Platinum Club Travels to Switzerland

Experiencing springtime in the Alps was the goal of 22 members and friends of the Peoples Bank Platinum Club who traveled to Europe earlier this month.

Their first four days were spent in the medieval city of Bern, Switzerland, the nation’s capital.  At a welcome dinner the first night in a traditional Swiss restaurant, the Platinum Club travelers met their counterparts on the tour, 14 members of a group from the East Coast and Canada who would round out the tour, which was organized by Collette Tours.

From Bern, the group traveled by motor coach on daytrips to see the area.  In Guyere they visited one local factory making cheese and another making chocolate, both important Swiss exports. Taking home cheese samples and eating all the chocolate they could hold made this side-trip a memorable one!

Another trip was to the resort city of Montreux, on the French-speaking side of the tri-lingual nation.  In Montreux, they toured the Castle of Chillon, which is built on the edge of Lake Geneva.

A third day trip took them to the beautiful city of Lucerne for lunch, shopping and sight-seeing. Many in the group  opted for a side-trip above the clouds to snow-covered Mt. Pilatus on a cogwheel train.

After four days in Bern, the group traveled through the spectacular Alpine scenery of greening valleys and snowcapped mountains on to Innsbruck, Austria, known as “the Olympic City” for the three winter Olympics held there. 

From the Hotel Innsbruck, the travelers enjoyed strolling the medieval lanes of the Old City, where specialty shops, restaurants, coffee and pastry shops and entertainment abound.

From Innsbruck, the group visited Lichtenstein, Europe’s smallest and wealthiest country, and went on to Salzburg, home of Mozart and of the von Trapp family made famous in The Sound of Music.

In Salzburg, they dined at the beautiful St. Peter’s Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Europe, first serving diners in 803 A.D.  It is built into the wall of a monastery.

The next day, everyone was offered the opportunity to have a day of leisure in Innsbruck or take a sidetrip to the ski resort of Seefort, which they reached by train. Arriving in the mountain town, they loaded onto horse-drawn carriages for a tour of the countryside. 

For their mid-morning coffee break, they visited a family-run restaurant and farm, where volunteers Deborah Amman, Oliver McLean and Harry Rankin whipped up an “apfel streudel,” the traditional pastry of the region, for their hungry friends.

The final feature of the tour was a day in picturesque Bavaria, which was once a sovereign nation and is now a section of Germany. The major stop was the town of Oberammagau, where the famous Passion Play is staged every 10 years to honor a vow the villagers made to God for saving their town from the Black Plague that raged across Europe in 1633.

On their last evening in Innsbruck, the group was treated to a farewell dinner at a restaurant in the medieval district, then to a Tyrolian folk arts show featuring a fast-paced lineup of traditional Tyrolian songs, dances and fun.

After their 10-day adventure in Europe, the group arrived back in Magee on May 9.

Peoples Bank Platinum Club directors Oliver and Donna McLean will soon be mailing out information on a day-trip to New Orleans for shopping in the French Quarter, a performance of the hit Broadway musical Chicago, and dinner at Middendorf’s Restaurant on the way home. 

The summer months will also feature the annual Platinum Club luncheons in Mendenhall and Collins.