Edit Blog Post
Published: November 1st 2019
I patiently waited at the airport for my sisters to arrive (my sister Dana and our childhood friend, Lindsey - just saying sisters makes it easier). Thankfully, I arrived early as their plane came in about 20 minutes early. I saw them come out from the arrivals hall and we made our way to get our rental car. Since they had just flown overnight, I drove. The roads are generally in great condition, though I did find some of the signs confusing. It was amazing the amount and length of tunnels we drove through, not just this first day, but everyday. I find it very interesting as an engineer. Luzern / Lucerne
I recommended our first stop to be Lucerne / Luzern, a cute city on our way to the Lauterbrunnen valley where we were to stay. After getting turned around a couple times, we finally found our way to Luzern. It was Sunday morning, slightly rainy, so we were able to find parking along the river easily, near the Nölliturm, part of the Musegg wall and a former 15th century gunpowder storehouse. We walked along the river to town and were assaulted by a billion flies.... memories of
northern Ontario for all three of us. (look up the Black Fly Song by Wade Hemsworth for inspiration). They seemed to be hanging exactly along the railing along the water, so we wound up crossing the street to be able to breathe a little easier.
First things first: find an open coffee shop. They hadn't eaten and all I had had was a pretzel while waiting for them at the airport. We finally found a large bistro with free wifi, where we got a coffee / cappuccino and some quiche-like items and a raspberry tart (with cream!). It was a pretty busy, but nice bistro. Probably partially busy because there seemed to be absolutely nothing else open! But it was a good stop, and compared to some of the prices we ran into later, it did not seem to be crazy expensive.
Afterwards, we continued uphill and saw a clock tower beckoning us. We found the tower, one of many along a wall which actually connected down to Nölliturm near where we parked. We walked along the hillside and entered the clock tower, which was also a museum, housing some old pieces of the clock and examples of
how the existing clock worked. It was all in German or something, so we learned by observing. It was a steep climb to the top and we arrived just as it started to toll. Then we went back down and walked along the wall, soon after was when we heard the bells toll all over the city. It was charming.
We made our way down towards the river and saw the famous Chapel Bridge or Kappellbrücke. This gorgeous wooden bridge dates back to the 14th century and the interior has triangular planes of 17th century art, which depicts parts of Lucerne's history. It is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Unfortunately, a big fire in 1993 destroyed much of the roof and artwork, but some of it was restored (about 30 panels). I did not know about the fire until I started researching for this blog, but it is interesting to go back through my photos and see some of the burned beams that are still there.
We walked along the other side of the river and crossed yet another wooden bridge, Spreuer Bridge, which dates back to the 1500's. This bridge also has triangular panels of
artwork. The interesting part of these pieces is that it plays out most of the Dance Macabre. We noticed as we were walking that these panels contained skeletons, so it attracted us along most of the walk across.
I love that these bridges seem to be so well taken care of. I love the intact wall and towers rising above the city. I love the architecture of the buildings. I love the beautiful, colorful plants and flowers adorning the bridges and balconies. Just a gorgeous, nice stopover that I highly recommend and I think it was one of my most favorite parts of Switzerland.
Tot: 2.579s; Tpl: 0.094s; cc: 17; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0357s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 5;
; mem: 1.4mb