On returning from our Glacier Express experience Steve had planned on cooking lamb on the BBQ. He hadn’t factored in that it would snow while we were away so off he went into the cold to cook our dinner : )
Next up on the agenda was building a snowman. I have only ever built one snowman in my life and that was back at the end of 1996 in Germany with my step sister Carey. I don’t remember the exact technique we used back then but it probably wasn’t up to Swiss standards : ) Karin showed us the Swiss technique of starting with a ball and then rolling it through the snow compacting it as you go. The ball gets bigger and bigger. We ended up with three rather large balls so decided our snowman was going to be tall. Karin made a smaller ball for the head. We then assembled the 4 balls and dressed the snowman appropriately. The hat we put on him was from Migros so we named him Mr Mi. By this stage Steve was inside with Elvis who had been documenting the building of Mr Mi on his camera. The boys thought Mr Mi was on a slight lean so we had to do some remedial work to make sure he was standing tall.
If you are dressed appropriately it is amazing how long you can stay out in the snow. After building Mr Mi, Karin & I went snow shoeing – another first for me. Karin said there probably wasn’t quite enough snow to make it really fun but it was still enjoyable.
That evening Karin & Elvis had a surprise planned for us in Lucerne. By this stage it was snowing again so we had to take it slowly in the car. We had a wander around Lucerne before going for some dinner. Lucerne is a pretty place anyway but with the snow and the lights it was quite magical. The surprise that they had planned was going to see Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides in the Culture and Congress Centre. What made this special was that the movie was accompanied by The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra which is a 90 piece orchestra and a choir. You hear the actors speaking but all the music and singing is performed by the orchestra and the choir. The movie was in English with German subtitles. It was a unique experience and to start with you didn’t know where to look. The live music and singing were fantastic.
The Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne (or KKL for Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern) is a multi-functional building with a concert hall that is esteemed for its high-profile acoustics. It was built according to the plans of the architect Jean Nouvel and was inaugurated in 1998 with a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
We woke up on the 29th to find Mr Mi doing the limbo – we couldn’t believe that he was actually still standing. Karin & I went for our morning walk and when we came back Mr Mi was really getting into Limbo mode. We decided he needed some remedial work – in fact, we had to amputate.
After breakfast we went to the Landerpark which is a shopping centre. While we were there it started snowing quite heavily. We were supposed to be driving to Karin’s brother’s place about an hour and a half away for dinner.We decided it would be safer to take the train – we had to change trains a few times so the journey took about two and a half hours but it was definitely the safer option. We walked from the train station to Michael & Aileen’s apartment along the river bank in the snow – it was a bit chilly but nice to be at one with nature. Aileen prepared Arrabbiata sauce and pasta for dinner which was perfect. We sat in their winter garden which is like a conservatory – luckily they had heating : ) It was very cool looking out at the snow covered lawn and when I say covered I mean by about half a metre of snow. As the evening progressed the snow covering continued to grow. Michael drove us to the train station at the end of the evening – the roads were covered with snow which made for fun driving. We got back to the train station in Fluelen just before 1am and had to de snow Elvis’s car so we could drive home. We couldn’t get up the driveway when we got home so Elvis parked the car at the lake.
After our night out in Lucerne we had ended up pushing the car up the driveway and after coming back from the Landerpark we had only managed to push it half way up to a parking spot there. However, there was no way we could push it up that night. You can see from the two letterbox photos and Mr Mi how much snow we had had.