This weekend, we went to Switzerland for the first time (first for me, anyway), to visit my sister and her partner, who is a native of Lucerne, about a one hour trainride from Zürich. They have lived mostly in Phoenix since they met a few years ago, and then travelled much in the US, New Zeeland, and Australia, before returning to Lucerne this summer and deciding to settle there.
On a clear day, you can see it from my sister´s flat, but it had been densly cloudy both Friday and Saturday, and it was pretty hard to imagine what the mountains looked like above the grey lid of clouds.
snowshoes, we saw a few of those from the cable car on our way up. You can also go up from the other side of the mountain, on the world´s steepest cogwheel railway, but that isn´t open in winter. The recommended route, in summer, is to take a boat from Lucerne to the railway station, go up the mountain, have lunch there, to down with the cableway, and then catch the bus to town. They call it "the golden route" or something like that.
The summit has a definite Blofeldt-vibe to it. There is a tunnel that goes all around the peak and allows you to get a view shot in every direction, and the wind through that tunnel is unbelievable!
|See that little church in the lower left corner?|
|An act of faith, building a church there, I would think.|
I am going to try make their excellent, not-so-sweet plum cake, which they often have for lunch, I understand. I wouldn´t mind having it for dinner...
But, back to the birds: you can´t miss them; there are lots of them, and the only type of bird I could see up there. It was pretty cold (not terribly, but around minus 5 or 10 degrees, perhaps) and the winds were strong; the birds seem to surf, rather than fly. It is not allowed to feed them, but naturally, the tourist pay no attention. I am not a birdfeeder myself, but I confess, it´s kinda cool to photograph people with birds on their heads. Not sure I would like them there myself...
They are not the same kind of chough you see in Cornwall. These are Alpine Choughs, slightly smaller, with a yellow bill instead of a red one. They are very photogenic, and I shot so many frames that I filled up my memory card (for the first time!) and had to do some quick editing of pictures from the day before to even get a shot of the fabulous view. Unfortunately, I had not brought the best lens for bird photography, but rather the wide-angle lens suited for city- and grand view photography. I think I did pretty well, considering.
|My sister and I photographing each other.|
|The hotel & restaurant.|