On Friday, I was at work and feeling pretty down from having an extremely boring previous seven days (mostly due to my wisdom teeth removal). On top of that, I had zero plans for the weekend and thus nothing to look forward to. On Friday around 4 pm, luck changed. My friend Maggie found out she had Saturday off work and we immediately decided we wanted to go somewhere – somewhere outside of Germany. Although I’ve only been back from Christmas 26 days now, I am pretty sure it is the longest I’ve ever gone without leaving Karlsruhe and I was antsy. After a long debate between Warsaw, Poland and Somewhere, Switzerland, we decided hopping on the train would be much easier than dealing with flying in the icy conditions, and on Saturday morning, off to Lucerne we went.
Lucerne (locally: Luzern) is a city of nearly 80,000 inhabitants located in the German part of Switzerland on the beautiful Lake Lucerne and surrounded by Swiss Alps, closest mountains being Pilatus and Rigi. Lucerne is famous for it’s gorgeous wooden bridge, The Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), which was built in 1333, making it the oldest covered bridge in Europe. The iconic bridge was victim to a fire caused by a cigarette in August 1999, and now is mostly entirely reconstructed. Inside the bridge are murals depicting Lucerne’s history.
Upon arrival, we wandered all about town (easily accomplished by foot). It was a foggy and chilly day where we were ‘welcomed’ by a mixture of snow flakes and rain. Our first stop was the Hofkirche, a catholic church perched up on a hill near the lake. The church as it stands today was constructed in 1633, but the original structure dates back to 733. I am always blown away by the structures built so long ago without the modern conveniences of today. From there, we walked along the shores of Lake Lucerne, which was quite glassy due to the weather conditions. I would love to see the difference come summertime.
After wandering through the old town and over the Chapel Bridge, I spotted some horses that we immediately chased after. We were so glad we did because they lead us straight to a pre-Carnival parade where a crewe was celebrating the upcoming celebration (early February). After talking to some men in costume, we were informed they were off to a dinner and party hosted by the head of their group. Their friends and other onlookers cheered them all throughout their parade through the Old Town and to their dining hall. It sure got us excited for the upcoming Carnival celebrations in Germany!
5 Swiss Francs is about 5 USD. The fact that there is a 5 Franc coin tells me you can’t buy crap with it. Switzerland is expensive, but the scenery makes it worth the extra change.
Lucerne was just a 3 hour train ride south of Karlsruhe. We went to the border city of Basel and then changed from the German to the Swiss railways.
The Chapel Bridge
After exploring the Old Town, we were off for a traditional Swiss Fondue dinner (next time…)
Where do you want to go in Switzerland?