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Switzerland

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - GENEVA TO INTERLAKEN


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SWITZERLAND

IT DOES NOT HAVE A COASTLINE, SO I HAD NOT THOUGHT OF IT TOO SERIOUSLY AS A DESTINATION.

UNTIL, ON A RECENT CRUISE I MET A CROATIAN LADY WHO RAVED ABOUT IT.

THERE ARE SEVERAL PANORAMIC TRAINS CRISS-CROSSING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. I WROTE MY TRAVEL AGENT THE ROUTE I EXPECTED TO TAKE & THE NUMBER OF DAYS IN EACH TOWN & LEFT THE REST UP TO HER.

WITH HER SWISS CONNECTION SHE SET ME UP WITH A SWISS PASS, TRAIN RESERVATIONS & HOTELS. I COLLECTED ALL THE DOCUMENTS AT GENEVA AIRPORT.

FIRST LEG IS GENEVA TO INTERLAKEN VIA MONTREUX

SETTING OUT FOR A WALK BY A LAKE GENEVA THAT IS MINUS THE FAMOUS FOUNTAIN. I WAS TOO EARLY IN THE DAY FOR THAT.

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I ASKED A PASSING MAN WHERE IT WAS & AS IF BY MAGIC IT POPPED UP

THE JET DE EAU

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THE WEATHER WAS GLORIOUS & I HAD A NICE STROLL ALONG THE LAKE & AROUND TOWN.

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AND BACK TO THE HOTEL...

NEXT DAY I TOOK THE REGULAR TRAIN TO THE BEAUTIFUL LAKE SIDE TOWN OF MONTREUX, AT THE OTHER END OF LAKE GENEVA, FAMOUS FOR IT'S JAZZ FESTIVAL...

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THE SWISS PASS GIVES ACCESS TO A FERRY BOAT SO I WENT FOR A NICE LITTLE RIDE AROUND & MAY HAVE TOUCHED FRANCE ON THE OPPOSITE BANK.

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PALM TREES! IN SWITZERLAND!!

THIS IS THE BOAT...OR ONE LIKE IT...

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NOW I AM IN THE FIRST PANORAMIC TRAIN TO LUCERNE.. THE GOLDEN PASS LINE..

CLIMBING HIGH ABOVE MONTREUX...

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& I HAVE A SEAT RIGHT AT THE FRONT. THE DRIVER IS ABOVE ME. FOR 300 SOME DOLLARS I COULD HAVE DRIVEN THE TRAIN.

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THAT WAS A BIT CLOSE...

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Posted by hasbeen 13:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - INTERLAKEN & JUNGFRAU


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INTERLAKEN

.....itself does not get a very good writeup but I quite enjoyed it. Weather had warmed up so that helped.

Interlaken is a good base for trips into the mountains. The Eiger being one.

A pleasant town & almost flat which is nice for walking.

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or flying...

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Took this one while sitting on the front terrace of the hotel. The mountains are miles away and I zoomed a lot so you do not see the street & shops opposite the hotel.

The hotel had a great veranda on the street. A nice people watching spot & I noticed lots of indians out & about. A Saudi couple having tea chatted for a while. First time I have ever met a Saudi.

Inside the hotel..

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Leaving interlaken on the train & into the mountains..

Into gondola...going higher..

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THE EIGER...

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That's the north face of Eiger on the left, with the Munch in the middle & Jungfrau on the right. This was taken from a beautiful mountain village called Murren which is a cog rail ride & then a cable car ride. Very high.

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Posers everywhere - spoiling the view..

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I might pass on dinner...

Down the mountain now to the valley at Lauterbrunnen. Lots of waterfalls along here,

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although I only saw four or five.

At one point I came round the back of a car to take a pic of a waterfall & just as I stepped past the car & brought the camera up, I saw a totally naked girl getting hosed down from a garden hose. I quickly stepped back ( without taking the photo - honest ) & walked on around the car. She was still getting a shower as I walked past. Not embarrassed at all - Her that is. No idea how old she was. Not a baby. Not full grown either, but getting there.
A picture perfect Swiss miss.

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I had met these two from Hong Kong at Interlaken station

I chatted with the taller one quite a bit. We parted company half way up the mountain, but I bumped into them again about 5 hours later. I thought they were both 20 or a bit older, but now I think the other who did not speak to me at all, might have been her mother.

Wearing flip flops - must think they are still in Hong Kong.

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The next day & I am on my way to the top of Yungfrau mountain

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The train is inside the mountain & we make a couple of photo stops..

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out onto the snow....

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so blindingly white I could not see even when my glasses went into dark mode. An asian lady asked me to take her photo & I just aimed in her general direction.

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back inside the mountain..

& out again. This lady is from Brazil

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From the top of the Jungfrau mountain, with some Jungfrau.

No need for the sign to tell me to stop...

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Another view of the Jungfrau & the little cog wheel train that took me to the top. It goes mostly inside the mountain & then pops out at the top. Amazing.

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back down the mountain & some time around Interlaken

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& a ferry ride down the lake & back.

a tree with a tea cosy..

Interlaken between 2 lakes ( surprise ) and this is the one on the east.

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some nice river views in the back of Interlaken

I had a meal of Bison here. The waiter told me it's from the USA, not Switzerland

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Lucerne next.

THIS SEEMS TO BE A POPULAR ENTRY AND I AM CURIOUS AS TO HOW PEOPLE ARE FINDING THE PAGE HERE ON TRAVELLERSPOINT. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT & TELL ME HOW YOU ARRIVED HERE

STEVE

Posted by hasbeen 13:00 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - LUCERNE


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LUCERNE

I TOOK THE TRAIN AGAIN TO LUCERNE, EAST & NORTH A BIT FROM INTERLAKEN

THIS LION IS THE CITIES SYMBOL...

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It has this very pretty covered bridge.....

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THIS LITTLE GIRLS DAD WAS BLOWING BUBBLES FOR HER TO CHASE SO I ASKED HIM TO BLOW A COUPLE FOR ME & HE OBLIGED. PITY I COULD NOT GET THE LITTLE GIRL INSIDE THE BUBBLE.

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BOTH SIDES OF THE BRIDGE...

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A SWISS WATCH.....

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OUT ON LAKE LUCERNE, A DRONE WITH CAMERAS. A KOREAN FILM CREW I THINK, WERE FLYING IT ALL OVER THE PLACE & THEY HAD BOOM CAMERAS IN TOWN

I WANT ONE OF THOSE DRONES....

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MY FIRST SIGHTING OF AN ALPENHORN, WITH A MAN ACTUALLY BLOWING IT..

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ON THE TOP OF ANOTHER MOUNTAIN , PILATUS MAYBE....

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HERE HE IS PACKING IT AWAY

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Posted by hasbeen 12:50 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - LUCERNE TO ST. MORITZ


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TODAY I HEAD SOUTH ON THE WILLIAM TELL PANORAMIC EXPRESS, WHICH STARTS AS A BOAT RIDE DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE VERY PICTURESQUE LAKE LUCERNE, TO LUGANO FOR THREE NIGHTS

AT THE TICKET OFFICE I AM GIVEN A SOUVENIR OF THE WILLIAM TELL EXPRESS - A SWISS ARMY KNIFE.

WHOOPS...

MAN, THOSE THINGS ARE SHARP.

GONNA HAVE TO REMEMBER NOT TO TAKE IT ON THE PLANE.

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THIS IS THE ENGINE ON THE BOAT....

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PICTURE PERFECT SWISS VILLAGES...

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LEAVING THE BOAT I SWITCH TO A TRAIN TO LUGANO, WHICH IS ON A LAKE, AS ONE WOULD EXPECT & IT IS QUITE HOT.

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I DO A BIT OF WALKING AROUND THE LAKE BUT THE TOWN IS QUITE HILLY WITH THE HOTEL UP HIGH SO I SPEND A COUPLE OF DAYS RELAXING ON THE ROOF TERRACE, TAKING A LITTLE BREATHER & SOME SUN.

I FINISH A BOOK I WAS RECOMMENDED AT OTTAWA AIRPORT. BY SOME SWEDISH GUY - A HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN WALKS THROUGH A WINDOW & DISAPPEARS.

QUITE FUNNY & WORTH A READ.

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THEN ITS A QUICK FLIT INTO ITALY ON A BUS TO TIRANO .

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& ANOTHER PANORAMIC TRAIN BACK INTO SWITZERLAND ON THE WAY TO ST. MORITZ..

THIS TRAIN IS THE BERNINA EXPRESS. LESS WELL KNOWN MAYBE THAN THE GLACIER EXPRESS, BUT A MUCH NICER RIDE IN MY VIEW. LESS CROWDED & BETTER SCENERY.

THROUGH A QUIRK IN MY ITINERARY, IN A COUPLE OF DAYS I AM GOING TO HAVE TO BACK-TRACK TO TIRANO FROM ST MORITZ AND THEN TIRANO PAST ST. MORITZ AGAIN.

IT'S A TOUGH LIFE.

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NO CUSTOMS OR PASSPORT CONTROL IN OR OUT OF ITALY, EVEN THOUGH SWITZERLAND IS NOT PART OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.

THIS GUY WAS ON THE FRONT OF THE SNACK TROLLEY ON THE TRAIN...

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THE TRAIN GOES ALONG STREETS FOR A LITTLE WHILE.. HOPE WE DON'T SCARE THE HORSES...

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THE TRAIN IS GETTING VERY HIGH AGAIN AS WE GO UP INTO THE MOUNTAINS

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PEOPLE GETTING IN THE WAY AGAIN. WHY DO THEY KEEP DOING THAT?...

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WE HOP OFF FOR A 50 SECOND PHOTO STOP...

THE DUTCH GUY WHO TOOK THIS PHOTO OF ME IS WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND & THEY ARE SITTING OPPOSITE ME IN THE TRAIN. I HAD NOTICED THEM ON THE BOAT ACROSS LAKE LUCERNE THREE DAYS AGO & THEY WILL BE ON MY HOTEL IN ST MORITZ.

SMALL WORLD.

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THIS IS A GLACIAL LAKE AS WE CROSS OVER THE TOP...

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AND HEAD DOWN TOWARDS ST. MORITZ

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NICE WHEELS - LOOKS LIKE AN OLD E TYPE JAG

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ST. MORITZ....

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AND MY HOTEL

Posted by hasbeen 12:40 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - ST. MORITZ


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ST. MORITZ

FABLED, RICH MANS PLAYGROUND.

JET SETTERS - MOVIE STARS - PRINCESSES.

WELL- NOT WHEN I WAS THERE. IT WAS STRANGELY EMPTY.

APRE SKI & PRE SUMMER HORDES? MY BONUS ANYWAY..

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THE VIEW FROM THE BAR OF MY HOTEL.....

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BEHIND THE HOTEL THERE IS A GENTLY MEANDERING TRAIL THROUGH WOODS, RISING ONLY SLIGHTLY.

A BEAUTIFUL EMPLTY WALK.

ONLY MET THREE PEOPLE IN THREE HOURS...

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QUITE LOVELY, & NOT WHAT I EXPECTED..

A SEAT EVERY SO OFTEN. I COULD GET USED TO THIS.

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BACK TO THE HOTEL & I DROP DOWN TO THE LAKE & WALK ALL THE WAY AROUND IT...

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THIS HOUSE HAS QUITE THE VIEW AS DOES THE HOTEL BELOW..

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THERE ARE MANY OF THESE SIGNS, OFTEN IN RAILWAY STATIONS.

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THE OLD CARS ARE OLD PHOTOS ON THE SIDE OF AN ESCALATOR FROM THE LAKE UP TO THE VILLAGE..

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Posted by hasbeen 12:30 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - ST. MORITZ TO CHUR


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LEAVING ST .MORITZ, I HAVE TO TRAVEL BACK TO TIRANO IN ITALY, THEN BACK PASSED ST. MORITZ TO CHUR.

THE SWISS AGENT CAME UP WITH THE ITINERARY & I WAS A BIT CONFUSED AS TO WHY ALL THE TOOING & FROING.

NEVER MIND, THE BERNINA EXPRESS IS A DELIGHTFUL WAY TO SPEND SOME TIME..

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IT IS ALWAYS ODD TO SEE THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN I AM ON WHILE I AM ON THE TRAIN. SWISS TRAINS SOMETIMES GO AROUND IN CIRCLES TO GAIN OR LOSE ALTITUDE, & THEY CAN DO THAT INSIDE A MOUNTAIN.

WONDERFUL ENGINEERING..

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MUST HAVE SLIPPED OUT OF SWITZERLAND & INTO CANADA... AMAZING ENGINEERS!

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NOW IN THE CITY OF CHUR. A QUITE CHARMING PLACE THAT BARELY GETS A MENTION IN THE TRAVEL GUIDES I READ..

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ON ANOTHER TRAIN OUT TO AROSA,

HARDLY ANYONE ON THIS TRAIN.

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A PLEASANT LITTLE TOWN WITH A LAKE.

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BACK TO CHUR..I LIKE IT HERE & SHOULD HAVE ARRANGED TO STAY MORE THAN 3 NIGHTS..

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Posted by hasbeen 12:20 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

2013 - TRAINS AROUND SWITZERLAND - CHUR TO ZERMATT


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THE GLACIER EXPRESS FROM CHUR TO ZERMATT IS PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS OF THE SWISS PANORAMIC TRAINS.

AND THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY IT WAS SO CROWDED.

IT IS INDEED A GREAT RIDE, WITH SOME SPECTACULAR SCENERY BUT NOT AT ALL GOOD FOR TAKING PHOTOS.
TOO MUCH GLARE.

THE MEAL THAT WAS SERVED WAS PRETTY GOOD BUT THE FACT THERE WERE SERVING TROLLEYS IN THE AISLE MEANT I COULD NOT MOVE ABOUT WITH AS MUCH FREEDOM AS ON OTHER TRAINS

AND TO TOP IT OFF, I ONLY NOTICED ONE GLACIER. MAYBE THE TIME OF YEAR BUT THIS IS THE GLACIER EXPRESS

AND THEY COULD RE-THINK THE EXPRESS PART TOO.

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HERE'S THE GLACIER...

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BUT I AM SOON INTO MY HOTEL IN ZERMATT, WITH THIS OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW - THE MATTERHORNE & ALL IS FORGIVEN..

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MORE CANADIANS CAMPING OUT...?

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I TAKE A WALK THROUGH TOWN & THE CABLE CAR UP ANOTHER MOUNTAIN FOR A HOT CHOCOLATE SITTING WATCHING THE MATTERHORNE COME & GO THROUGH THE CLOUDS...

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BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN ....

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FOR A WALK THROUGH ZERMATT... VERY PRETY FLOWERS...

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INTO THE OLD SECTION -

NOTE THE SLABS OF ROCK UNDER THE HOUSES, KEEPING THE RATS OUT PRESUMABLY.. NO NEED FOR THE PIED PIPER HERE.

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I PAY SOME MONEY TO WALK ALONG A GORGE & DO NOT GET MY MONIES WORTH.

TOO SCARY BY FAR & I TURN BACK PRETTY QUICK..

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ANOTHER TRAIN RIDE TO THE TOP OF ANOTHER MOUNTAIN FOR A LOOK AT THE MATTERHORNE...NO LUCK WITH THAT....

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BUT THERE WAS A SAINT BERNARD, COMPLETE WITH BRANDY BARREL - & A SCOTTISH HANDLER....

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AND THE SUN CAME OUT ON THE WAY DOWN & I GOT OFF THE TRAIN....

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& WAITED FOR THE NEXT ONE..

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WHAT A GREAT SPOT FOR A WEDDING....

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SITTING IN A BAR & THESE SHEEP WERE DRIVEN THROUGH TOWN...

BACK TO MY HOTEL WHERE I TOOK THESE LAYING ON MY BED.

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AND THE SHEEP BEING DRIVEN IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION AS I WAIT FOR MY TRAIN TO ZURICH...

& THE SHEEP MAY HAVE BEEN GOATS. MOUNTAIN GOATS!

Posted by hasbeen 12:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

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