Posted on Aug 20, 2019 in News
From Zurich, to Bern, to Lucern, the Flying Jayhawks made their way through Switzerland and back during their week-long journey abroad.
Day 1 | Gateway to the Bernese Oberland
After arriving in Zurich, the group of Flying Jayhawks enjoyed a walking tour of Thun, learning about the gateway to the Bernese Oberland while walking below the picturesque Thun castle and along the Aare River.
The evening brought our entire travel party together for a reception at the hotel, followed by dinner on the banks of the Aare.
Day 2 | Oberhofen Castle
The Flying Jayhawks hopped on a ferry to tour the Oberhofen castle. The historic five-story castle has been preserved and now functions as a modern-day museum, offering a glimpse into the lives of the nobles and servants who once traversed the many halls and rooms of this lakefront property.
Nothing whets an appetite quite like storming the castle, so our flying Jayhawks set sail once again, this time destined for Spiez for a local lunch and an opportunity to freely explore the Spiez castle.
Day 3 | All aboard!
Trains, trains and more trains ruled the day as the jolly Jayhawks took to the rails and Brienz, Switzerland.
Following a quick ride on Switzerland’s public train system, the group of tireless travelers boarded a steam train for an hour climb up Brienzer Rothorn. Once atop the mountain, the view of low hanging clouds was impressive. Although our time atop the mountain was short, spirits remained high … although that may have been the altitude.
A stop along our descent at Planalp made for a delicious midday, authentic homemade mountain meal. Our day ended in Interlaken with Jayhawks free to explore the popular tourist city found between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Day 4 | Tour of Bern, Switzerland
Take us to your leaders! Or, at least to the buildings your leaders work in.
Having mastered the Swiss public rail transit, our flock of Hawks traveled east to Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Built around a crook in the Aare River, with its origins dating back to the 12th century, Bern Switzerland is home to more than 125,000 Swiss citizens.
Our walking tour included stops at the Parliament building, the Cathedral of Bern and the Zytglogge, a medieval tower built in the 13th century that has served as a guard tower, prison and now a clock tower.
Day 5 | Kandersteg to Oeschinen Lake
The mountain is calling, and I must go.
Mountaineering was the theme of the day as we traveled to the high-altitude resort village of Kandersteg. A quick and scenic gondola ride from Kandersteg further up the Alps led to Oeschinen Lake. This turquoise-colored lake is elevated over 5,000 feet in the Alps. The lake is filled through a series of mountain streams and it drains underground.
Day 6 | Tour of Lucerne
A morning full of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of our Flying Jayhawks in Lucerne. Upon emerging from the train station and crossing the Reuss river, we looked upon the gothic towers of the Church of St. Leodegar, built between 1633 and 1639.
A quick jaunt took us to the Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne. This beautiful relief carving was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and created by Lukas Ahorn in 1820. The monument stands as a tribute to the Swiss Guards massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
Our guided time in Lucerne culminated with a stroll across the landmark covered wooden Chapel Bridge, and a quick stop in the first large baroque church built in Switzerland, the Jesuit Church of Lucerne.
Day 7 | Muerren, Schilthorn and Gimmewald
All good things must come to an end, but this trip could not have ended in a more scenic location. Our final excursion took us once again high in the Swiss Alps, first to Lauterbrunnen, then on to Murren, a small mountain town of 300, with 1,200 beds for tourists.
After a leisurely stroll through this quaint and welcoming town, the Flying Jayhawks could once again board a gondola if they chose to climb even higher in the Alps with a 30-minute ride to Birg, then onto Schilthorn.
The Schilthorn is a summit in the Bernese Alps with an elevation over 9,700 feet. From this majestic summit, visitors can view Switzerland’s three largest mountains, the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger.
The Jungfrau registers as Europe’s highest point. Since 1969, the Schilthorn has also been known for its appearance in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. No trip to this summit is complete without a spin in the rotating restaurant and a trip through their 007 museum.
The Flying Jayhawks “Switzerland” trip took place July 31-August 8, 2019. The trip was hosted by Angie Storey, senior vice president of donor & member relations along with Dan Storey, photographer & videographer. View more photos from the trip; pictures may be downloaded for personal use. Find more information about Flying Jayhawks trips, including a schedule, or sign up for travel emails.