Today was a pretty uneventful day, as I was riding the rails until about 4:00. It was a pretty boring train trip actually… it was overcast and rainy, so if there was a view to see, I couldn’t see it! So, I got to Geneva, got some Swiss Francs and had some lunch, then got back on and continued to Lucerne. Or Luzern, as it’s called here. I got to my hotel, and it immediately started pouring! My shoes are OK for light rain, but when it’s coming down like crazy, they’re pretty hopeless, so I decided to wait it out and see if it let up. Thankfully it did, so I ventured out to find some food and to check out the town. When I came to Europe 10 years ago with my parents we took the train through here, and for whatever reason I decided I just had to come back one day. I only saw it from the train as we were passing by, but something must have grabbed me, because I never forgot the name, and now I am here! It’s as beautiful as I imagined it to be. There are swans in the river, the Alps in the background and it’s called Lucerne because it’s right on the shores of Lake Lucerne. It’s like paradise! There are loads of restaurants in this town, but man is it expensive! I’m here 2 nights and decided that tomorrow will be my night out, so I wound up having peanuts and dried fruit for dinner. I wasn’t starved or anything, so it’ll do me, but if I could have found something cheap and cheerful I would have actually just had some sort of DINNER! That is also In part because I was totally screwed by a cab driver. On the one hand I guess I’m lucky I haven’t been screwed yet. On the other hand I hate being screwed, so I’m still getting over my bitterness about it. It cost 14 Swiss francs to go from the train station to my hotel 5 minutes away. It’s a 10 minute walk! He started the meter at 7 francs, and the .20 seemed to be racking up faster than normal. I should have said something, but I don’t know what the norm is here so I didn’t bother. In closing, I think I was definitely screwed. I’m going to ask my hotel what a cab should cost from the station just to see. Grrr….
***UPDATE! I asked the hotel guy, and I wasn’t screwed. It’s just f-ing expensive here!
So, I had a nice walk around the town and river, and had a funny experience under the cover of the chapel bridge, so check the 40 Things tab for details… (: Trust me… you will laugh!
Up to now, I haven’t noticed a lot of Japanese tourists, and I think that’s because they all are here in Lucerne! I asked a Swiss person if it was just Lucerne that was the draw, or all of Switzerland. Apparently it’s just Lucerne… interesting!
Most of the restaurants are on the river. The ones on the side I’m standing on (to take the picture) have outdoor patios.
The sign was only in German, but I’m guessing this is some sort of water control device, kind of like with canals? I’m sure my Dad will know the answer… (:
Swan lake. Or, river….
There must be a couple of hundred swans here, plus the usual duck population.
There are quite a few bridges that cross the river. There’s the famous chapel bridge, the main bridge right near the train station, another couple of pedestrian bridges, and this one. It is called the Spreuer Bridge, and it was completed in 1408 as part of the city fortification. In the 1620’s paintings were added inside called the “Dance of Death” and most of them depict a skeleton doing various things.
Views from inside the bridge.