Saturday Surprise — Let’s Travel!!!

adorable puppyWelcome to the end of a long and frustrating week, my friends!  I really think we need to give our minds a weekend off from thinking about the detritus of the past 5 days, and so, I’m taking you on a little trip, and when we come back, I have a treat for you!

This summer has been miserably hot and humid in most of the world, I think.  My UK friends tell me that, while the temps may not be quite as high there, air-conditioning is not standard equipment in homes as it is here, so they may have it even worse than us, and it has been hot enough here!  So today, to start off our weekend, we are going someplace cooler. We are going to … Switzerland!!!  Buckle up …

cable carWe will be taking a cable car from Lauterbrunnen up to the most awesome restaurant, the Schilthorn Piz Gloria.  While Piz Gloria claims to be the world’s first revolving restaurant—a dubious title given that the Seattle Space Needle opened in 1962 during the World’s Fair—its real claim to fame is its James Bond connection and unparalleled views.

outside restaurant

Feeling cooler already, aren’t you?

Piz Gloria is named after the 1963 James Bond novel and subsequent film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which a mountain-top hideout conceals Bond’s nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Today, Piz Gloria taps into its James Bond past by offering visitors a 007 Walk of Fame and interactive exhibit aptly named Bond World.inside restaurantThe restaurant, which is truly the main draw for travelers, rotates slowly offering diners a view of 200 mountain peaks during the course of their meal. While the food of Piz Gloria has been reviewed as lackluster and overpriced—a classic pitfall of many tourist attraction restaurants—the view more than compensates for what’s on the plate.schilthorn-eiger-mönch-jungfrau

Since we are in the neighborhood anyway, I thought we might as well pop over to Zurich to see this machine I’ve been told about.  Jean Tinguely was a Swiss sculptor famous for building things that served no purpose!  The one we are going to see today is called “Heureka,” Ancient Greek for “I’ve got it!” This is meant to be ironic. The sculpture, created in 1964, is an allegory of consumerism in advanced industrial societies. The machine churns and churns but with no purpose, just absurdity.  Hey – I know some people like that!!!Heureka-1The Heureka sculpture is made from everyday objects like scrap metal and junk; it’s comprised of various tubes, wheels, iron bars, metal pipes, and electric motors assembled together to create an intricate machine when turned on — or rather, the illusion of one.

Heureka-3Tinguely meant there to be humor in the creation, a poetic recycling of the industrial world. He was a follower of the French Nouveau Réalisme art movement, a 1960s avant-garde style that incorporated elements of the real world and everyday life into artworks, creating a new way to perceive reality.

Heureka-2Part of the movement’s ideology was responding to the new consumerism in Western society. Tinguely was inspired by Dadaism, which I never did understand any better than I understand this strange machine!  Okay … let’s move along …

One last stop before we leave Switzerland and head home.  We are going to Ennetbürgen to … ride an elevator!!!  No, I haven’t lost my bloomin’ mind … come on … this will be fun!

elevator-1

Have I mentioned my deadly fear of heights???

The Hammetschwand Lift was put into place to carry visitors over 3,700 foot above sea level to the beautiful vistas of Lake Lucerne. Created in 1905 by a popular hotel destination nearby, the elevator has survived both world wars, the elements, and a wood-to-steel conversion to remain a world-record holding attraction.

elevator-2Originally the precarious elevator compartment was made of nothing more than wood and sheet metal which would be drawn up the 500-foot shaft, which was constructed of equally questionable materials. At the time, the ride took up to three minutes to complete. Today, after multiple overhauls, the elevator is made of expertly engineered metal and glass, yet somehow looks nonetheless rickety. In addition to the hair-raising heights that the glass-walled elevator reaches, the speed of the lift has also been increased and riders are now shot to the top of the shaft in less than a minute. The station at the top exits unto a bridge that leads to the mountaintop.

elevator-3WHEW!!!  That was some ride, wasn’t it?  I think my stomach is somewhere down near the base of the mountain!  But just look at that view … takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Well, folks, time to go back home so that you guys can go spend some time with your families and do some fun weekend things!  Daughter Chris is at yet another band competition for the weekend, so Goose and I are planning a wild party involving fish sticks, salad, and a game of Mario Kart!  Do we know how to party, or what?

Oh … I promised you a treat, didn’t I?  I have stumbled across a couple of videos that are absolutely 100% guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  The first one is fascinating … I love watching glassblowers, but this one is truly amazing …

And you know you cannot get away from here on a Saturday without a cute animal video … these pandas will melt even the coldest heart … not that any of you have cold hearts, but … well just watch the video …

And on that note, I want you all to go out there and have a safe and happy weekend!

53 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Let’s Travel!!!

  1. Dear Jill,

    Both videos are great choices. I’ve watched the video on the pandas multiple times They’re adorable
    Your post makes me want to start up traveling again..

    Thanks for an interesting and fun post.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a knack for making me nostalgic. Upon high school graduation, we were able to choose a trip of our choice or a car. My eldest sister took the car. My thinking was that I would likely have many cars in my future, but I might not get the opportunity to travel again. I chose Switzerland and my Gram was my chaperone/companion. I have never, ever regretted my choice, the memories alone are priceless. Benjamin will adore both videos. On Monday mornings, he always asks : “What video did Miss Jill post for me?” Thank-you x 2!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is an awesome graduation gift!!! What a trip that must have been! How I wish we could sit down some morning over a cup of coffee and you could tell me all about it! I used to ski when i was a youngster, and it was always a dream to ski in the Alps, but of course I never had the opportunity.

      Awwww … just reading that warms my heart. I love that little guy! And his Gem!

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      • When my husband and I moved to India in 2000 our plane first landed in Germany. We weren’t in a hurry so we took a train to Italy. On the way, we stopped off in a village in Switzerland to stay overnight at a hostel there. We stopped at the local police station to ask directions and found it locked up for the night with the policeman in charge in bed. We asked for the directions over the intercom to be told the obvious, the station was closed. It seems there wasn’t much crime there. We finally asked a couple out for an evening stroll. 😀 — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, have a marvelous trip. The pictures are beautiful. As you you make a drink order at the Schilthorn Piz Gloria, remember it is a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred. Have fun. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! I do love the pictures and would have loved to travel to Switzerland once upon a time. Now Keith, I like wine, and I like an occasional screwdriver, but I’ve never much cared for martinis. But then, since it is a virtual trip anyway, I suppose a virtual martini — shaken, not stirred — might taste just fine … hiccup

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  4. I did a river cruise on the Rhine a few years back, which I loved, but have dreamed on going to Switzerland and also Norway. The pictures I’ve seen of both have been stunning. It’s just that long flight over from the US.
    I also watch a lot of British TV which has shown such lovely scenery in Scotland, Wales and England. Enjoy your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A trip to Switzerland to find the cold

    Dadaistic machines, and Bond World

    Riding up high

    Can make you sigh

    And long for heat and flatness uncurled

    I love cold places, but I also love warm ones. I am not complaining about the heat. Our boat is 32°C most daytimes and about 25°C for sleeping. Perfect. Except for the drought (we do need rain), it is a lovely British summer. Lots of people out walking, biking and enjoying nature. What could be better! 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY!!! A Colette original limerick is just the thing to bring a smile to my face this morning!!! I am not particularly fond of excess heat or cold, and I’m somewhat complaining of this summer’s heat, mainly because it is accompanied by 90% and higher humidity, which makes the air impossible for me to breathe, so i have been unable to get out much at all. But, as my neighbor, who is originally from Baghdad, reminds me … it could be worse, for it is on average 50 degrees Celsius there! We have had more than our share of rain … I wish I could send you some, or send some out to California where wildfires are burning out of control! Have a great weekend, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, we are still complaining about the heat in England, but we shouldn’t as mainland Europe is even hotter. Thanks for the tour, I don’t like heights, so don’t think I’ll be going in that lift any time soon!

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    • This is the first time in my memory that I have actually found myself looking forward to the end of summer! I don’t like heights either, but for that view, I would probably just close my eyes and ride the lift!

      Like

  7. Thanks for showing the Jean Tinguely sculpture in Zürich. I don’t know that one, but I do know the one in front of the theater in Basel. When they tore down the old theater building in the 1970s they gave the old stage machinery to Tinguely, who made it into a fountain in front of the new theater with dozens of moving parts. The amazing thing to me is that someone has kept the whole thing in good repair for over four decades now. (There is also a Tinguely museum in Basel, but I haven’t been inside yet.)
    Works by his wife Niki de Saint Phalle are prominently displayed in Hannover and Paris.

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