Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Final Days In Switzerland!

The end of our trip is approaching and we have saved the best for last here in Switzerland. These past few days have been nothing but "WOW Experiences". We traveled up Mount Titlus (almost 10,000 feet) after hearing a wonderful and eye-opening presentation on sustainability and environmental preservation in Engelberg. Peter, who gave us the presentation, showed us how remarkably sustainable and environmentally friendly Engelberg and the rest of Switzerland are. You could see the emotion and passion in his eyes as he explained to us how the glacier of Mount Titlus is melting at an average rate of one meter a year. We learned of the laws Switzerland has to protect the natural surroundings of the area and the measures taken to insure that Switzerland remains one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly countries in the world. The water is so clean here that you are able to drink out of almost all the rivers or streams! One of the most amazing parts of his presentation was how he explained to us that they are always thinking of new and exciting ways to make Engelberg even more sustainable than it is now! When we arrived to the top of the snow-covered mountain everything in Peter's presentation came to life as we marveled over the breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. We spent the rest of the afternoon snow sledding on Mount Titlus. In the evening we enjoyed a traditional Swiss dinner in a mountain cabin called Fluehmatt. After a delicious three course meal we hiked down the mountain by torchlight.

Yesterday we jumped on the bus and headed to Lucerne, Switzerland where we met with Mrs. Denise Fehlmann who works for the Culture and Congress Center of Lucerne (KKL). This breathtaking building located on the edge of the water holds three multi-functional concert halls and many meeting rooms. The KKL offers a diverse atmosphere and spectacular views from the rooftop terrace. Mrs. Fehlmann showed us the ends and outs of the KKL and explained to us how they cater to the needs of their guests and performers. It was amazing to see how the staff at the KKL can transform all the spaces into unique venues for every client and event. This tour was one of the greatest examples of genuine hospitality that we have seen on the trip thus far.

After visiting the KKL we headed to the Grand Casino of Lucerne. During this tour our tour guide, Andre, led us around to understand the day-to-day operations of a European casino. Gambling attracts an array of tourists of different backgrounds and nationalities who all must be shown the same level of hospitality when they enter the casino. Between the security and games, the Grand Casino of Lucerne operates on a level of luxury and service that can’t be helped but admired. At the end of out tour we had the opportunity to play mock blackjack and American roulette. Our instructors taught us the basic rules for the common basic casino games. 

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