Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lyon and Switzerland

Choosing our next stop after visiting Bev and Chris was a little difficult and in the end we decided on Lyon because we'd never been there before.
"Old Lyon" narrow streets and great views
Another medieval city, this one with roman origins and ruins to prove it, Lyon is at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers. It's old city center boasts hidden passages and fine dining. 
Across the Saone river.
We took advantage of both and roamed the area looking at the sidewalk cafes. The hidden passages are off the main street, at first they look like a doorway to an apartment or house between two shops. When you go inside there is a passageway that opens onto a small courtyard and when you look up you suddenly realize there are perhaps 20 apartments on 5 floors above you with a stone spiral staircase leading up to them. Very quaint and interesting.
Hidden Passages

Ancient courtyards

5 floors of apartments hidden away

Chocolate, candy and all kinds of treats

The Basilica looks down on the city
Another 250 miles to the east brought us into Switzerland (Where they charged us $50 in "Tolls" to enter their country!). Last time we were over in Europe on the motorcycle in 2006 we came to Interlaken because we'd attempted and failed to visit that town on our first ever trip to Europe in 1968.
Nice view from the campground in Interlaken
Obviously much had changed since the first trip but Interlaken (Which means between two lakes) is just THE picture postcard place its always been.

We found a nice campground right on one of the lakes in a place called Boningen and decided to stay 5 nights. We deserved to chill out and I had a desperate urge to break out my art supplies and paint.
Surrounded by the Swiss Alps
Painting went well and in a couple of days I knocked out 3 paintings and a sketch. 

We saw a paddle wheeler passing the campground and decided we wanted to take that. It was just a short walk from the campground to the pier and we were soon sailing the length of one of the lakes on the ship which was built in 1914.
103 years old ans still running strong.

A great day to sail the lake
We had tickets to ride the boat to Brein and to come back by train and bus to Boningen via Interlaken. What a gorgeous ride. The lake was an azure blue and the mountains towered over us as we sailed.
Swiss beauty
On arrival at Brein we saw they had a wood carving symposium along the shore of the lake. Before we could blink several hours had gone by and we jumped on the train back to find we were sat next to a lady from Orange County California who was on a "Tour of Europe". She was quite jealous when she found we'd been here for 2 months and had another 2 to go!

Neat looking woodcarvings.
The weather which has been amazing for the last 2 months took a turn for the worse with thunderstorms and rain, and we found out the roof on the RV leaked. I bought some caulk and tried to fix it but the rain revealed I hadn't. I'll have to wait for it to dry and try again.

In fact the RV has blotted it's copy book again. Driving to Interlaken the engine mysteriously quit. Before we could roll to a halt it fired up again, It did it once more, again firing up after a scary silence. We could only hope it kept going thru some of the long tunnels and luckily it did, only to die again in the campground. It appeared to be a loose battery connection. We're hoping that tightening the clamp bolt will fix it.

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