Tag Archives: lucerne

Lucerne

Hello from Lucerne! I’m approaching the end of a restorative week in Lucerne, Switzerland. Rainy days encouraged the slow pace, however, the goal of the week was to simply rest, eat right and relax on a level not quite possible moving from place to place – and it was achieved. I’ve been feeling a bit worn down from travel, having an erratic sleep schedule and not eating as well as usual. Getting the right variety of nutrients had been an unexpected challenge during constant travel. 

Well, not exactly healthy a food, but I appreciated the extra time to bake a Nectarine Pie

The luxury of having free time meant home cooking every meal, something I have missed a lot over the last month. Of course the week involved plenty of treats! After a few tries, I figured out a decent pancake breakfast by converting an American recipe to metric measurements that better fit the kitchen equipment. Math was never my strength but I’m a bit ashamed of the disasters I created my first two attempts. A nectarine pie made for another sweet treat near the closing of the week. I must confess though that I didn’t intend to bake a pie at all but was forced to when I realized the pizza dough that I bought was actually dessert dough! 

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A performance after a long rain.

Aside from wonderful tastes the week offered amazing sound as a music festival was on at the lakefront. The week-long Blue Balls festival meant free shows and art performances took place every night along the beautiful lakefront and brought out all sorts of people. The festival provided an excuse to walk around the old town and to the shores of Lake Lucerne after dinner or try food from a variety of food stalls selling everything from roasted nuts or cheesecake to spicy curry. Aside from the major stages, smaller-scale performances were on a few street corners or mini-stages, giving the festival goers a nice variety of sound and styles. Bands come from all over and a fair number performed with English lyrics so I was able to follow along very well. 

Lucerne is a wonderful base for challenging mountain routes and public transportation makes it easy  (but not cheap) to reach trail heads. Only the final full day of the stay was clear enough to for a day hike and I chose Pilatus. The mountain looms over the city and the dragon tales associated with it made it seem like the perfect Lucerne experience. I visited the city once before and did not have time to hike the mountain. So, I was really happy to do it on a second visit.

The hike began at Alpnachstad, an uncomplicated place to reach from Luzern while being less than an eight hour round trip. Alpnachstad is the start of the famous cogwheel railway which goes to the top of Pilatus and drops passengers off at viewing platforms and a cafe. I would have to really work for my coffee and walked the route starting behind the cogwheel rail station. The six kilometers up is very steep, winding through forest, pasture with happy cows and then a series of rocky switchbacks.

Following the steep footpath up from Alpnachstad took 3.5 hours and the views are amazing.

After gaining almost 1,700 meters, at the top I felt a mix of awe and relief. To the west and south are views of beautiful snowy peaks; To the east is glistening Lake Lucerne. I wish there had been another day for exploring the network of different trails around the mountain and beyond but I’m very happy with how the week progressed. 

Now I’m a bit sore, still hungry and planning a few days exploring Prague!

As always, thank you for reading!

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Zürich and Lucerne

One of the beautiful views at Lucerne.

One of the beautiful views at Lucerne.

My first day in Switzerland was spent at Kunsthaus, wandering the area around Lake Zürich and looking for fun food (everything was a tad expensive). I was exhausted from my flight and did a bit less than I hoped but it was still enjoyable. The city was really quiet and clean and getting around on the network of trams was really easy and kind of fun.

The second day involved a trip to Lucerne in the morning. Being tired and not understanding much German, I took a wrong train (correct platform!) and ended up in Zug. I had to get off there and sprint across the station in an attempt to catch my correct train. This ended up working and the views of the water from the train were rather nice, with mountains peaking out in the distance.

Lucerne was really cute and I tried to stay by the lake in between sightseeing. Walking on the Kapellbrücke was fun and I really enjoyed views of the city from the medieval city ramparts. The mountains were really beautiful. One of the best parts of the day was snacking by the waterfront and taking in the view.

In the evening Zürich had a special “Night at the Museum” event that involved many museums of various types staying open until 2 a.m. Such an awesome idea!

My legs are feeling all the walking and hills today but Munich awaits!

Thanks for reading,

Ruby

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
William Morris