I couldn’t be happier when we were in Switzerland. As I mentioned in my previous post, Switzerland was a dream come true for me and to be able to see and be in the place one has been dreaming from one’s childhood was a great experience. Snow-capped mountains, green rolling hills, no poverty and political neutrality is Switzerland, what more could I want. At that moment I felt really happy with our holiday. I knew no matter what other people said about Switzerland that I will be coming back again and again during my lifetime.
We were really lucky in Europe as we missed the rains during our tour.
While in Switzerland we stayed in Fluelen which is the farthest point of the lake from Luzern, a picturesque little place with the train station right beside the landing stage.
Every corner was an OMG moment looking at the beautiful scenery, the mind blowing engineering of the train lines and roads, and at snow on the higher peaks even in spring.
We stayed at Hotel Hirschen-Cafe Seehof which is a small hotel in front of the lake. Although the view of the mountains is breathtaking, there really isn’t much to do in the immediate area. The church beside the hotel is beautiful but when we went for a walk in either direction for an hour and we didn’t find many things to do.
As for the hotel, it was small and very basic so was a tad disappointed. But we were lucky to get the back room as our fellow travellers were complaining about the noise. Even though the front room had the stunning view of the lake and mountains, since the train tracks run along the lake, it was also a bit loud and guests in the front rooms couldn’t sleep. On top of that, every morning, a herd of cows walked past the hotel with big bells on their necks that made lots of noise as well.
Also the clock tower rang every 15 minutes even in the night, but honestly as both me and AS were so tried from walking the whole day during the trip, it didn’t keep us awake at night.
We had a couple of meals in the restaurant of the hotel and it was ok.
We got to see the real Switzerland in this town where there were less people, more natural beauty with the view of snow-capped mountains everywhere and the big beautiful lake which took our breath away.
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking part of that country.
Complete with gable paintings, the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. A further landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state.
Historic houses decorated with frescoes line the picturesque town squares as they do the ‘Weinmarkt’ square in the car-free old town. Lucerne is a city of town squares and churches. The Jesuit church dating from the 17th century is regarded as Switzerland’s first sacral Baroque building and the twin towers of the Hofkirche form an integral part of the townscape.
We also visited The Lion of Lucerne, a carving of a wounded lion on a stone cliff. The figure of a dying lion which was hewn from the face of rock in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guards killed during an attack on the Tuileries in 1792 is one of the best-known monuments in Switzerland.
And with its 112-metre-long Bourbaki panorama, Lucerne possesses one of the world’s few maintained, mammoth circular paintings.
Tradition and modernity stand side-by-side with ease in Lucerne, as the town has also earned a reputation for itself with innovative design. The futuristic Culture and Convention Centre (KKL), designed by leading French architect Jean Nouvel, is one the architectural highlights of the town. The KKL is also a landmark of Lucerne and venue for a wide variety of cultural events throughout the year.
Lake Lucerne cruise
Formed in the ice age by an ancient glacier, the lake can reach depths of over 700 feet. The crystal clear fresh water is home to swans, ducks and fish.
Once the tour of Lucerne was over we went on a cruise on the Lake Lucerne. The weather was overcast and cool, but the lake was nice. There was something very peaceful about this quiet lake tucked in between the Swiss Alps.
The cruise was really nice where we got to explore and admire nature at its best with gently rolling meadows, idyllic bays, dramatic fjords, and near-vertical cliffs. We also got to see Switzerland’s most significant historic landmarks like the Ruetli Meadow, where the Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291, William Tell’s Chapel, and the Schiller Rock.
Lucerne has a great mix of retail shopping in a very small area. As Switzerland is not part of the European Economic Zone prices are more expensive than the rest of Europe.
Watches, timepieces and clocks are one thing that the Swiss are famous for. Rolex, Longines, Tissot, Omega, Tag, Swiss Military, Swatch were everywhere. But as we were time poor we went to just one shop and spent almost 500 Swiss franc buying watch , Swiss knifes and souvenirs.
Dinner at Lucerne
I think once you had the best, it is easy to get disappointed. When we went to dinner in Lucerne, we had fun but definitely not as much as in Prague.
The night started with people playing traditional Swiss music and singing Swiss folk song.
It was followed by the audience participation in Yodeling and drinking beer.
Lucky for me (and unlucky for AS) AS got picked to be on the stage; it was really funny to hear him Yodeling and gulping down the beer. I am sure he had fun.
Food wise, Switzerland was similar to most of the Europe. We were served Founde (Swiss cheese dish) with various salads. It was followed by Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch (strips of veal in mushroom sauce) with Rosti (grated and fried potatoes). And the evening ended with a serve of Swiss Chalet Desset (Meringue with applesauce and strawberry ice cream).
Please click here for more photos.