|Neil and Denise in Zurich...|
|August 21, 2004
Rene and Sonja lived in the Notariat apartment building in the village of Bassersdorf, near the Zurich airport. After we napped, they drove us to nearby Wangen to see the construction of their new home with its beautiful view. After returning to Bassersdorf, Neil and Rene took a bicycle ride to Kloten and back. The ancient fountains with delicious drinking water flowed everywhere. Meanwhile, Denise enjoyed time with Sonja and the children. Dillon and Shannon loved Denise's attention, and Denise did some babysitting to earn our keep.
|August 22, 2004
Zurich was founded by conquering Romans around the time of Christ. On Sunday we walked through the beautiful streets of this ancient city. The downtown area is stately and prosperous, with electric trams efficiently moving people about. We rode a tram to the home of Dan and Sibylle, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on their rooftop patio. Sibylle is Denise's older sister, and a wonderful cook. The view of the Lake of Zurich from the rooftop was spectacular. Denise's parents arrived, and we gathered indoors for a family reunion.
|August 23, 2004
On Monday, we rode north to see the spectacular Rheinfall, a 60 foot drop in the Rhein River on the German border. Denise's parents, Klaus and Jane, were kind enough to drive us. A medieval village called Stein am Rhein consisted of perfectly preserved buildings from 750 years ago. The construction was of stone and timber, and many of the buildings had storylines painted on them. Then we drove south to a castle in Rapperswil, on the north shore of the Lake of Zurich, where we got a good view of mountains to the south. At the Enge train station in Zurich, we changed into our rollerblades to join 7000 skaters on a 12 mile route.
|August 24, 2004
Tuesday we hung out in Zurich again. We had a great lunch at the Zeughauskeller, an old armory turned restaurant. We went to the National Museum. And we explored the west side of the Limmit River, where we saw Roman ruins, including public baths near the river. We rode free bicycles (advertising Esprit). We visited an old observatory turned restaurant, from where we had a good view of the area called Niederdorf, where the younger generation hangs out at night. We didn't dare go any closer.
|August 25, 2004
Wednesday we rode a train to Lucerne. It is a quaint old village on Lake Vierwaldstaettersee . The rafters holding the roof on the covered bridge have story boards painted on them. We took a local train and a funicular to the top of Pilatus. The steep 7,000 foot climb included many tunnels along the way. Once we got to the top, it was cold but spectacular. We walked around the peak and enjoyed the view in every direction. This lonely chapel epitomized the mountainous regions of Switzerland.
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