Tuesday 3 July 2012

Sampling Switzerland - Lucerne

Since we were in the ticking-off-countries mode, we had to stop in Switzerland, of course. It seemed that the only feasible overland option was those expensive trains again so we forked out another couple of hundred euros and followed the multilingual signage and announcements for a speedy ride from Innsbruck to Lucerne via Zurich. It amazed me that most Europeans were fluent in multiple languages, and I was envious. We overheard one man say "sorry, I only speak German and English," to a French woman who promptly repeated her question in English, which drove home the high likelihood that we were the only mono-linguists on the train.

We settled into our altstadt (old town) hotel room ready to check out some cheesy Swiss sights but first things first - catching up with Greg, an old friend from Sydney currently residing in Switzerland, that we had not seen in over three years. Greg lived and worked in Zurich, but didn't think much of it, so we caught up in lovely little Lucerne by the lake for a healthy dose of Swiss food and beers and great company.

Playing with Greg's Fisheye Lens - Lucerne

Proscht, Zum Wohl, Gsundheit, or how ever you say Cheers in Switzerland - Lucerne
The next day was rainy and not quite amenable to the Bürgenstock Felsenweg walk we had planned to do. So we meandered around the town itself, taking in archetypal Swiss sights such as the 14th Century Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and baroque churches.

Ben in the Rain - Lucerne
Tia at Lucerne on a rainy day
We browsed the Bucherer shop, where Victorinox multitools hung out beside a giant multi-storey ball clock, and kitsch cuckoo clocks shared floorspace with sleek wristwatches that cost the price of a house, although parts seemed to be missing.

How much would you spend on a watch, this one was going for 258 000 Swiss Francs - Lucerne
This beautiful dying lion sculpture was carved directly out of the rock face. There was no escaping the enrapturing sadness, and we stood transfixed for some time.

Lion Monument by Lukas Ahorn - Lucerne
The Lion Monument was so emotionally overwhelming that we naturally sought the solace that could only come from smooth sweet chocolate - well, we're sticking to that excuse anyway. The famous Swiss version was mighty fine stuff, of course, and we indulged in several different types, stocking up on essential milk, dark and white truffle assortments for our onward journey towards Paris.

Swiss Chocolate is famous world wide and there is good reason, its damn tasty - Lucerne

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