Kongo recently took a river cruise — The Enchanting Rhine — aboard AMAWaterways™ AMASonata from Amsterdam to Zurich. This trip included a 7-night water cruise with two day land excursions to both Lucerne and Zurich. If you’re thinking about a river cruise in the near future Kongo hopes you read on.
Of all the charming, enchanting medieval villages Kongo visited this month while in Europe, none match the little Swiss hamlet of Stein am Rhein. Located in northern Switzerland where the Rhine River empties from Lake Constance this village of 3,000 dates back to Roman times but it really got on the map all the way back in 1007.
The largest waterfall in Europe, the mighty cataract known as Rheinfall, was formed in the last great Ice Age about 15,000 years ago. It’s still going strong. This waterfall is 75 feet high and 450 feet wide. Millions of gallons of fresh water flow across the rocks every day.
Earlier this month Kongo visited Zürich, the largest city in Switzerland, lies at the edge of Lake Zurich, in the northern part of the country not far from the Alps. The Ganymede statue at the edge of the lake symbolizes man’s yearning to scale the heights of Olympus and reach beyond his normal state. As a city, Zurich seems to achieve this goal as it is a wonderful place. This is “downtown” Switzerland.
Kongo returned from Europe in time to accompany #1 Granddaughter (the cutie with the Kauai ball cap) on the year’s first field trip of fourth grade. Faithful readers will recall that last year the monkey could often be found chaperoning his two California granddaughters on field trips to the wilderness, zoos, and historic sites in the area. Now that he’s in FOURTH GRADE Kongo is stepping it up to a whole new level!
After three days in beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland the monkey heads to Zurich. But first he has to sail across Lake Lucerne to the village of Brunnen. From there, the group would meet their bus and travel on to Zurich.
After leaving the river boat behind in Basel, Kongo traveled on to central Switzerland to the city of Lucerne for three days. My, oh my! This beautiful city may be the monkey’s favorite on this trip. Charming, old world, beautiful, friendly, and exotic — all at the same time. Basel was interesting but a dreary drizzle and an unforgiving guide made Kongo glad this border town was in the rear view mirror. But Lucerne? Lucerne was a completely different thing altogether.