Time for another second look on the second. This post was titled "The splendor of Switzerland!" and originally posted on 8/27/07. This was the year our family went on a huge European trip, visiting 10 countries in 24 days. These are some of my favorite posts and I hope to share a few more of them. Considering we received yet another 6+ inches of snow between yesterday and last night, I enjoyed looking back through these vacations posts. Thank you Bleubeard and Elizabeth for hosting.
Ah, Switzerland, a place that was easy to fall in love with!
Our first stop was a visit to the Lion Monument in Lucerne. It honors fallen Swiss Guard soldiers who were protecting King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their children from angry mobs trying to storm the palace. Unfortunately, hundreds of soldiers were killed, and the royals had already left the palace. Notice the Swiss Cross on the shield by the lion's head. It is at the same time a beautiful and heart-wrenching tribute.
We also passed near the town which traditionally fills the ranks of the Swiss Guard. Everywhere we turned there was so much to learn. For example, there were several factions of Swiss Guard-bodyguards, mercenary,palace guards, etc., all known for their discipline and fierce loyalty to their employers. Only the Papal Swiss Guard remains today. Later on in the trip, we did see two in their red,gold & blue striped traditional uniforms at the Vatican.
En route to our hotel, we had a quick stop at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. If I remember correctly, these are the largest falls in Europe. They are still dwarfed by Niagara Falls in upstate New York!
On to Engleberg, a beautiful ski resort town. It is impossible to express how beautiful it was to walk out onto our terrace at our hotel and have the massive snow covered mountains right there! Actually, they were many miles away, but their size made them appear close. If you looked in one direction, you could see a cog railway going up the mountain. You can just see the red car in the 4th photo. I assume this was to allow people to get to homes in the foothills. Another direction gave stunning views of the mountains and ski lifts--not operating in July, of course! I have to mention that on the way there, we passed through towns where every house had window boxes overflowing with flowers--mostly geraniums which they say repel the mosquitoes that are common in this area.
Thanks for visiting today! It is always fun to reminisce and look back on favorite places and projects.