Welcome to Part 6 of my travel journal! If you are interested in receiving a referral code for $100 off any EFCB trip, please send an email to email@example.com.
Yesterday was one of the days I was looking forward to the most. I got up at 7:30 and went down for breakfast. The hotel offered salami, cheeses, rolls & croissants, eggs, berry porridge, and fruit. I just grabbed some eggs and fruit, as per usual – but, I made a mental note to try to be more adventurous the next day.
We left the hotel at 8:30, and headed towards Lucerne. It only took an hour to get there, which was a nice change of pace. As we were driving in, I saw a huge bridge covered with flowers: Kapellbrücke!. I had actually read about this prior to the trip, and I knew for sure that I wanted to visit it today.
Fabrice took us on a quick walk through the city, and we ended up at the Dying Lion monument. He told us some of the back story: It was built in the 1700s to honor the lives of Swiss mercenaries, whose bravery and loyalty allowed King Louis XVI to escape from Versailles. They were vastly outnumbered, but would not retreat.
In front of the monument was a pool of water, and we all threw in coins over our left shoulder; it is supposed to bring you luck. It was a light hearted moment in front of a tragic monument.. I thought the contrast was interesting.
After that, we all headed to a huge souvenir shop to begin our free time. We had a bit over two hours to ourselves, and I was excited to explore the city! First, I checked out what the souvenir shop had to offer. I found a magnet (this was becoming a habit by now), and a variety pack of Swiss chocolate for 20 francs. I’m going to save those for when I get back home, if my self control will let me.
Next, I headed into a LUSH store. I love LUSH, but I don’t have any stores near where I live. I’ve always ordered online, but it was time for me to experience it in person. I went in, and the employee was so sweet! She told me about everything in the store, and gave me recommendations based on my skin and hair type. I ended up buying a shampoo and conditioner bar. If you want to read about why shampoo bars are healthier than regular shampoo, check out this post. I also do a LUSH review of other products here.
I decided to find some food next. I went down a back road and found a small, cheap sandwich shop called Twiny’s Station. I was so excited to see cheap food in Switzerland! I bought a tomato & mozzarella baguette, and it was delicious.
I kept following the road, keeping an eye out for the Kapellbrücke. The road took me to the riverfront, and I followed that all the way to the bridge. I had done quite a bit of walking by this point, but it was so worth it. The bridge was gorgeous, and built in the 14th century. I remember reading that it had caught on fire several years ago, and part of it had to be rebuilt. Most of the bridge had panels with pictures, and part of the bridge didn’t – I think that part must have been restored.
Walking down the bridge itself was a wonderful experience. You could see the river, the amazing architecture, the twin spires of a church, and beautiful swans in a calm part of the water. And, the cherry on top, it wasn’t crowded at all!
A Walk through Lucerne (Slideshow)
When I got off the bridge, I decided to search for gelato. Looking back through my diary, I’ve realized I eat way too much gelato, haha. Anyways, I found a nice gelateria, and had a scoop of stracciatella and a scoop of mocha. I think it was the best gelato I’ve had this entire trip. I walked back to Kapellbrücke, and finished my treat while staring into the river. Quite calming… and tasty!
There was only 45 minutes left until we needed to meet, so I decided to start making my way back to the meeting point. Along the way, I stopped in Top Shop to pick up some sunglasses. I had gone this whole trip without a pair! There was a really cute pair for only 20 francs, so that made me pretty happy. I still had a few minutes left, so I went to a chocolate store to look around. I picked up something; I’m really not sure what it is. It reminds me of Ferrero Rocher, but strawberry and peanut butter flavored. It’s a little odd, but still good.
At 12:15, we headed over to the Lucerne dock, and boarded a boat. It was a nice large boat, with bathrooms and a restaurant – neither of which I utilized. The boat ride took about an hour, and the view was gorgeous. The water was pristine, and we were surrounded by mountains. I wrote a bit in my journal, and took a selfie or two.
When we disembarked, we moved onto a train. It went straight up the Alps! We had a spectacular view going up, and we also passed a handful of hikers. I can’t even imagine hiking Mt. Pilatus! It was a 40 minute ride to the top. I loved it when we went through the mountain tunnels. It made me think of the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Wonka is rowing everybody through the dark tunnel. Towards the end, everything became misty and cold, and we couldn’t see a thing. we realized it was because we were going through a cloud! The windows were open, so we were actually able to feel the cloud.
We got up to the top, and at first I was disappointed because I couldn’t see past the clouds. But Sarah, Lindsey, and I decided to climb to the very tip-top of the mountain. Up there, you could see everything; it was so beautiful that I started to tear up.To make things even better, you could hear a man in the distance playing hymns on a alphorn.
I finally headed back down to get a snack. Geez, looking back makes it seem like I’m just always eating. As I headed into the cafe, I saw a trio of Swiss men all playing alphorns. It was so cool! So, at the cafe I bought a “home-style” berry torte. It had strawberries, raspberries, and these little round red berries that I haven’t seen before. After finishing, I went back outside. I saw that there were cows on the side of the mountain, and I found a path that took me down to them. One of the cows was laying on the ground, and let me get right up to it. It was such a surreal experience – sitting in the Alps, looking off into the distance with a cow. Weird way to put it, but you know what I mean.
After spending a while with the cows, I decided to try a little path winding around the side of the mountain. It was lovely, and the view was just as good as the highest point of the mountain. I walked it for a little while, but then had to turn around as it was nearly time to meet.
The group decided to go tobogganing, so we took a stand-up cable car to the area. The cable car ride was so much fun! Standing while going through the air is an even better experience than sitting. Unfortunately, the toboggan ride had almost an hour wait; if we did that, we would miss the last cable car down the mountain. Instead, we grabbed MORE food at a little store nearby. Because I have a sweet tooth and no self control, I had a yummy chocolate mousse. Then, we split up into groups and took cable cars all the way down the mountain.
The bus was there when we landed, and we hopped on to go back to the hotel. I watched some Netflix and relaxed a bit. Around 8 or so, I decided I should probably go get real food, as I had mostly had sweets that day. I went down to the hotel restaurant that I had gone to the previous night. They asked if I wanted to be seated outside, and I said yes.. but it turns out that there was a completely different restaurant outside. When they gave me a menu, I was shocked by the prices, but I was too embarrassed to walk out. I ended up spending 100 francs on a 4 course meal. Thankfully, I hadn’t been spending nearly as much money during the trip as I anticipated, so this wasn’t too bad of a blow. Besides, the food was amazing!
When I got back to the hotel room, I went straight to bed. It was such a long day! Until next time. 🙂