Willkommen in Luzern

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April 13th 2012
Published: April 13th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Train to Arth GoldauTrain to Arth GoldauTrain to Arth Goldau

Nice and comfortable, lovely view and no Italian electronic speed control devices to worry about!
After breakfast at the Trenitalia station in Milano Centrale, we boarded our train to Switzerland. We were headed for Luzern via Arth Goldau, where we had to alight from the very fast train and board another train to Luzern Bahnhof in the German-speaking north-central Switzerland.

Train travel is wonderful - it's fast, quiet, clean and when travelling through Schweiz, is a wonderful scenic experience.

What we saw through our train windows looked like Costiera Amalfitana, Lago di Garda and Venice put together!! There were maginficent snow capped mountains and cliffs - with buildings built throughout and beautiful alpine lakes.

On arriving in Luzern, we rolled past Lake Luzern - "Vierwaldst├Ąttersee" - the fourth largest lake in Switzerland.

Our first stop was for some traditional Swiss refreshments - Starbucks. Wifi and a coffee was required. AUD$38 later we realised Switzerland was not going to be a low-cost stop on our trip.

We found our hotel, The Goldener Stern, only a short walk away and past the famous wooden footbridge The Chapel Bridge - "Kapellbr├╝cke". Emily loved it - there were large white swans and ducks everywhere.

After checking in, we were back out in the fresh Luzern air looking for a nice spot for an early dinner. We were all pretty hungry as we had not eaten much for lunch. We took a walk along the river and across the Chapel Bridge and found a traditional Swiss restaurant - Mr Pickwick's Pub. Well, not quite traditional, it was an an old english pub that had a countdown timer above the bar to remind everyone when the next European Cup was due to start.

The publican asked a couple of people to move out of the only table left that would fit five and we enjoyed a lovely meal - steak, chicken, beer. Perfect at AUD$150...

As it turned out the people we kicked off our table we Australian and they we were quite friendly. They said the only Swiss food worth paying for was sausages and that the pub was a good choice. They highly recommended we avoided the seafood in Schweiz. To top it off, one of them had a dog (in the pub) so Emily was overjoyed. We have seen people with dogs everywhere so far, so Em was pleased to be able to get to know one finally.

Damian believes
Swan LakeSwan LakeSwan Lake

Emily now wants a pet swan.
that, overall, the ladies in Schweiz are ok, but nothing like the elegant, well-dressed women of Italy. He is looking forward to seeing Paris for a comparison.

Our pub friends highly recommended that we undertake the "Golden Round Trip" which includes the world's steepest cogwheel railway up Mt Pilatus. That is our plan for tomorrow, weather permitting.

Additional photos below
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The Chapel BridgeThe Chapel Bridge
The Chapel Bridge

The Chapel Bridge is one of three wooden footbridges in Luzern and was almost burnt down in 1993. It was rebuilt in 1994 at a cost of $2.1M, which is a bargain considering the price of food in this country.

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