at 4478 meters high an elevation of 14,692 feet.  When we got off the Cogwheel it began to snow and the clouds were really heavy. Although it stopped snowing as fast as it started the clouds would not cooperate and give us a clear shot of the Matterhorn.  Still all the mountains surrounding the Matterhorn were all covered with snow and looked absolutely beautiful.  After a few hours of enjoying the shear magnitude and beauty of the mountains we made our way down the mountain on the Cogwheel and enjoyed lunch down in Zermatt at the Brown Cow Pub.  After lunch we did some more souvenir shopping then hopped back on the train to return to Bern.  The Matterhorn was on my Bucket list, so check done, another great day.  Next and last stop on our adventure was Geneva.  We stayed at the Suisse Hotel; a very nice hotel located directly across from the train station.  We arrived too early by train to check in but dropped our luggage at the hotel desk and headed out to check Geneva out.  Another clear blue-sky day but a little chilly being near the lake. We walked past the Brunswick Monument and then hopped on a water bus to take us across the lake to check out old town, watching the Geneva Water Fountain on the way by.  In Switzerland the hotels give you complementary city bus passes to use during your stay, which made it very nice to get around.  After arriving in Old Town, we checked out St. Pierre Cathedral and the L’horloge Fleurie and wandered by all the very expensive designer stores.  We also found the most fantastic grocery store called the Manor, I highly recommend it when in Geneva, it was almost better than the tourist sites.  Before officially checking into our hotel…wait for it..we stopped in an Irish Pub or maybe it was an English Pub; the Britannia Pub was located right next to the hotel.  We ended up having diner at the Viapiano restaurant again and this time it was very good.  The following morning and last day in Switzerland we had booked an excursion to Mount Blanc and Chamonix France about 2 hours out of Geneva through Viator again.  We had planned to do a cable car up to the summit to view Mount Blanc, but there was an issue with the weather and our guide said it would be a waste of money to take the cable car up because you wont see a thing, and refunded our money for the cable car.  So, we spent the day wondering around the cute little ski village of Chamonix France, it was raining off and on so we would pop in a store or restaurant until it passed.  We stopped in to Omeletterie La Poele for lunch and had my favorite French Onion soup as I was starting to catch a cold, it tasted great.  Returning to Geneva we figured one of us needed to try cheese fondue a staple in Switzerland.  Walking back towards the hotel after returning from Chamonix we stumbled upon Au Petit Chalet and topped of a whirlwind trip of 6 countries in 13 days (we took a train through Liechtenstein) with a great dinner.  What a great Bucket List trip, and I checked three things off of it; Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein Castle and the Matterhorn…next stop Europe Christmas Markets in London, Germany and France in December 2019.