Switzerland is one of my favorite countries to visit and get totally absorbed in its splendor. It’s nestled in the Alps and is steeped in a diversity of Alpine landscapes. It boasts some of the highest mountain ranges, has over 1500 lakes, and a plethora of glaciers. It’s perforated with historic cities and well preserved charming villages. It’s a travelers paradise.
The Swiss are well recognized for their decadent chocolates, delicious cheese, infamous timepieces and Coo Coo clocks, and multi-purpose Swiss knives. They’re also renowned for their exquisite wood carvings, music boxes, yodeling, traditional folklore music, and the stunning edelweiss. It offers everything I love. I’ve had the pleasure of vacationing in Switzerland several times, and a few places just keep calling me back, one of them being Lucerne.
Lucerne is a picturesque city situated in central Switzerland. It’s quaintly embedded in a striking mountainous panorama, and surrounded by the cobalt blue Reuss Lake.
The scenic views are breathtaking and their lively culture inviting. It has a healthy mix of old and new architecture along with lots of shopping, dining, sightseeing attractions and excursion options.
The once little village was founded in 1178, so it’s got lots of historic buildings and landmarks. I enjoyed walking around viewing all the fresco-adorned historic homes and businesses. The artistry is superb.
Lucerne has one of Europe’s oldest covered medieval bridges, the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). The bridge was built in 1333, and its 200 meters span diagonally over the Reuss to connect the right and left shore parts of the city. Walking along the bridge, you’ll have to look up to view the 120 captioned triangle paintings that illustrated Swiss and local history; these were added around the 17th century.
The whole bridge is adorned with myriads of colorful flower boxes during the warmer months, making it postcard perfect. A lot of this bridge was damaged in a 1993 fire allegedly caused by a cigarette. They’ve since painstakingly restored the bridge to its original beauty.
The Lions Monument is a very touching sculpture that still makes me cry today. A dying lion was lovingly carved out of a wall of sandstone rock as a memorial to the soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives during the French Revolution. Words cannot describe the sad energy around this monument; seeing the majestic lion’s countenance in person brought tears to a lot of eyes.
Lucerne is a central location for several day trips and excursion choices. You can visit nearby mountain regions like the Jungfraujoch or take a boat cruise down Lake Lucerne.
There’s lots of bike, walking and hiking trails and tours where you can soak in the gorgeous landscapes and crystal clear lakes.
I walked a few of the trails and completely immersed myself in the moment. The air was so fresh, and I was serenaded with a symphony of various tones of cowbells. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
There are lots of stores that focus heavily on the tourist trade and have every kind of souvenirs you can think of. Did you know that they have colored Swiss knives? I thought they only came in red, but I bought pink, green, purple, blue and a white one; if you like, they’ll engrave your name on the knife. These are only available in Switzerland. I had a blast shopping for keepsakes!
There is no shortage of restaurants in Lucerne, whether you’re looking for fine dining or fast food. But, it’s costly. We usually went to a local bakery and grocery store and stocked up on fruits, veggies, and fresh baked pretzels. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten one of their pretzels, they’re divine! We also had our fair share of delectable chocolate. Hmm, so good!
Hotels are plentiful and range from 4 – 1/2 stars to 2 stars and the price is reflective. Or you can do what we did; we stayed in a Zimmer Frei. These are basically a bed and breakfast lodgings where you get to know the owner and their family. They supply you with a comfy bed, a cozy down-filled quilt, a hearty breakfast, and an endearing smile. This is the way to travel, you get to know the culture deeper and get helpful tips for traveling in the area.
Writing this post brought back a deluge of fond and exciting memories. If you’re considering traveling through Europe or just one country, I can wholeheartedly recommend setting your sights on Switzerland. Gute Reise!