This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 10 March 2013.
“Luzern is like a pretty town out of a postcard” – those are the words coming from my work mate when I informed him that I was visiting Luzern for the weekend. Every since I arrived in Switzerland, I have not stopped smiling. In Geneva, the old town is simple but pretty with small cafes decorating the pavements. In Zurich, where I am living now, is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever lived. I always feel like hugging the whole city just because I feel so lucky to be here. The lake offers incredible view whatever the weather is like, the city transportation is amazingly punctual and neat and everywhere you walk, the streets are clean and nice to stroll in.
I bought a yearly half-fare card which reduces train and local transport prices. It is really a bargain to buy this card and I recommend for those who are living in Switzerland or is travelling a lot here. For example, a single trip from Geneva – Zurich costs around CHF84, with this card you pay only half of it CHF42. Absolute bargain.
So anyway, I was torn between visiting Luzern and Interlaken. With this half fare ticket, I feel like I just HAVE to try out all the pretty cities in Switzerland, don’t you agree? I asked a few friends on Twitter as well as my friends here. They all seem to reach an agreement that I should go to Luzern while Interlaken should be saved for the warmer Spring days. I instantly agree with them.
That weekend the weather was not at its best. Cloudy sky and just a little peek of sunshine. However, be it raining or snowing, I would’ve still gone to Luzern – weather has never stopped me from exploring. The train ride was too quick, less than an hour, and I didn’t even feel the time since I was looking at gorgeous view all the way from Zurich to Luzern. Hills and houses with leftover snow and huge calming lakes. I didn’t even realized when I finally arrived to the picturesque city of Luzern.
I was welcomed by a view of the famous Lake Luzern, I spotted some swans and ducks swimming happily in what I supposed to be very cold water. I was even more surprised to see a group of people practising rowing with a separate boat, their coach, saying something through the megaphone giving instructions. I shivered, even with a coat on I was cold, I can’t imagine being them in the open water. On my left I could see the stunning Kapellbrücke bridge. The bridge which defines Luzern, everyone talks about it, every picture centers around it – I decided to save the best till last.
I entered the old town, like most of my trips, I always start with the old town. There, I just loose myself in the small aisles filled with shops, old buildings, intriguing fountains…and to my surprise, buildings with brightly-coloured paintings. Last Summer, I had an obssesion with gorgeous windows I found during my travel, well the one in Luzern takes it into a whole different level. The windows itself are beautiful, but the addition in the form of paintings in its wall, well that’s just spectacular. I think every old town should definitely take Luzern as an example!
The city is also known for the Musegg Wall which is located nicely on a small hill. To get up there, I had to take several stairs. It was definitely a little exercise which left me quite out of breath at the top. As I turned around, I saw something which I think is simple but just breathtaking. Leftover snow which lays sparsely on the bright green grass with colourful houses as its background. I thought the view was amazing, I think it’s the small things that we sometimes forget to see, but these little details are actually what makes a city so unique.
Snow was still spread in the open field near the wall. It was completely white. For a while I was surprised, I didn’t expect snow was still around. I had to take little careful steps, this was one of the moments when I miss having a companion. It took me back to my travel to Brașov where the city was literally covered in snow and my friends and I were holding on to each other trying not to slip. I managed to walk without slipping, fiiiuuuh!
Though the whole atmosphere of the city is cheery and bright, a sudden sadness hit me as I found the Lion Monument of Luzern. This lion is a symbol of bravery for Swiss mercenaries who died at Tuilleries, Paris during the French Revolution. “The dying Lion of Luzern” reflects a certain sadness that takes you back to history, you can tell that from the carving and the way this monument is placed in front of a large pond reflecting its mirror image in the water.
My last stop of the trip was the Kapellbrücke bridge. The bridge which spans across the Reuss River, is not like any other bridge I’ve seen before. The bridge has wooden rooftop and has a tower in the middle of it, which is called Wasserturm (Water Tower). Inside the bridge there are paintings, re-telling stories of history. This city is really full of paintings.
So my friend was right. From the moment I stepped my foot outside the city, I was already awed by the picturesque view lays in front of me. It was really like picture perfect. I think Luzern deserves a revisit sometimes in the future!
Have you been to Luzern? Which city in Switzerland takes your breath away?