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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Rainy day in Luzen doesn't dampen a great birthday!

Took the train from the Interlaken Ost station to Luzern. Michael wanted wienerschnitzel for his birthday.

There is an 80% chance of rain today. It is damp and raw feeling. Had the umbrella up for a few minutes but there was no constant rain.

I so enjoy the train ride from Interken to Luzern.

Lake Brienze was quite peaceful.

Grand Hotel Giessbach

Love when the train goes up and over the mountains on a cog wheel rail line. Fog rises from the mountains and the lakes we pass by. Sometimes it looks like puffs of smoke. The train rocks back and forth.; back and forth..... I am reminded of the end of the movie Under the Tuscan Sun when the train snakes it's way through the mountains. Well, it was one of Diane Lane's movies.

I just happened to have my phone out when the train startled these animals. I will have to ask someone who lives in the area the name of the animal. I'm not sure if it is an ibex or not.

Strange to see the cows heading to the barn early in the day

Many hairpin turns for cars wanting to climb or descend the mountain after Kaiserstuhl to Giswil.

The hillsides by the train tracks have been recently mowed and raked. Many cats waiting patiently or in the pounce position to have some animal poke its head out.

Rain splashes against the windows when we reach Lungern. I won't see the beautiful reflections on the lake today.

For his birthday, Michael wanted to go again this year to the Old Swiss House.

How the Old Swiss House describes itself.

"Some 140 years ago, Jean-Anthelme Brillant-Savarin wrote in his book, "La Physiologie du Goût": "I have lived long enough to know that every generation says the same thing, and that the following one scoffs at it."

This is far from being the case here at the Old Swiss House. This is where professional hospitality and joie de vivre unite in celebration. We live in the here-and-now, yet never lose sight of tradition. On December 16, 1858 taxidermist Samuel Stauffer received permission from the City Fathers to build a half-timbered house on his plot of land called "Weymatte". The property was bought in 1888 by Kaspar Hirsbrunner, who lived in it and installed his photographic workshop there.

Wilhelm Buholzer became its next owner, and in 1931 transferred to it the Hotel Mohren’s inn rights. Managed by his wife, Ida, the establishment soon acquired the character of a restaurant. Generation after generation followed until Philipp, a fourth-generation Buholzer, took it over.

The present Old Swiss House restaurant possesses beautiful rooms, fit for all occasions. The numerous antiques collected over the 147-year history of the house mesmerize our guests and imbue our establishment with an ambience all its own."

Our waitress today was Katarina who is local to Luzern. Pia, whom we usually have, was serving in the other room. Pia, of course, recognized us. She came over and wished Michael a Happy Birthday. She then told the others about the problem with the QR codes we had last year because of Covid.

We started with a wonderful bottle of wine that we had last year.

Old Swiss House Description of their House Specialty

"A deluxe wienerschnitzel as you have never tasted before! Very tender cutlets of veal are dipped in our own top-secret blend of beaten egg, Swiss cheese and herbs. The cutlet is then coated in specially prepared breadcrumbs and cooked in pure butter at your table. We serve our delicious wienerschnitzel with half a lemon and fresh egg noodles. We have been serving this speciality for more than fifty years; with up to one thousand servings per month, it remains our most popular dish!"

The recipe…

  • 150 grams of best-quality veal, pounded till very tender

  • Five lightly beaten eggs, 50 grams grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper

  • Homemade breadcrumbs

  • A generous quantity of butter, 80 grams per person

  • Half a lemon

  • Serve with: fine egg noodles garnished with roasted breadcrumbs

Philipp Buholzer, the owner, came over to welcome us and to wish Michael a Happy Birthday. He laughed and said we knew his staff more than he did.

Took pictures of Käthi preparing the wienerschnitzel.

Now I have a video of Käthi getting the breadcrumbs ready for the noodles.

The secret is adding more butter.

Michael does well in preparing the wiernerschnitzel at home for special occasions, but hasn’t quite mastered the buttered noodles with the bread crumbs. Now, I have another closer video we can refer to.

The browned breadcrumbs are swimming in butter! That is the secret! The butter then drips through onto the noodles.

For dessert, Michael had the sgroppino - lemon sorbet mixed with Prosecco and then frozen. Then, it is mixed with a shot of vodka.

I had the Apfelchüechli mit vanille-eis Warm apple tarts with vanilla ice cream.

Finally, Käthi sang Happy Birthday as she brought out a birthday dessert for Michael. It even came with a candle to blow out and heart and ladybug chocolates.

A little cake, chocolate mousse, cream, raspberries, and blueberries

Walked over to the Church of St. Leodegar to light candles.

It was built in parts from 1633 to 1639 on the foundation of the Roman basilica, begun in 735, which had burnt in 1633. This church was one of the few built north of the Alps during the Thirty Years War and one of the largest art history rich churches of the German late renaissance period.

I wrote prayer intentions for the candles I lit.

I actually lit 10 candles. With lighting candles and writing prayer intentions, we were in the church for a very long time.

The city is decorated with flowers. These are impatients.

Cute rain outfits

Birds are so comical to watch. The swan reflections are weird.

People throw bread to the birds.

The Luzern Jesuit Church is the first large Baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps. The Jesuit order, founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, were active participants in the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic fight against the birth of Protestantism.

Over the years, we have heard many organists practice.

"Luzern is especially well-known for its wooden bridges. Today, the Chapel Bridge runs from the New Town on the southern bank of the Reuss to the Rathausquai in the medieval Old Town, zigzagging as it passes the impressive Water Tower.

Luzern's landmark is considered to be Europe's oldest covered bridge. It was built in 1332 and was originally a part of the city fortifications. The pictorial panels, which were incorporated in the 17th century, contain scenes of Swiss history as well as the Luzern's history, including the biographies of the city's patron saints, St. Leodegar and St. Maurice.

Luzern’s water tower is a powerful yet attractive construction. This octagonal tower - over 34 meters high (111.5 ft.) - was built around 1300 as part of the city wall and used as an archive, treasury, prison and torture chamber. Today, the middle floor is home to the headquarters of the Luzern Artillery Association. Meanwhile, a colony of Alpine Swifts has been roosting under the rooftop for decades. When these black and white birds return from their winter home in Africa, they bring springtime back to Luzern."

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