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Alpine Trains of Europe

November 2001

 

This was another fun trip.  Because it was my first trip after

9/11 my friends were concerned about security. 

It was tight and effective.  An interesting spin off

of 9/11 was that the original tour group was to

be 48 travelers.  When we set out only 11 were present, 37 either

canceled or changed their plans.  That made for a small

and cozy group.  Five couples and me.  It was just the right size to

get to know your traveling companions.  It also gave us a whole bus

to get comfortable in and not be crowded.  Luckily, we were a

very compatible group.  November was a cool month to travel. 

It was both cold at times but not crowded with tourists.  We had

extremes such as visiting the French Rivera at Nice to

riding the Glacier Express in Switzerland.

 

 

 

We all met at Nice, after flying in from the USA.



 

This photo is taken on the morning of our second day.

 

 

                         On the board walk in Nice.



 

                      November in Nice,

                 a cold and sunny day!

 

The Rivera in November is cool and crisp.  No one was

swimming or near the water.  It was a sunny day and we

had a full day of travel adventures ahead of us.

 

The famous Nice Flower market.

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We were there early and people we just setting up.

 

On afternoon of the 2nd day we bussed to Monte Carlo



 

This is the royal Palace of Monaco. We caught the changing of the guard.

 

 



 

Impressive but not quite the scene at Buckingham Palace!

 

 

Monte Carlo harbor. A beautiful scene.



 

There were boats of all sizes and shapes in the harbor.

 

The world famous Casino at Monte Carlo.

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You had to pay admission to enter and gamble. I saved my money!

 

 

 

 

All a board for Geneva!



 

After 3 days in Nice we headed to Geneva and our first train ride.

After of three days sightseeing in Nice and Monte Carlo we

were at last going to ride a train.  We boarded this train at the

Nice railroad station and proceeded along the coast until

we got to Marseilles where we began to head north.  We

traveled through Lyon on our way to Geneva.  When we

arrived in Geneva, we were caught up in a rally of some

sort which made bus travel slow as it took us from the

station to our hotel.  The next morning we had a bus tour

of Geneva.  This chair caught my eye.  It was an interesting

piece of art.   Geneva is an interesting city. 

It was another cloudy and cool day!

Next we traveled by bus around Lake Geneva.  We had lunch at Evion

It was Armistice day and everything was shut down.  We did see the

Veteran's Parade.  The ride around the lake was very enjoyable. 

Great views of the lake.

 

Geneva, Switzerland



 

 

 

Chateau de Chillon

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We had a tour of Chateau de Chillon on the edge of Lake Geneva. 

A very interesting castle.  There was a doorway that opened

on the lake, this was the favorite way to dispose of people who

did not cooperate in olden times.  We ended the day at Lausanne

where we spent the next two days sightseeing.  It is an interesting

city.  The weather was cool and overcast which limited picture taking.

On the second day in Lausanne we bussed half way to Zermatt and

then we rode the train the rest of the way to Zermatt.  Our main

excursion was to ride the cog railway up to the observation station. 

It was a bust due to low clouds and snow.  It was cold and snowy! 

I am glad I brought layers of clothing.  My fleece jacket was a god sent.

 

Observation Station at top of Cog Railway.



 

Lots of snow and cold wind.

 

      The cog railway cars.

alpine18.jpg

 

  I was very glad that the cars were heated.

 

Observatory at top of Cog Railway



 

This facility is used all winter long.

 After our trip to Zermatt we returned to Lausanne.  The next day

we bussed to a nearby town to board the Glacier Express for

a day long excursion.  A most impressive train.  It operates partly

as a cog train and part as conventional railroad.  It was cloudy

and snowy most of the way.  It was hard to get good pictures. 

Since it was November the snow was beginning to accumulate

in the valleys and on the mountain tops.  The scenery was beautiful

in spite of the weather conditions.  After a several hours riding

the Glacier Express we arrived at a town outside Zurich.  We were

bussed to Zurich train station where we were to board the

overnight train to Vienna.  It was a sleeper train and were boarded

at 10:00 p.m.  During the evening, we had a long and cold wait

on the station  platform.  The train ride was very interesting since it

was dark out we did not see much.  About half way to Vienna we

experienced a failure of the light and heat in our sleeper car.  It made

for a cold night.  I did not get much sleep.  Upon arriving in Vienna

we visited Schonbrunn Palace, toured Vienna and finally got to

our hotel tired out.  That evening we returned to Schonbrunn Palace

for a traditional Viennese concert.  It was terrific!

Glacier Express train


 

     The train moved slowly along it route  from station to station.

   Schonbrunn Palace



 

This is a truly beautiful spot.

 

 

Ankor Bakery Clock.



 

This clock put on a performance at noon with moving scenery. Figures appeared and moved around

Watching for noon at the Ankor Bakery Clock.



 

Here is our group huddled up against the cold waiting for the clock to hit noon.

 

 

 

 November is a good time to travel but one must remember

it will be cold.  Other side to traveling at this time is that you

will not encounter many other tourists on the road.