As the train approaches my destination, it seems like the views through the window sequenced a misty and beautiful dawn. Nature in all its creative glory turns these quickly passing views into the first etched memories of the city of Lucerne, forever.
When in Switzerland, apart from the big cities such as Geneva and Zurich, one little ‘must-visit’ city is Lucerne. As a most popular town in central Switzerland, it has a lot to offer and I am never tired of this beautiful place despite multiple visits. Whether you travel on work or for leisure, a day and a night is a ‘must do’ in Lucerne. The best things are, to laze around Lucerne with long walks on those beautifully cobbled-stoned lanes, a chilled out sunset cruise, incredible chocolates, good wine and some amazing food.
The first best thing to do is easily be the first thing that you get to see the moment you get outta of the railway station after reaching Lucerne. Its the river that runs by and straight ahead you are treated with the sight of bridges, big and many small connecting the lanes so beautiful. As it is located by the shores of lake Lucerne and its outflow, the Reuss river, the town has always been a perfect destination for tourists. As always I start by walk around the lake with the spectacularly posing ‘snow peaked’ mountains – Pilatus and Rigi that form the background for an amazing setting.
Charming Chapel Bridge
Be it morning as the sun rises or in the evening as the dark sets in, this most famous wooden bridge appears to be one of the best things that can be viewed through your lenses from either side of the river. The Kapellbrucke, as they call it is built to last for centuries as an iconic wooden bridge that welcomes you the moment you step out of the Lucerne station.
The bridge spans diagonally across the river Reuss and remains ever-inviting for a walk through the 14th century structure. The wooden pillars and beams in symmetrical patterns seem to create a perfect walkway from one end to the other, while offering an amazing view of the city on either side. A collection of paintings from the 17th century depicting events from Lucerne’s history are at display inside the Bridge. With the blue waters reflecting the Chapel Bridge, the lake’s most favourite swans, as always, add to the calm and serenity to the entire view and a cool shot for my lens too.
A visit to lucerne is never complete without this moment looking at these swans, as they say ‘mated for life’, with clear water, chill evening breeze and a walk across the bridge. As the evening creeps in at dusk, the mesmerising image of the snow capped alps begin to fade into the blue, only to dominantly reappear in the morning.
The crying Lion of Lucerne
As we walk on the other side of Reuss and into the lanes, the next thing on the mind is to spot the Lion of Lucerne. As an inquisitive wanderlust, this is more than a reason to find something that sounds so interesting. This is a sculpture created as a memorial commemorating the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives during the French revolution.
A dying lion, wounded and in pain sculpted to depict the sadness. This monument that is set amidst rocks today, is said to have made Mark Twain praise as the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.
The Lucerne Cruise ride
My personal best is the sunset cruise, though you have the option to choose the lunch cruise too. One of the interesting things when you travel is that you get to realise and appreciate certain ways to do things when you travel. And the fact that ‘the best way to see some of the places is through the waterways’ is one such learning.
And Lucerne too, offers the best of its sides with some spectacular views when on the cruise ride. An antique paddle steamer, which we were in, moved gently into the calm waters showing us every bit of the alpine nature on either side and the little towns by the banks. The ‘deep blue’ clear water, the rocky slopes, comforting greens, old churches, idyllic coves, some fishing boats and the snow-covered mountain peaks form a perfect backdrop for the incredible painting-like views.
After an amazing cruise ride, it is time for some sweet indulgence. The board says Confiseur Bachmann and once you are in, it is hard get out, as they have some of the best chocolates and confectionery products.
The chocolate wall, the sweets & savoury items, the ice cream and the treat goes on. And if you are a sucker for chocolates as I am, there is no escape from this place. Walk along the beautiful lanes to find town squares and awesome looking churches.
If you have an interest in horology, you will find some of the best watch makers in action in the watch shops. The town lives up to its watch making history and traditions and you can catch up with these watch makers actually in their act with such precision and details, displaying master craftsmanship.
And finally to end the day, the city of Lucerne offers a wide variety of choices to savour the culinary diversity. Be it the Swiss cuisine or even the Indian, there is always a place to settle down for a perfect dinner by the banks of river Reuss or the lake Lucerne, with some fine wine.