The night before I took an overnight train from Paris to Munich. From Munich I took a train to Innsbruck, where I switched for a train to Zurich. From Zurich I finally took a train to Lucerne. It took forever–I think it was about 18 hours to get from Paris to Lucerne, but I did sleep for a considerable amount of that time so it wasn’t a huge deal.
When I arrived in Lucerne, I headed over to the tourist information center to find out where my hostel was, since I hadn’t had internet access to draw myself a map the night before. I also exchanged some Euros for Swiss francs, then I set out into Lucerne.
It was love at first sight. Lucerne is stunningly beautiful, and the weather that day couldn’t have been better. I bought some lunch (chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets!) and ate it by the lake, had a lovely Swiss woman talk to me in Swiss-German (got the gist since it was close enough to Norwegian for me to understand), then I walked around part of the lake. Afterwards I walked through the city until I arrived at Spreuerbrücke (Mill Bridge). Mill Bridge crosses the Reuss River and is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. The bridge also has its own small chapel, located about halfway down the bridge.
Afterwards I followed a horde of Asians up the hill to the own town walls. A few towers of the wall still exist today, and visitors can climb up some of them. I climbed up a few, which was a challenge after walking so many stairs up the Eiffel Tower before, and also because some of the steps were huge. My short legs struggled with this. The view from the top of the towers was completely worth it, however.
I next walked to Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, which is Lucerne’s most famous bridge. Paintings can be found in the bridge; however, many of them were destroyed in a fire roughly two decades ago. The bridge runs past the Water Tower, as seen in the picture. You can also see in the pictures the insane number of swans on the lake and river; I thought I saw a lot of swans in Galway but this topped it!
Now hungry by this time, I walked over to the supermarket where I bought my lunch to find out it was closed. In fact, everything was closed, and it was only 5 PM or so. It wasn’t a Sunday (when everything is closed in Europe), so I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I found out later that shops close early on Saturdays in Switzerland. Restaurants were still open, but given that Switzerland is just as expensive as Norway, I wasn’t about to choke up money for dinner in a restaurant. So, no dinner for me. Sad.
My final stop for the night was the Lion Monument, which was quite near to my hostel. It’s a stone carving of a dying lion, which was done in commemoration of the massacre of Swiss Guards during the French Revolution.
Afterwards I went back to the hostel and worked on the computer for a while. I ran up to the room at one point to ask the other people in the room to keep the door unlocked, since I would have to return my key that night since I would be leaving before reception opened the next morning. The girls said that they would keep the door unlocked for me. When I went to turn the key in, the receptionist told me to keep it and just slide it under the door the next morning. It’s a good thing I got to keep it, since when I went back to the room later that night, I found that the girls had locked the door.
I was bitter.
So, short stay in Switzerland, but I stayed long enough to know that I want to go back there soon someday. It was absolutely beautiful and Swiss people were all very friendly. The only downside? Expensive, just like Norway.
Just means I’ll have to stock up on food in other places, I suppose.