On day eleven, we woke up still in Switzerland and still being able to see the Alps outside our hotel window. Agh! It was destined to be a super adventurous and scenic day, since Max and Marianne gladly agreed to be our tour guides and take us on their favorite hike. This meant taking a train up Mt. Rigi, and hiking a little bit to a beautiful view. And they packed a picnic! Sausage, cheese, bread, veggies, and little ginger cakes and “couer de france” treats. Best day ever. The train ride was one of the most surreal and scenic transportation experiences I’ve ever had; it was like every time the trees passed by, the mountains reappeared and were like “Hello! We are the Swiss Alps! Be amazed!” And I was. To make the experience even more scenic, cows were grazing the surrounding fields, and you could hear the Swiss cowbells in the distance.
After our picnic, we took the train back down and alighted on another surreal journey aboard the Stadt Luzern, a very classy boat. We explored the ship and took a nap as we headed from the train station to Lucerne. Max and Marianne took us shopping around downtown Lucerne, where we bought Swiss chocolate because…Swiss chocolate. It’s a big deal; the store had a bodyguard. How good is your chocolate that you need a bodyguard? Is chocolate theft is a common thing? Well, it was some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had, so thievery of the cocoa variation is not completely unfathomable. We ended the day at a restaurant by the lake called “Seehof” (“see” means lake in Swiss German), which was – you guessed it – super scenic. And behold! A group of musicians came by playing the traditional Swiss instrument, the Alphorn! There were even flag twirlers! One of the best unexpected, unplanned surprises of the trip.