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Fresh Snow Fall

During my stay in Switzerland, I experienced several things I have always longed for: get lost in a Hall of Mirrors, ride a Cog Wheel Train to nearly the top of a 13,500+ foot peak, devour True Swiss Fondue, and slide in an Ice Cave.

The picture to the left was taken outside of a brief side trip to Appenzell to pick up some of the dirt from there for one of my dad's coworkers (a Mr. Appenzeller, to be exact). 

Lucerne was a beautiful, albeit expensive town. It had all the flavors of high class, right down to the swans in the city's waterways and lake front. 

Lucerne's classic covered walkways
Mark Twain said this was the saddest sculpture he has ever seen

A side trip to a side trip included one classic amusement that I have always longed to experience: a true and extensive Hall of Mirrors! It was everything I wish it to be; I had a field day there! In the pictures below, be sure to take second looks at the images and count the people. 

Six Swans a'Swimming
Water Fountain Multiplied My simple attempt at a self portrait
Ah, Heaven!

Of course, the whole reason for the trip to Switzerland was not for the Alps. It was quite simply for Fondue. And, Lucerne delivered! Wow! I had fondue for every meal -- from Raclette to a Classic Fondue, to a nutty, cheddar variety. At last, I could measure myself against the masters. 

Up and Up. Look for the waterfall.

Next came Jungfraujoch, and the wonderful cog wheel train that pulled itself up the mountain to 13,000+ feet. During the trip up I spent the time talking with the second-in-command for the UN deployment into Bosnia. Quite the interesting conversation; it left my appreciative of the rights I have by being American of not only as an American citizen, but as a world citizen. This fellow would do very much to participate in the US election with just a single vote. 

Jungfrau. If you look, a few pixels will show you the observatory.
Classic Swiss Chalet Classic Swiss St. Bernard (complete with brandy barrell)
Vertical Snow -- The Ultimate Wind
Me in an Ice Cave

Well, it is not exactly the Ice Cave I wanted (I have dreamed of them since I saw photos Ms. Tomlinson took of a natural ice cave), the man-made caves carved out of an active glacier sufficed more than enough.  

Country view on the return trip down
Sunlight Streaming
Here are my notes from that day, including the recipe for a true Swiss fondue:

Well, I am on the lake of Lucerne, eating on a boat with a full array of utensils, napkins, glassware and white table cloths, ready to dig into some FONDUE! Ah!

It's been a crummy day - overcast, fined by the polizei for $75, forced to exchange $100 to avoid another fine and pay another ~$35 for a road pass for just a few hours. Ah the frustration. Add to that, getting to Lucerne and not finding a room, and staying at a hostel like spot. (Which actually was a good thing in the end).

But I am now in a quiet restaurant, and the fondue has arrived!

ah! The cheese is the difference. Here is the preparation:

Grill 2 cloves of garlic in an empty skillet. Add two tablespoons of white wine, cook down till it is gone and brown. Then add the rest of the wine.

Then add the chopped onions and mushrooms (something like Cremini if I remember correctly). Then the Gruyere/Emmantaler/Starch mixture. Stir and cook.

Then spice with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and paprika. She added lemon juice to the neighbor's fondue at this point.

Just before serving, she poured in a very healthy dose of Kirsch (2.5 shots). It was clear.

The pot sat on a circular plate that helped distribute the heat.

The mushrooms were nice, but the cheese was the difference - much more tangy, almost fruitful. The browning of the garlic made a nice color.

I then spent the rest of the night writing about "Rampant Emotional Resonance"...

(c) Geoffrey Peters,, 2002. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
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