A February 1998 trip
to Switzerland by Irene
Quote: Based on the religious Lent and Fasting with just a touch of pagan, Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fasnacht, whatever you call it, was a devilish display of dancing, parading, overundulging, and just plain fun. From sophisticated Lucerne to relaxed villages like Sattel, even though the celebration is the same, every city and village has to twek it.
Hotel | "Gasthaus Baren"
Our hosts Marlis and Alex Fach were the perfect warm hosts, granting us the run of the establisment even making our own coffe at any time of the day or night. Reception is in the cafe portion and you will be given a key for the side entrance if you return late, which is difficult, for the Baren houses a locals' cafe and a gourmet restuaurant with an award winning wine cellar.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 10, 2002
Cove at Yarmouth
183 Main Street
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 5, 2002
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2002
Attraction | "It starts at 5:00 A.M."
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2002
Fastnacht (Swiss Mardi Gras, Carnival)
So we went... into the street just as the red yellow clad drummer corp decended the hill followed by hordes of costumed villagers. Everyone marched and bounced to the beat closely following the drummers lead and they marched to the Gasthaus Baren. As the Corp lined up in front of the Baren the villagers all filed into the entrance still jumping to the beat of the drums. Only the people in costume were allowed in and they are the ones the innkeeper must serve the wine to. Inside the cafe the villagers removed their masks but only inside, this and other cafes, so they can drink the wine, compliments of the house. Can you drink wine with a mask on???
After a small pause for refreshment, we are off again as the drummers go outside and rumble off the singnal to march again. They tumbled into the street and were joined by the Sattel Fritchi Wagon complete with wood burning stove to warm the mulled wine. Little ragged old men wandered between us with cups of wine and a cutting board diplaying wurst and cheese, signs of plenty for the coming year after Lent.
Everyone must share a piece for good luck in the coming year. As the crowd grew along the streets so did number of jesters, Hudi(Nanny), gypsies and the old man and old woman, The Fritschi and the Fritschene. We bounced off down the hill with all on tow to travel from cafe and bar to cafe to Gasthaus and each time the the costumed villagers rushed inside to partake of the cafe offerings and just as wisely the drummers marched outside to announce we are on the road again.
Our ragtag intimate parade jumped and laughed and tossed candy and oranges to the children lining the street as the Fritschti Wagon puffed its way at the rear spreading cheer with mulled wine. Our procession disbanded only for the lunch feast served in all the restuarants and this time not for free and then it started all over again for those of us who could still walk and traveled the streets and cafes until the real party began in each cafe with umpa bands and the polka, and then we danced into the night.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 15, 2002
Squatting right on the water's edge of this little tourist trap was the rackrail-way station for the journey to the summit. We boarded what looked like regular train cars but had an extreme angle similar to the slope of the mountain. We piled in with lots of company and began to chug our way to the top.
First stop Rigi-Kaltbad, rest stop, shopping, snowmen, restaurants scattered down the slopes and rentals. We enjoyed local refreshment on the balcony of one of the local Pubs.
We reached the summit in around 20 minutes and the view was stupendous if not expensive, round trip 42F about 25 dollars, however well worth it. You can stay as long as you like the railway runs every 40 minutes and you can even go down the other side of the moutain to Arth-Goldau. Words are a bit useless somtimes when you try to describe something as awesome as the 360 degree vista from the Rigi-Kulm, but I did take lots of photographs. Nothing is as blue as the sky up there and the immense mountains only make you seem smaller.
From the calm grey blue waters of Lake Lucerne and rugged Mt. Pilatus to the south and rollmg hills around Lake Zurich to the north it is all guarded by a wooden cross perched on the summit about a 15 minute stroll from the station. When you go, take your time, sit on the deck of the Hotel Bellevue in lounge chairs and soak up the high altitude sun to take home with you and file the view for the rainy day blues. Your ticket will get you a ten percent discount in the cafe in the hotel.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2002