Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jun 18, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Switzerland  , Lucerne,
Monday, May 5, 2008

<Brian's brief chronological list of "highlights" (and of whinging)>
- Caught a train to Lucerne... saw some really beautiful lakes along the way, as well as some paragliders and even a rock climber!
- Checked into our accommodation in Lucerne and then went for a walk around. Walked across the Chapel Bridge and saw the Lion monument... that poor lion!
- Walked around town looking at all the Swiss pocket knives for sale... trying decide which knife would be good as both a souvenir and useful... which is difficult when the knives come in all sizes and with a different combo of tools.
<Lang's Extended Version>
After an exhausting day hiking yesterday, we woke up before 8am and started to pack up our gear again. Today we had to check out of our wonderful chalet (well, our room was small and basic, but we just loved the views and the company of Denise and the other guests, so that made up for everything.)
So after breakfast and a discussion on politics with a couple of Californians (they didn't particularly like Arnie as the governor), we packed the rest of our gear away and made tracks back to the railway station.
The bonus thing about heading down on a Sunday morning was that we were the only two people on the gondola, so we enjoyed the last of our wonderful views of the alps in silence.
It was only a few minutes wait until our connection back to Interlaken, and then from there to Lucerne. That's the great thing about the Swiss transport system, everything works in synch, so you never have to wait long for a connection and things just seem to run on time..
As if the views going down weren't gorgeous enough, the train leaving Interlaken was absolutely stunning. As the name suggests, the town is situated between two lakes and wow, the colour of the water was a deep emerald, with gorgeous alps in the background...
The train journey took roughly 2 hours, and my eyes never left the windows.. I thought New Zealand was beautiful, but Switzerland definitely tops it on my list..
Upon arriving and checking into our Hotel, we headed out to see a couple of the most famous sites of Lucerne - the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument.
The Chapel Bridge was built in the 14th century as part of the city's walls, but it was burnt down at one stage, so they had to rebuild it again.. Right next to it, or really part of the bridge, was the Water Tower, this is the most photographed icon in all of Switzerland, believe it or not..
It took us about half an hour to walk to the Lion Monument as we would stop every 5 or 10 metres to check out the souvenir shops with their display of Swiss Army Knives.. They were pretty much selling identical knives, but Brian couldn't decided which one he wanted more.. Why and how often would you need a mini wood saw?? Seriously!!
Anyway, we finally made our way to the Monument, which was carved from the side of a rock face. The dying lion had a broken spear in its back and one paw on a Swiss shield, it was suppose to represent the Swiss mercenaries who died fighting in Tuileries in 1792. It was definitely moving as you can see the pain on the Lion's face..
We wandered along the streets and the waterfront for a little while, looking for a place to have linner as we were starving but everything was at least $25.. So we went back to the Hotel and asked the guy if he knew any place which was 'cheap' and 'good'.. He suggested Maccas.. great.. =P We ended up going to a pub down the road and spent the money anyway.. Tomorrow we'll have a cheapie meal as the co-op will be open..
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