Switzerland
Lucerne

Here you’ll find travel reports about Lucerne. Discover travel destinations in Switzerland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day33

    It is always fascinating to observe the quick changes of season in Europe at this time of the year. When we arrived in Madrid five weeks ago, summer was still definitely in charge. The days were hot and sultry, the women all wore their bright summer clothing and the deciduous trees were still covered in (mostly) green leaves.

    This afternoon, as I wondered about Lucerne, it was plainly evident that autumn has well and truly taken over. The days are now fine and cool, the women have all donned their dark winter clothes and the trees are almost bare. I really love this transition and would find it very difficult to live in a location where it is the same all year round.

    Last night as I was preparing to go to bed I noticed a guy in a suit, sitting in his office, almost directly opposite my hotel room. Although it was nearly 10 pm, he was obviously still hard at work, peering intently at his computer screen. I could not help but feel sorry for anyone who has to spend so much time in such a miserable way. The following morning he was back in his office at 7.30 am. What was even worse was that it was a Saturday. I am sure that life was never meant to be lived in that way. As for Allan and I, we had other plans.

    Our main objective in coming to Switzerland was to experience some of their most amazing mountain railways and reach some lofty mountain top summits along the way. Our first challenge was to reach the summit of Mt Titlis. At 3200 metres it is one of the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps, so it seemed like a good place for us to start.

    The first step was to take the train from Lucerne to Engelburg, from where we could catch a series of cable cars to to very summit of the mountain. Our main concern was the weather. It had been very murky since we arrived at Lucerne and we were both a little worried that we might not have been able to see anything when we reached the mountaintop.

    The train ride to Engelburg would have been very comfortable if I had not been seated with the most garrulous family group you could possibly imagine. There were three of them and they never stopped talking, even for a single minute of the journey. Even worse was the fact that they were mostly all talking simultaneously, never even stopping to take a breath. I thought that I must have stumbled upon the Swiss Olympic Talking Team on their way to a training camp.

    We were both glad to get off the train, however, when we walked from the Engelberg Station to the cable car station, it became evident that we would be accompanied by hundreds of bus tourists who had also descended en masse. It also quickly became apparent that nearly all of them were from India, and we also deduced that nearly all of them must had had a serious hearing defect as every one of them was shouting uncontrollably. It was a sight to see and a cacophony to hear.

    The good thing was that the cable car rapidly lifted us well above the cloud cover and up into brilliant sunshine. The whole construction was a marvel of Swiss engineering and the views were breathtaking. As we were steadily lifted above the snow line, the thin air became breathtaking too. Gaining 2500 metres in a few minutes certainly can leave you gasping for oxygen. It reminded me a little of how we felt when we first stepped out of the plane in Cusco.

    When we left the final gondola at the summit, the temperature gauge told us that it was 0 degrees. It felt every bit of it. On went my hat and gloves and out we went into the snow. Since it had been packed flat by hundreds of stomping Indians (most who had never seen snow before and were shouting even louder and faster than before), the surface was treacherous. It did not take long for me to slip straight over onto my backside, and Allan followed suite soon after. It was more fun than the Keystone Cops.

    After we had recovered our composure and found our footing, we had a chance to look about us and savour the views. It truly was an incredible sight. All around were dozens of snow covered peaks, stretching into the distance. Some more serious climbers were making their way up the glacier to the very top of the mountain, while hang gliders were soaring overhead. Much closer to us, dozens of fellow tourists were busy trying to secure that elusive catch - the perfect selfie. I should not have been surprised.

    Way down in the valley we could see that the low lying cloud was still there, making a beautiful white ocean. Rather than detract from the view, it actually made it much better. We busied ourselves taking photos, knowing full well that pictures can never capture the full impact of such a sight. You just have to be there, to know what it is all about.

    Part of the complex at the summit allows you to actually walk through the middle of the glacier, via an ice cave. It was an amazing experience, even if it was cold and slippery, and even if I managed to bang my head on the low ice ceiling.

    Finally it was time to have some lunch in the mountain top restaurant. It was an incredible view and the prices were also pretty incredible as well. I have never before paid almost $40 AUD for some chicken nuggets, baked potato and a cup of coffee. I guess you pay dearly for the ambience of the place.

    We were soon sliding back down the mountain in a much quieter cable car. Most of the masses had been summoned back to their buses and were already on their way to some other distant location. Although we had a little trouble remembering where we had left the railway station, we managed to step straight onto an almost empty waiting train. It did not take me long to fall asleep in our first class carriage. We were the only passengers in the carriage and I seem to have have perfected the important art of falling asleep in seconds.

    It had been a wonderful day.
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  • Day7

    Road to Rome

    June 1 in Switzerland

    We had a train and cable car ride up Mt.Stanserhorn this morning! Wow Sun was out some of the time and then clouds would roll in. Had hot chocolate of coffee with schnapps there. Went to a working dairy farm..60 or 70 acres...Swiss brown cows. She prepared cheese pie, like quiche but with just cheese, Swiss potatoes, salami, chocolate cake and apple strudel and drinks. Then a carriage ride around the town of Endelberg.
    We are divided into 3 groups to go to a local restaurant tonight. Weather has been phenomenal. They called for rain by noon and it has been a gorgeous day. 22C. The Swiss guard fought so gallantly to save the royal family ( a long time) ago an artist carved the lion in stone.
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  • Day6

    Road to Rome

    May 31 in Switzerland

    Today was a coach ride day. Saw some beautiful scenery. Crops in France look a month? Ahead of ours. We could see the blue flax in some places and grain we thought that was quite high but green. Saw a canal and thought of Dave, Nan. He’s likely been here for a canal conference right?
    At six o’clock we went for a boat ride on lake Lucerne. Then we were on our own for supper. 2 Aussie couples and John and I ate together. It was gorgeous walking around. We decided to go up to a roof top bar at our hotel. One couple is quite large and the elevators are small but we decided to all squeeze into one!!it stopped at the 4th floor and wouldn’t move and the doors wouldn’t open. It was likely only 5 to 7 minutes but it seemed longer. Pushed emergency button. We finally pried doors open and someone was there to help us out as it as quite a jump to get out. Very exciting and stupid. John and I had the same experience in Victoria about 40years ago. Older but no wiser.! We giggled and laughed about the experience.Read more

  • Day4

    A GOOD VIEW!

    July 25, 2017 in Switzerland

    We've been having fun in the clock tower looking at how it works. We were a bit scared on the attempt to make it up there. Dad had to hold onto me because he was afraid of heights. But it was worth it because we got a great view.

  • Day30

    Luzern Part 1

    January 15 in Switzerland

    The dying lion monument is a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution. When the revolutionary masses attacked the royal Tuileries castle in Paris on August 10, 1792 the Swiss mercenary troops tried to defend the royal family and make sure the royals could escape. More than six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed.
    The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti ("To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss").
    The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy; beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland.
    The lion is placed within an alcove which has the shape of a pig, representing the French.
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  • Day7

    לוצרן

    August 2 in Switzerland

    העיר הכי גדולה במרכז שווייץ והמקום הראשון שאנשים ממליצים לבקר בו כשמספרים להם שטסים לשווייץ.

    אגם , גשר יפה, עיר עתיקה, בתי גילדות מצוירים ואווירה טובה

  • Day7

    Kapellbruke

    August 2 in Switzerland

    גשר הקפלה - גשר העץ העתיק ביותר באירופה (נבנה במאה ה-14) שחוצה באלכסון את נהר רויס.
    לאורך הגשר, על הגג, יש ציורים (שצוירו במאה ה-17) שמתארים את תולדות העיר והקדושים המגנים עליה.

  • Day2

    Lucerne, Switzerland

    June 6, 2017 in Switzerland

    On our first day we drove to Lucerne and got a bit lost because of the traffic. We wanted to go to the Lion Monument but could'nt see any signs telling us the direction. After a few minutes of driving around we parked the car in one of the parking houses, crossed the street turned into another street and I swear I didn't know where we were going but five minutes later we were standing in front of the monument. One of those moments :-D

    The night before when we came back from the walk we did some Research what to see and to do in Lucerne and I was really confidend that this trip will be really organized and well prepared. But as life is sometimes we again ended up just walking around having no idea where to go and found all the places more or less by mistake :-D

    I guess seeing the city like that was the best way to do it. It was a bit cloudy and rainy so we went into the Church of St. Leodegar stayed there till the rain stopped, walked along the waterfront, visted the old city (which was really pretty), crossed the river on the Chapel Bridge and walked into the Jesuit Church after it started raining again.

    At the ticket office we got our bus pass for the next two days and while we were walking around the train station we noticed how well organized everything is. The same in the next few days later when we were using public transportation we were impressed that everything worked out so well! Buses and boots were more than punctual, everybody was super nice, friendly and polite!

    I'm still so happy that we went there! Lucerne was so much better than I imagined it! It was not to big, everything was walkable, the houses and streets were so cute and pretty and with the mountains close by it's the perfect spot to go out on some adventures.

    Some Facts about the city:

    Lucerne (German name: Luzern; French name: Lucerne; Italian name : Lucerna; Romansh name: Lucerna; Lucerne Swiss-German: Lozärn) is located in central Switzerland. Because it is in the German-speaking portion of the country most of the people speak German but they also speak fluent english, maybe french or italian. I found it was really international even if everybody was greeting with Grüzi :-D.
    Lucerne is the capital of the canton of Lucerne and part of the district with the same name. With a population of about 81,057 people Lucerne is the most populous town in Central Switzerland.

    Popular is Lucerne especially to tourists, because of the good location within the sight the mounts Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps and because ist right on the shores of Lake Lucerne (German: Vierwaldstättersee).
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Luzern, Lucerne, لوسرن, Горад Люцэрн, Люцерн, ལུ་ཛེར་ན།, Lucern, Lucerna, Λουκέρνη, Lucerno, Luzerna, לוצרן, ルツェルン, ლუცერნი, 루체른, Lüzerna, Liucerna, Lucerni, Луцерн, Łuxerna, 卢塞恩

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