Seelisberg One Day Excursion

Flüelen Harbour Facing the Lake Lucerne

On a Sunday last month, we had a bus excursion to Seelisberg, Switzerland with a bus travel group. The weather was very nice, so I got some good snapshots to share.

All photos can be clicked to enlarge. Full resolution: 2048 px at long side. 

Seelisberg lies at a tipping point of the Lake Lucerne. Lake Lucerne locates at the heart of Switzerland, is the 5th biggest lake of Switzerland. It is surrounded with mountains and has a very irregular shape. Four Swiss cantons are along the Lake Lucerne.  

After about 4 hours (with a breadfast break at Hegau) of bus ride, the bus stopped at small town called Flüelen, where the Reuss River enters the lake. Tourist boats start and end their water trip at Flüelen. Soon after arrival, a boat adorned with the sign of Canton of Uri came on time and it was our turn to have a lake tour.
A tourist boat came to Flüelen.

Flüelen seen from the Lake Lucerne

There are quite a few small mountain towns along the lake. There are usually lovely meadows at the lower part of the mountains, great places for domestic animals and for people's leisure time. Here is such a town in the background, seen from the boat:
Mountain towns along the Lake Lucerne

The boat stopped at various towns. Here is a collage of several small stops. One of the small towns is Rütli, where the first four initial cantons signed the independence oath on August 1st, 1291.
Several stops during the boat tour

The water of the lake is crystal clean and the turquoise colour is simply amazing. My son was always excited and shouted happily when the boat stopped and he could saw a lot of white waves along the boat body:  
Beautiful colour of the clean water
Interestingly, at the stops, we found that the staff polling steps for tourists when the boat docked were mostly women:
tough Swiss women

Such a fresh, sunny and mild day was a strong call for water sport:
Water Sport 1
Water Sport 2
Water Sport 3

As a great place for leisure, there are many hotels in the Lake Lucerne area. Here is a one:

a hotel seen from the lake

Other picturesque scenery from the lake:
another town along the lake

peaceful water
After about one hour of the boat tour, we got off at the town called Treib, where people could ride the funicular Treib-Seelisberg railway up to the top of the Seelisberg.  Being mountainous, Switzerland is famous for their sturdy mountain railways. The first time I experienced Swiss mountain railway was in Hong Kong,  whose tram up to the Victoria Peek was Swiss made. But that was a short ride. Here in Treib, the ride was a lot longer and the tourists certainly had a deeper impression:
Treib-Seelisberg funicular railway

The railway station up at the Seelisberg:
the railway station up at the Seelisberg

After the ride, we went to a restaurant with a panoramic view of the east tipping point of the Lake Lucerne. We had a very good lunch in the restaurant - good in sense of the food quality.

There was an interesting sheet for each guest in the restuarant, it was about the local information written in local German, which is very different from Hochdeutsch (standard German) and I could hardly understand:
the local German language

There were about 40 people in the group, but only two waitresses were serving. After a short while, one waitress went away and there were only one. Every thing ran so incredibly slowly. My son wanted an ice cream after the main dish while the single waitress was collecting the bill. She asked us to wait. Small children have little patience. After about 20 minutes of waiting, he started to ran out of temper. I knew the girl was busy, so I stood up, walked around, looking for the ice cream menu. The girl saw me and complained loudly: "I've explained that I am busy collecting money now, but I have only two hands!" But really, I looked for the ice cream menu myself not meaning to offend her, I was just trying very hard to keep my 4-year son calm and happy, I actually wanted to help her. Why she turned such an offended face to me? We have waited and waited, after all. To be honest, if she was highly professional and well experienced, she should have known how a usual 4-year old would behave after a long waiting. She could have taken 30 seconds to bring us the ice cream menu, and that may keep the child happy and quiet for another 10 minutes.  I heard that salary in Switzerland is higher than other European countries. Maybe because of this, there are also far fewer waiters and waitresses in Swiss restaurants. So, be prepared and be patient when you visit restaurants in Switzerland.

Finally my son got the ice cream and the it was a wonderful world again. After the lunch we had a small walk up in the village. It was a Sunday so there wasn't much happening in the streets. We went into a church, and took some photos:
a church on Seelisberg
organ in the church

Back from the walk, our bus was already waiting for us at the railway station on Seelisberg. We had a great time in the lake area and drove happily back to Germany.

The reason we chose to travel with a bus group is that, I do not like driving myself, and the price of this one day excursion is very attractive: bus + boat + funicular railway + lunch = 71 euro per adult. Child under 6 is free. Really good deal and the bus drivers were very friendly. I can only recommend it. Everyone on the bus was amazed by my son, who was always well tempered,  friendly talkative to the travel mates, and did not make a single din during the eight hours of the driving. An old lady on the bus was so fond of him, gave him a jar of M&M chocolate as praise. When he felt really bored on the bus, he simply hugged me and kissed a carton figure printed on my t-shirt. He also enjoyed everything else during the trip: the lake, the mountain, and the breeze.

Finally, let me close this entry with the view of the Lake Lucerne from the Seelisberg:
Lake Lucerne from Seelisberg 1
Lake Lucerne from Seelisberg 2

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