Saturday, August 1, 2015

Travel Diary: Lucerne

When my parents came to Germany to visit me for a couple of weeks I had applied for an internship with an orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland, so we decided it would be nice to go there for a day and night and do something after my audition. Turned out I didn’t have the audition anyway and although I initially felt bad for dragging my parents to Swizterland with no reason, it turned out to be a lovely couple of days. I think this has to be my most favourite city in Europe now (perhaps only in the summer). The weather was stunning, around 35 degrees, and the skies were blue.

Lucerne has a couple of really old bridges; the most famous of which is the Kapellbrücke (i.e Chapel Bridge). It was built in 1333 and the paintings inside the roof of the bridge are pretty special and date back to the 17th century. However, there was a fire in 1993 which destroyed most of the bridge and the paintings so I’m not sure what was original or not. In any case it was a lovely walk to take and the flowers on the outside edge looking over the unbelievably turquoise water were stunning.



Turning to tripadvisor for tips on what to do in Luzern then led me (and my Dad) to go visit the Löwendenkmal (i.e Lion Monument). It had received great reveiws on tripadvisor but the number of tourists there ruined the mood for us. Mark Twain the sculpture as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world” and I’m sure with an air of tranquility it is. In the end we were there for a total of about 2 minutes. For future travelers I would suggest heading there at the crack of dawn so you might have a chance of exeperiencing the solemnity of this sad lion. It was still very impressive as a  huge sculpture carved out of the wall (it’s 10 metres long and 6 metres high).



Having left Mum at the hotel to rest, Dad and I had rented bikes and were on a mission to go for a swim. With such beautiful weather, and a huge lake, what better to do in an afternoon? We found a great schwimmbad place (now I’ve forgotten the name) that had an upper deck area for lying in the sun. It was built out over the water so that when you get in you’re already in deep water. It was the best view I’ve ever experienced while swimming and that’s really saying something seeing as I’m Australian and have some fantastic secret beach spots.

This log was really hard to get on!
Now having worn out Dad as well as Mum I went off on my own for a walk to explore a bit. I decided to head uphill (not just because it’s great for your legs!) because I’d noticed on our earlier walk that there was a kind of city wall with some towers. I found it and went up the clock tower and walked along the top of the wall (but couldn’t get into any of the other towers). The clock tower was very interesting and houses the Zytturm clock built in 1535 with a pendulum 9 metres long!


The next morning I split off early on my own to ride to the house where Richard Wagner lived for six years from 1866 - 1872. His piece Siegfried Idyll was performed for the first time at the end of 1870 on the stairs of this manor which has been turned into a museum. It was 9 in the morning by the time I got there so I didn’t go in the museum but I didn’t really feel the need to anyway. The view from his house is incredible and the close proximity of the lake is really inspiring. I bet if I lived there I’d churn out some good stuff...


 I hope you can see why Lucerne has climbed into my ranking of most beautiful city in Europe.

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