Stroll through Lucern
Lucerne is a beautiful small city in the heartland of Switzerland, across the lake from Altdorf, where legend has it William Tell shot an apple off of his son's head. In addition to being a fine place to visit in and of itself Lucerne is a great base from which to explore famous Swiss sites.
Reza, my couchsurfing host in Lausanne, has told me that Lucern was a fun city to visit, so when I decided to swing by Interlaken, I also decided to take a train to Zurich through Lucerne instead of Bern as I was going to make a prior stop there. Efficiency - not going through the same place twice, although in this case, the route through Lucerne was going to take longer. Oh well. The train ride from Interlaken was awesome - the views of Brienzer lake and a few more lakes on the way, the mountains, the little towns, the sun setting down… Enough said.
It was about a two hour train ride and because I did not leave Interlaken until late, I got into Lucern just before the sun started to set down so I threw my pack into a locker at the train station and headed out into the city. My first impressions upon exiting the station were 'meh' - large streets, more modern buildings next to the train station, and lots of traffic (and honking) all combined to make me relate to the city as being Dnepropetrovsk of Switzerland and I could not shake that feeling as I went along.
I crossed a few streets to get out to Kapellbrücke - the city's famous covered wooden bridge, the oldest in Europe. It was pretty nice indeed with old wood and flower pots hanging from the sides but I could not figure out why it was shaped the way it did - it comes at about 60 degrees angle from one of the shores, goes on for a while, and then makes a turn to go perpendicular to the other shore. Seems like a pretty inefficient way to make a path from one shore to the other (I know - engineering geekness - my geometry teacher should be proud).
After taking a few pictures along the river bank, I went through the heart of old town to find the Museggmauer - a long stretch of walls and towers surrounding the old city since 1400s that are still being kept intact. By the time I got there, it was already getting too dark to get any good pictures and I only had about ten minutes to get up into on the towers before they were shutting it down for the night.
Lastly, I went out to find Löwendenkmal - "one of the most famous statues in Europe". It is a giant carving of a lion that according to Mark Twain is "the saddest and the most moving piece of work in the world". Unfortunately, by the time I got there, it was completely dark so none of the pictures I took turned out reasonably well. Touche. It definitely was a large carving and would probably give any lion statue in L'viv a run for its money.
I walked back to the train station just in time to grab some things for dinner and get on the train to Zurich. Lucern has not impressed me at all, but then again, I really did not have much time to explore it either. Maybe I will give it another chance some day.
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