Sunday, August 7, 2016

[Sunday in Switzerland] Swiss National Day and a day trip to Luzern

This was a busy week!  Last Monday, August 1, was Swiss National Day.  It was a holiday from work, so we slept in.

Or so we thought!

There was a 26 gun salute at 7:15 AM, one shot for each of the Swiss cantons.  That's one way to start the day.

We had a slow breakfast then wandered down to see the parade.  It was short and sedate by Fourth of July parades, but it had groups in traditional Swiss dress and, I kid you not, a group of marching Alphorn players.  If you haven't seen an Alphorn in person, they are quite large.  To play in a marching band, they stopped periodically and set the horns down and played a few bars before picking them back up and hoisting them over their shoulders.  It was quite a sight to see.

A truly terrible picture of the marching Alphorn players.  Selfie group in the left of the photo.
The parade was followed by a reading of the 1291 Proclamation.  Since it was in German, we wandered around the food and beer stalls from various nearby cantons.  We had some tasty treats and a beer that even Untappd didn't know about.  We also had a cheese, radish, and scallion bread that I thought was familiar.  Willie reminded me that we've had it at the Hoffbrauhaus in Pittsburgh.  I can't find the name of it, but I'll be sure to have it when I'm there again and compare. :)

In order to encourage recycling, there was a 2 CHF deposit on the beer bottle.  I took it and plastic token back to where I bought the beer to get the 2 CHF back.

We did not try "national dish" of Cervelats on Swiss National Day, but we've had them before.  They're like chubby hot dogs.  Pretty good, but not my favorite Swiss sausage.  We also did not try yodeling or try learning the Alphorn as suggested by an article on Swiss National Day for expats.

Then on Saturday, we wanted to break our routine and go to another city in Switzerland.  So we took a train for a whole hour (!) to Luzern.  We wandered around, saw some monuments, old churches, and took in the sights.  We didn't go to any museums because it was a beautiful day and we wanted to get a feel for the city.  Next time, for sure.

Pictures of Luzern were too many to put here, so I made an album of Luzern pictures.

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