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Lucerne, Switzerland


 Lucerne,  We spent a leisurely couple of days in Lucerne.  Our hotel was a short walk from the centre of town so, after a short tour of the highlights, people spent time on their own doing more sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing.  We arrived on the first really nice day of the spring!
Mt. Pilatus We had a cruise along the shores of Lake Lucerne to the small town of Alpnachstad where we took the Cog Train up to the top of Mt. Pilatus.  The cog train was built in 1869. It goes 4.6 Km and rises a vertical distance of 1629 metres for a grade of 48%.  From the top, you can see the Swiss, French and Austrian Alps.  We took two cable cars down, a 20 passenger one for the first half way and then switched to 4 person ones for the rest of the trip.

It had been snowing in Lucerne just a few days before we arrived and the Cog Train had just started running the day before we went on it.  They were still clearing the snow off the landing at the top station. Some of our group had never seen snow before and were thrilled to have a snowball fight.

Giswil We took a wagon ride through the village of Giswil near Lucerne and out to a dairy farm where we enjoyed wine with homemade bread and cheese.  The farmer had about 20 dairy cows.  One of our group was a dairy farmer from Australia who was milking about 340 cows so the two of them compared notes on farming in the two countries.

Because of the cost of land, the cows never graze on their own farmland.  They spend the winter in the barns and in spring, they move up into the mountains to graze on the public lands.  The farm pasture is used to grow the winter feed.  Because the spring had been so cold the cows were still in the barns.


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