June 1: Lorrach to Lucerne, Switzerland

We left Lorrach about 8 AM and drove along the Rhein on the German side to Neuhausen and the Rhein Falls. The weather was overcast and foggy so the view of the Rhein was not so spectacular. At the Swiss frontier the official asked in English if we had anything to declare for customs - we didn't. This was the first time a frontier official had done anything except glance briefly at our passport and green card.

Even in the fog and overcast the Rhein Falls were magnificent. This was the first big sight for which I had planned and it was a considerable uplift after four days of miserable weather and car trouble. The tourist center there is nice and cliean and they speak English. There were quite a few English-speaking tourists there. We got a very good cup of coffee and some pastries there.

We watched a fish eagle hunting near the falls. We have seen a large number of halks or eagles by the road - hovering over what we suppose to be a mouse hole.

Leaving the Rhein Falls we headed for Zurich. We crossed the border back into Germany and I asked the customs official if I could change some money. He did not understand English. Then crossing back into Switzerland I asked the customs official "Konnen zie mir Marks zu Franc wechseln?" and he replied in perfect English.

We drove straight through Zurich and saw very little. It was still very foggy. We went on to Zurichsee and drove along it to Pfaffikon. It is built up all the way on both sides of the lake. It is probably very pretty in good weather but was not impressive in the fog.

Continuing on toward Lucerne, we stopped by Einsieldeln, and on the way saw our first open mountain country. We saw open green fields with yellow wildflowers a nd wooded hills. The fog prevented any view of the distant mountains. Through a few breaks in the clouds we caught a view of snow.

Einsieldeln was well worth the visit. The pilgrimmage church is unimpressive on the outside but magnificent on the inside. It is ornately carved and decorated with a large carved figure of Christ throned. The organ was very beautiful.

We went to the Panorama which is similar in construction to the Cyclorama in Atlanta. It depicts the crucifixion in a painting which stretches around 360 with foreground solid constructions which merge with the painting. Among the things included are calvary, the tomb, the city of Jerusalem, the court where Christ was sentenced, the Mount of Olives, and a large number of the people mentioned in the Bible as being present at the crucifixion. There was a description in English played on tape for our benefit.

We then went to Diorama, a new exhibit of about 180 of background painting and scenery supporting probably over a hundred carved wooden figures, realistically dressed and artistically carved, depicting the birth of Christ. There was an Engilsh explanation there also and the ticket taker spoke English.

Besides the man at the bank and one other lady at a card stand, the other people with whom I talked did not speak English. I was able to communicate easily enough for such simple tasks as buying postcards, etc.

From Einsieldeln we drove through lovely country to Schwyz and Brunnen. It was a bit sickening to just catch glimpses of that fabulous country through the fog and low-lying clouds. Nevertheless we got some nice views of Lake Lucerne and some snow covered peaks around the lake.

We took the lake road from Brunnen to Lucerne. The view was excellent even under such conditions and must be really fabulous in good weather. We reached the Camping Lido of Lucerne and made camp.

There were at least three other American camping units and several G.B.'s . We spent a long time talking and singing (they had a guitar) with an American couple from New York, Grant and Angela Loavenbruck, c/o Mr. James Santomauro, 1214 Pettibone, Scranton, PA.

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