Switzerland

Switzerland01.JPG (76147 bytes) My first stop in Switzerland was Lausanne which is located right on Lake Geneva.  It is a beautiful city in the French speaking region of S. Switzerland. Switzerland04.JPG (76946 bytes) On the outskirts of Lausanne is the Lauvaux Wine Country.   I went driving into these hills the first full day in Swiss.  The setting overlooking Lake Geneva was beautiful.
Switzerland03.JPG (70126 bytes) Like most cities I have visited in Europe thus far, there is a beautiful cathedral in Lausanne.  I will say that this one is more impressive from the outside than the inside. Switzerland02.JPG (77634 bytes) Lausanne is likely most famous because it is the headquarters for the IOC.  Across from Lake Geneva sits the International Olympic Park and Museum.  From this torch the Olympic torch is lit.
Switzerland05.JPG (73698 bytes) It was wonderful to see a friendly face in Switzerland.   My friend Tina was my host and travel companion around Swiss.  Here is my first of several Cheese Fondue meals.  YUMMY! Switzerland06.JPG (75717 bytes) Switzerland is known for its banks so here is a picture of the Swiss National Bank in the capital city of Bern. 
Switzerland07.JPG (77372 bytes) The cheese here is delicious.  Here we are choosing our cheese for lunch at the Bern Market.  I am beginning to think that this trip should be called “Eating and Playing My Way Across Europe.” Switzerland09.JPG (80216 bytes) Words do not do justice to the majestic beauty of the Swiss Alps.   I will try not to bore you with too many pictures of the beauty.  Here is one of my first pictures of the Alps.
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How often do they spell Berns with an E instead of a U?   So I could not help but stop and add an S to Bern and make myself at home in this beautiful city.

Switzerland10.JPG (60436 bytes) Having a convertible to drive through the Alps with was a total treat.  Thank you Tina.   Here I am in front of the car as the sun is getting ready to set.
Switzerland11.JPG (67586 bytes) Wow!!!  Enjoy the beauty of this site with the snow covered peaks in the distance behind the green hills above Grindewald where I stayed for 2 days & 1 night. Switzerland12.JPG (88790 bytes) Not a bad view to wake up to in the morning.  I encourage everyone to visit Grindewald at some point.   It is just a short distance from Interlaken, but without all the tourists. 
Switzerland13.JPG (116027 bytes) Uncle Ray you would have been proud.  Here I am preparing with my co-pilot, Greg, to go hang gliding amidst the Swiss Alps over Lake Brienzer. Hang Gliding23.JPG (1045527 bytes) 3, 2, 1…It is time for take off.  What a rush to sit in the green of the Swiss Alps and to look down upon the lake as we prepare to fly!
Switzerland15.JPG (64058 bytes) This could become very addicting!  If it weren’t so expensive, I would love to do this on a regular basis.   However, I doubt there are too many settings that are as spectacular! Switzerland16.JPG (77191 bytes) I was just a little bit happy after we had landed.  I just wish the flight had not gone so fast.  More pictures will be coming as soon as I get the regular roll of film developed….
Photo5.jpg (2137041 bytes) Here I am gliding over the lake at Interlaken with my instructor.  This is right before we began a series of loops and spins.  Awesome! Photo12.jpg (1762165 bytes) I hope you get the picture how much fun I am having.  Switzerland is beautiful from the air!:)
PICT0062.JPG (70872 bytes) So how does one celebrate a day of hang gliding.  Swiss Cheese, Cheese Quiche & Raspberries and Cream for dessert.  My stomach & I love the food in Europe!J Switzerland17.JPG (69484 bytes) Here is the Gruyeres Castle.  Gruyeres is of course the maker of some wonderful Swiss Cheese. 
Switzerland19.JPG (73058 bytes) Unfortunately I missed the Montreux Jazz Festival by a couple months.   I guess I can’t be everywhere at once.   But this is the main hotel in Montreux along Lake Geneva where the festival takes place. Switzerland20.JPG (69895 bytes) On the outskirts of Montreux is this castle which sits right on the water.  It is called Chateau Chillon.  I did not go inside, but from the outside it was quite impressive.
Switzerland21.JPG (74720 bytes) The Swiss Alps as seen from the resort town of Crans-Montana.   Tina had some good friends with a chalet in Crans-Montana.  This is the view from their balcony.  Wow! Switzerland22.JPG (80621 bytes) We had planned to just pass through Crans-Montana on the way to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn, but we ended up staying the night.  Here is the Matterhorn Range at sunset.
Switzerland23.JPG (72075 bytes) I truly have had unbelievable food in Switzerland.  Here are David, Tina & Angie as we prepare to have a typical Swiss dish called Raclette.  Oh, I love all the cheese here! Switzerland24.JPG (71814 bytes) When skydiving and bungee jumping fell through for the day in Crans-Montana, I was left with no other option but playing golf at the finest golf course in Switzerland Crans sur-Sierre GC.
Switzerland26.JPG (68765 bytes) St. Andrews & Pine Valley were spectacular bar none, but it is hard to imagine there is a more beautiful setting for golf than at this course which hosts the European Masters every Sept. Switzerland28.JPG (63977 bytes) For once it was nice to play an upper echelon course this summer and to play well.  Finally, I don’t have to write that the scenery was nice despite playing bad!  However, the scenery was spectacular.
PICT0074.JPG (72078 bytes) My final day in Switzerland made me feel like I was back in Santa Barbara as Tina, David and I went roller blading along Lake Geneva.  Here we are taking a short break on the shore after riding several kilometers. PICT0073.JPG (69435 bytes) Anyone want to join?  It was great fun to be back roller blading again!  Switzerland included hiking, hang gliding, golfing, roller blading and so much more fun activity. 
Switzerland25.JPG (74983 bytes) Here is the foursome I played with.  3 older ladies who hardly spoke English and myself.  A very interesting round.  Switzerland27.JPG (78132 bytes) Tina also was a trooper as she walked the course despite not being a golfer.  Not only was she a trooper on the course, but a great tour guide and friend for my 5 days in Swiss.  Thank you very much Tina!!!

 

 

Off to Barcelona and then sailing off the coast of Spain!