Welcome to the fourth part of my travels in Switzerland! If you haven’t read about my adventures in Geneva, Lausanne, or Bern yet, I encourage you to check them out!
…otherwise, we’re moving on to Lucerne! 😀
Arrived in Lucerne around 15h00; I wasn’t meeting up with my Couchsurfing host until 17h00, so I decided to explore the city a bit before then. Headed out of the train station, walked a few meters, and was immediately greeted by a gorgeous view of the lake and the Alps. I was definitely struck by the amazing, natural beauty of it all- especially in a city!
Next, I headed to the Church of St. Leodegar, distinctive for its two spires overlooking the city:
Afterwards, I took a windy (albeit convoluted) path to the Lion Monument, located in a quiet, peaceful area behind a park north of the city, I believe. It is a memorial dedicated to the Swiss guards who were killed protecting King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. What impressed me the most was that the monument is a rock belief, in other words, carved into the stone itself. Even American author Mark Twain had a (positive) say about this commemorative piece!
Left afterwards to head back to the main center of the city, where I crossed the famous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge that had been partially burned down in 1993 (and subsequently restored). The fact that it remains standing today, especially since its made of wood, is quite incredible- and still able to support the many tourists who cross the bridge every day!
Across the bridge, I saw the Jesuit Church, as well as a ton of tourists and people richly dressed in colorful costumes who were playing music; I heard later from my Couchsurfing host that they were practicing for the “carneval,” which was happening the following week. Any case, that area along the quai was packed, as I couldn’t even get past the number of people, in order to visit the Old Town. Decided to avoid it altogether, and instead went the opposite direction.
Passed by the Franciscan Church before making my way over to my host’s flat, as it was close to time to meet her. Arrived in front of her place early, and so with a few minutes to waste, I walked over to a nearby church to listen to some music before the evening services started. Although I am by no means religious, the sound of the organs playing and the acoustics inside of the church was absolutely a delight to hear.
Finally at 17h00, I went back to my host’s place. Met her in person, and got settled inside. My host (let’s call her “Annie”), was a friendly, chatty woman who made a nice, simple vegetable-tofu stir-fry for dinner (I had helped her chop vegetables and whatnot). Talked for a bit, getting to know each other, then headed out at night to take a look at the Old Town, which by then was empty.
Went back to her flat afterwards, where we chilled out for the rest of the night. She introduced me to a Swiss-French television series, and so we watched one episode. After that, she brought out her accordion (yes, she plays it!), and played a couple of tunes before showing me some simple chords, which was quite nice (and complex!).
Finally turned in for the night; Annie had given me the couch in the living room, which was spacious and comfy. Woke up the next day around 7h30; we had planned to go visit Pilatus, a mountain that overlooks Lucerne with stunning views of the city from below. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t look very promising (cloudy and rainy), and would have obstructed the view of Lucerne. We ended up not going, and instead visited Neubad, a former swimming pool-turned-flea market. Pretty neat!
We left Neubad, and wandered around the winding streets of the Old Town before taking our lunch at a tea house. Located on a small, narrow street, the place was definitely off the beaten path! Had a light lunch (Mediterranean-style) with some Indian, chocolate-flavored milk tea (interesting, but tasted like hot chocolate!).
Since the weather was all rainy, Annie and I spent the time at the tea house chatting and keeping warm, as we weren’t so keen on heading out to get back to her place. Eventually around 13h00, we went out, as I needed to meet my BlaBlaCar driver at 14h00 to get to my next destination in Switzerland. Went back to Annie’s flat to get my belongings, and she accompanied me to the train station, where I was to meet the driver. Arrived at 14h00 sharp, said goodbye to Annie, thanking her for the wonderful company, and was off to Zurich!
Passed a pleasant, albeit short ride with my BlaBlaCar driver. Total for the trip came out to only 2 Swiss francs, which is a lot better than the cost for trains! Arrived in rainy Zurich close to 15h00, and from there, I headed to my next Couchsurfing host’s home.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed Lucerne. Like Bern, it is an absolutely gorgeous city, architecturally and culturally-wise. Having good company with Annie made my experience even better, and I am glad that I was able to visit. Perhaps I would try to return to make it to Pilatus for the spectacular views- why not? 🙂
Next (and last) stop: Zurich!
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic