Monday, March 17, 2008

Swiss Story 3: Everything Old Is Still Old

The thing about going from the U.S. in general and Vegas in particular to a place as ancient as central Europe is that the perspective of history is totally skewed. This...


...is 42 years old and we think of it as aged. But here, this...

...was first constructed in some form 1,250 years ago. Sure, the Hofkirche in Luzern was burned down in 1633 and rebuilt, but that's still some 150 years before the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. And the guidebook boasts of the 80-rank organ from 1650 as one of Switzerland's finest.

That said, that leaves an awful lot of time for someone to go and put something like this right in front of the 1,250-year-old church, perhaps to be boasted about in future guidebooks as Switzerland's least fine organ...


At least Caesars got Bellagio and Mirage as neighbors. OK, and Bill's Gambling Hall and Whatever, Dude.

This isn't the only unfortunate juxtaposition we noticed. At Luzern's train station is this beautiful ancient arch...


...and they go and put this monstrosity up right next to it in the same square about a decade ago...


Doesn't really matter, though, when everywhere you look is this...


After Luzern, which had some really cute little shops along cobblestone corridors most of old Europe does, we drove to the southwest town of Fribourg to stay at a reasonably inexpensive Swiss version of the EconoLodge and explore the French region of Switzerland. On the way, it warmed Miles' heart to find something resembling a U.S. highway rest stop, less the Bob Evans or Denny's...

He was so happy, Miles finally consented to a photo for the blog, this time of our Opel Meriva...


...And he vows he will do his first-ever blog post this week on the fascinating car world of Switzerland! How kind of him to grace us with his presence, huh?

But for now, he just wants to know who he has to kill around here to get a little ice in his drink. What do the Swiss have against ice? Anyone?

3 comments:

Stuart (Moscow) said...

On my first trip to the US I wanted to know why I had no drink with my ice! In the UK when you ask for ice in your drink you at least get a drink - albeit with a couple of ice cubes floating on top for show. In the US you get a cup of ice into which they manage to squeeze just enough drink for one thirst quenching gulp. If you don't drink it quickly you soon get a glass of cold water with just a hint of your drink flavour (sorry - flavor) left in it. I've just returned from a quick trip to Geneva - I don't know whether this is on your itinerary but its a great city - in fact the whole of Switzerland is one the most beautiful places in the world (to be a little bored in........). Remember to stock up on the giant bars of Toblerone - and eat lots of fondue.

ChrisR said...

Did you park or abandon that car :)

cinenaut said...

Oh joy, an Opel! Wonder what name it'll get when it comes to the U.S. as a rebadged Saturn?

Miles, could you express your je ne sais quois with the car a bit more? I'm not sure it's coming across in the pic ;)

-david in seattle