The 6th day of our Insight Vacations Glorious Switzerland Tour began with a scenic train ride along the Glacial Express route departed St. Moritz at 09:00. It brought us across the Grison Alps with unforgettable scenes of snow-capped mountains, stone villages and rolling meadows. Our end destination is Lucerne, Switzerland.
Book your next Insight Vacation to Glorious Switzerland 2020 Summer Tour! Here’s an overview of the itinerary:
Day 1 – Geneva (Switzerland)
Day 2 – Geneva, Montreux, Chillon and Zermatt (Switzerland)
Day 3 – Zermatt (Switzerland)
Day 4 – Stresa and Baveno (Italy)
Day 5 – Grison Alps and St. Moritz (Switzerland)
Day 6 – Vaduz (Liechtenstein) and Lucerne (Switzerland)
Day 7 – Lucerne and Stanserhorn (Switzerland)
Our tour coordinator Sue bought us two boxes of Engadine Nut Tart from Hauster Restaurant back in St. Moritz so that we had something to munch on aboard the train! Sue’s the best!
We arrived at Chur (pronounced guttural “khoor”) two hours later, where we boarded our coach and drove into the alpine pasteurs of Heidiland. The story of Heidi by Swiss author Johanna Spyri was generally based in this area. We stopped at Maiendfeld (pronounced “mah-yen-feld”) for a snack.
We continued along the Upper Rhone Valley, passing fields of yellow flowers with the Swiss Alps as the backdrop.
15 minutes later, we arrived in Vaduz (pronounced “vah-doots”), the tiny capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein (pronounced “leech-tuhn-shtayn”), which is a country of its own. It’s the 4th smallest state in the world with a population of 50,000. I got my passport stamped for CHf 3.
Liechtenstein still has a prince as well as a parliament with policies aligned with Switzerland. Vaduz had a view of the hillside castle. Karl Liechtenstein was the first prince in the family of Liechtenstein when he was named the hereditary prince in 1608 for his aid in Archduke Mathias’ land dispute. Johann Adam Liechtenstein purchased Vaduz in 1712 which later became part of the principality of Liechtenstein.
We departed Liechtenstein and made our way to Lucerne, Switzerland alongside the dramatic Walensee and Lake Zurich. We arrived at city of Lucerne or Luzern (pronounced “loot-zern”), greeted by Lake Lucerne.
After checking in at the Renaissance Hotel, we headed out again at 16:30 to do the optional Secret Switzerland Tour to the Sonnenberg Bunker. In Switzerland, it’s a federal mandate for each permanent resident to have a bunker in their basement or to pay a fee for a space in the national bunkers. The Sonnenberg Bunker had originally been designed to hold 20,000 residents but has been reduced to 2,000 since there more than enough bunkers across Switzerland to cover 120% of the population. Each person is also responsible for 2 weeks worth of provisions. There were no showers and the toilets were buckets, so the waste had to be brought to the other end of the tunnels to be dug into the ground. There are still a lot of things to be considered to make the bunker more sustainable. They can take tips from the TV Series The 100.
We went on another optional tour: a cruise around Lake Lucerne. We got close enough to get a view of Stanserhorn, Mt. Pilatus, Brunnistock and Fulen in the distance with chalets on the lakeside hills in the foreground.
That evening, we had dinner at the Stadtkeller Restaurant in Lucerne Switzerland where we were served traditional Swiss cheese fondue, beef rösti and strawberry ice cream that resembles the Swiss flag! Stadtkeller is known for the Swiss Folk Show over dinner! The band started off playing Swiss classics like Edelweiss, as well as yodeling. It was amazing how the Swiss discovered the art of yodeling! They started to play different kinds of musical instruments using ordinary domestic items like brooms, cowbells, wine bottles, etc. At some point, they called up members of the audience to participate in yodeling and dancing. The evening entertainment ended with a long Congo line which I was pulled into!