Swiss Roadie Trip Day 4 - Lucerne

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June 13th 2019
Published: June 13th 2019
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We have 4 free days until the experiment ends. There are no parkruns in Switzerland, so we do the only sensible thing and set off for Italy.

First, we head for Lucerne. Once we have left the cordon of heavy industry along the border, Switzerland becomes much more Swiss with factories giving way to mountains and lakes. Reaching Lucerne is easy. Finding a parking space big enough for a van is another matter.

Once we are finally parked, we are quite familiar with Lucerne. We walk to the river and zigzag our way through the old town, crossing the various bridges, starting with the 14th Century Kapellbrücke and finishing with the 15th Century Spreuerbrücke with its macabre Dance of Death roof murals.

After, we head for our hotel in the nearby village of Bauen. In Switzerland, mobile data (like everything else) is mega expensive and I have reached my data cap. Hence, we are faced with trying to navigate what looks like the world’s most complicated road junction without Google Maps.

We stop at a supermarket to buy lunch and access WiFi. I soon realise why it is necessary to drive 5 miles past the hotel before returning in the opposite direction; we are staying between a lake and a mountain and the motorway, although only metres away, passes through the mountain in a 6 mile long tunnel.

After we exit the tunnel, we have to do a figure of eight/double U turn manoeuvre to join a small road parallel to the mountain motorway.

We stop for a picnic by the lake whose name rolls off the tongue; Vierwaldstättersee. It’s a pleasant spot which could possibly claim the prize for the most remote ‘Pay & Display’ car park location.

We reach our hotel which has a restaurant overlooking the lake. I try to speak German at check in but we have to switch to English as they can’t understand my accent (I think). We take a beer on the terrace. It’s a nice spot as long as you focus on the lake and mountains in the background. Look closer to the shore and there is polystyrene, plastic bottles and all manners of junk bobbing around in the water.

In the evening we take a stroll along the lakeside footpath. A lady jogging past wishes us a ‘Schönes Abend’. The old man is quite put out, he thinks she is calling us swine. He isn’t the greatest linguist; in the supermarket, when the cashier said ‘Danke’, he was convinced she had called him a donkey.

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