At one point, Switzerland began to feel repetitive. Everything is beautiful, but that’s just it – perfect beauty everywhere that’s just too perfect. A lake in every city, mountains in view at every angle, an impeccable merge of nature and cityscape. As much as I really love Switzerland, I was beginning to feel a little bored of it. I think I truly felt this after a short visit in Lucerne.
Maybe that was why I didn’t stay in Lucerne (or Luzern) for more than one day. Either that, or I didn’t stay long enough to uncover its unique charm. I had previously heard exaggerated claims of how “perfect” it is, and…maybe it is, but the fog hid it the day I was there. Or maybe Lucerne really just isn’t that perfect. But then…who said anything had to be perfect to be appreciated?
It was very foggy in Lucerne. I headed to Rigi not long after arrival, and when I came back, it was already late in the afternoon. I only had time to discover the old town districts of Lucerne, which included the covered Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and the water tower over the Reuss river.
The Chapel Bridge is one of Lucerne’s many wooden pedestrian bridges crossing the Reuess. At night, the old town lights up and chases away the fog of the day, and I was finally able to see the city a bit more clearly.
The interior of the Chapel Bridge was adorned with painted triangular frames, each painting telling a part of Lucerne’s history. Apparently a fire in 1993 almost destroyed the Chapel Bridge, out of the approximately 150 original paintings by Catholic painter Hans Heinrich Wägmann, only about a third remained and were restored.
The city of Lucerne glows on Lake Lucerne in the night.
Window shopping during the night was one of the enjoyable activities in Lucerne, as I slowly walked along the shopping streets of the city. Since the shops were closed at night, all I COULD do was window shop. Seems like the people in Lucerne have a liking for fancy decors and kitchen appliances…
Giant macarons! I’m not a fan of sweets and definitely not of these very typical French desserts, but they really are satiable eye candies 😉 I guess the Swiss are more known for their chocolates though, of which I’d actually prefer the less sweet but richer Belgian varieties.
The Lion Monument is a sculpture of a dying lion carved into a stone wall commemorating the Swiss soldiers who died during the French Revolution. When I saw photos of the monument, I thought it would be a very small statue, hole-in-a-wall, but the true size of the lion blew my mind. Standing at 6 metres tall and 10 metres wide, the lion is literally carved into a giant cliff with the words “Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti” (“To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss”) above it. The painful expression of the lion at the brink of death is nothing less than heart-wrenching, a moving reminder of lost souls.
I arrived in a foggy Lucerne and left it in the fog. On a clear day, I would have been able to see the Alps behind Lake Lucerne, but alas, no such luck. Then again, without the fog, Lucerne would have almost been too similar to say, Zurich and Lausanne, so the fog added some intricacy and mystery to it. I might have just been a little bored (or tired) in Lucerne, but Switzerland still remains that dreamy wonderland that I wouldn’t hesitate going back time after time.
Next up: Rhine Falls! You’ve been elusive, but it’s about time, Mr.Largest-waterfalls-in-Europe 😉