Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Paris - Lucerne Day 6

7:10 departure time from Paris this morning. We are going to see a lot of French countryside today on the way to Switzerland. Alan and I have high hopes of catching up on some sleep. We only seem to be getting 4-5 hours each night, but as Alan said we came to Europe to see Europe... not sleep.

We passed Chateau Neuf on our drive. This Chateau was owned by a Baron who controlled the forest and areas around his chateau. 

We are traveling through the Burgundy region of France. We are just outside the town of Bern. A great deal of French wine is produced in this region. Below are some of the vineyards.

We stopped briefly for lunch in Paris and we are back on the road to Switzerland. Switzerland has four main languages Romanesque (form Of Latin), Italian, German, and French. 

Interesting Fact: States are called kantons in Switzerland. Most governmental matters are determined by each kanton. Immigration is voted by the city. If you want to move to Switzerland, then hopefully the town likes you enough to approve your citizenship. You also have to live there for 10 years, speak two of the four languages, and be an active member of society. Marriage does not grant citizenship in Switzerland. They do have many immigrant workers.

Swiss banks have a law that after 99 years any items left in the vaults become the property of the bank. This is going to be an interesting development in a few years. Many WWII valuables were housed in vaults prior and during the war. The banks will not release these items without the appropriate documentation. Many Jews did not survive the war or if they did they no longer had documentation. It will be interesting to see how the Swiss banks deal with this issue.

We crossed the border into Switzerland. We stopped to see the Lion carving in Lucern. This carving was to honor the 700 French soldiers who died in one of the French Revolutions.

Interesting Fact: the man who carved the monument was not paid very much and it is said he played a joke. If you look at the outline of the carved area it resembles a pig. The snout and ear start at the bottom left.

We shopped in town and then went to the hotel. The shopping was a lot of fun. We are headed up the Swiss Alps tomorrow. The mountain in the distance is Mount Pilatas. We are going up the mountain tomorrow.

We took a stroll through Lucern and then back to the hotel for dinner. The picture is dark, but the second picture is the 800 year old bridge across Lake Lucern.

Travel Day by Coach

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