Beautiful Biosphere in Entlebuch

Based on what I’ve experienced these past few days, there’s no question Switzerland is beautiful. However, today we got to experience a gorgeous and peaceful piece of paradise – The UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. img_9408They were awarded this status by the UN in 2001. The region contains the largest and most diverse moor landscapes in Switzerland and is home to a significant variety of flora and fauna. About 17,000 people live in the eight municipalities that make up the Biosphere. A walk through the biosphere allows visitors to get a first hand natural look at a large scale effort of sustainability. It won the 2008 “To Do!” Award for socially responsible tourism as the model region for sustainable living and working. moorAlong the peaceful hike, we had the opportunity to walk in some moor, a cool mud which made our feet feel wonderful afterwards. In the Biosphere, there marked hiking trails to get you even closer to nature.

cowsWe also spent time with some adorable cows. They came right up to us and as we started walking away, they followed right behind with their cowbells clanking away. It was really sweet. The cows weren’t the only friendly ones. In the sheep farm, the sheep were very anxious to come say hi and slober all over your hand if you let it.  The happiness and comfort of the animals in Switzerland is something paramount, and local residents claim they can firmly tell the difference between eating all natural, free-ranging grass fed animals of their home country than when it is imported from elsewhere…. Speaking of food,  lunch was at a fabulous restaurant in town, Restaurant Bahnhofli, which was a suprising treat just adjacent to the Entlebuch train station.

After the biosphere, we headed out to Beckenried by train and bus and returned by boat to see a typical Swiss wrestling match, or “Schwingen,” the Swiss National sport.  wrestlingThere’s nothing better than watching sweaty guys tackle each other in saw dust. The crowd was a show in itself consisting of everyone from young kids enjoying ice cream to elders in their wheelchairs. There were yodelers, drunk guys screaming sounds I’ve never heard at any game in the states, and food vendors of all kinds selling all kinds of sausage and Bratkase, a piece of toast smothered with inches of roclette cheese. Of course we had to try one of these and it was phenomenal!

Dinner was at Hotel des Balances, and the atmosphere was classy with a gorgeous setting overlooking the water. You can opt for indoor or outdoor seating. The food was great and the chocolate cake with sparklers they surprised me with for my birthday was perfectly delicious!birthday-cake

After dinner, we walked around Lucerne to find a cool bar. Some of the people in the group had ducked into a bar next to our hotel and suggested I go in and check it out. I did and made a comment that all these guys and even a woman were giving me the once over. They all laughed because I didn’t realize it was bar for guys looking for a little action in the brothel behind it. I later found out prostitution is legal in Switzerland. Of course once I found that out, I had to go back in for another look! Details will be discussed on “After Hours!”

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Loving Lucerne

marketWhat a great few days it’s been. I will catch up on yesterday’s events, which consisted of touring the beautiful city of Murten and hiking through the wine path of one of Switzerland’s smallest vineyards, “Mount Vully” and tasting some of the local wines,  but I was too tired and recovering from my chocolate and cheese binge the day before to write anything last night. Today we took a one and a half hour train ride from Fribourg to Lucerne and arrived around 9:30 when the fruit and vegetable and flea markets were in full swing. I love markets, and even though Lucerne is known as the number one tourist destination in Switzerland, and the market was busy, it did not take away from the beauty of the city. I loved the fact that there were so many people from all around the world in one place. The markets took place on each side of the Reusse River and there were locals selling breads, fresh organic fruit, cheeses, meats, a variety of antiques and anything else they may have pulled out of their attic today! The chapel bridge is a true landmark in the city and has original paintings from centuries ago hanging throughout. Unfortunately, there used to be close to 150 of them detailing the history of Lucerne, but a fire in the early 1990s took out a good majority of them. However, there are still about a third of the original artworks remaining, which are quite unique and striking to find gracing a bridge.


After buying some strawberries, kiwis, and local bread, we headed to the transportation museum. This is a must see for anyone coming to Lucern, especially if you have children. You’ll learn the history and see actual trains and planes from back in the day. They have the first train ever built in Switzerland on display from 1847. A new section of the museum is opening in June, dedicated to automobiles of the past, present and future. A journey through this very well designed museum forces its visitors to recognize how the country of Switzerland has so masterfully focused on the importance of sustainability for more than a century in nearly every facet of life.  A close examination every day activities demonstrates how dedication and effort in caring for their own “green” contributions has truly goes a long way. 


Last night while dining at the most exquisite restaurant on the water, Relais-Chateau Le Vieux-Manoir, I felt a sore throat coming on and I hate getting sick while traveling, but it tends to happen sometimes from the combination of flying and not sleeping much. The food was much too delicious to let it get to me, but today as expected, I woke up with a cold and headache, so our fearless leader recommended some Kirsch. She said it is used in Switzerland to kill germs, so of course I took her advice, and tonight with dinner, I had this clear, colorless cherry flavored fruit brandy made from double distillation of morellos, a dark-colored cultivar of sour cherry….

drink3That’s my way of telling you that I am headed to bed for now and I promise more stories and great pictures over the next few days! Gute Nacht!