Road trip through Europe: Lucerne

In summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: Berlin – WeimarHeidelburgFreiburg – Lucerne – Lake Como – La Spezia – Cinque Terre – Bussana Vecchia – Monaco – Éze – Gorges du Verdon – Moustiers-Ste-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin.

Lucerne (or Luzern as it is called there) was a great surprise. We’d picked it as a half way point between Freiburg and Lake Como, not expecting so much as we’d never heard anything about it before. However, it is a beautiful Swiss town, with lots of old buildings, a rushing mountain stream though the middle of the town, old fortress walls you can climb and a historic old  bridge bedecked with flowers.

We parked our car near the train station, and suddenly realizing we were in Switzerland, we popped into the station supermarket to buy some Swiss chocolate. Everybody knows Lindt, but there are also brands I have only seen sold in Switzerland (or sometimes in France) such as Cuiller, Ragusa and the liquor-filled one slabs, otherwise known as reasons to love Switzerland!

Lindt pick and mix section

Afterwards we walked down to the edge of the Lake Lucerne, where boats were coming by. there were two ways to cross to the other side of the shore, a new bridge and a charming medieval bridge called Chapel Bridge. Tragically, two thirds of this bridge burnt down in a fire in 1993, but within a year it was restored. Swiss efficiency 😉

Near the bridge, the lake flows into the River Reuss. I loved this river so much! It is not a calm and dull river like many, but rushes wildly away from Lucerne, full of mountain water, like a river in a nature reserve and not in a city. We all stood for a long time and watched it, and I found it hard to tear myself away.

Finally, we crossed using the Chapel Bridge, emerging at the water tower and water mill. Then we walked around in the old town for a bit, enjoying the painted facades of the buildings.

We found a hill to climb, and it led up to the city ramparts. You can still climb up and walk along it, and climb up the towers. From the top there was a great view out over the city. For the first time I noticed that there were mountains near Lucerne, as it was a misty day and you couldn’t see them well. I imagine on a sunny day, Lucerne looks even more fantastic.

I just read that Goethe was in Lucerne too…(and Heidelberg, and no doubt Freiburg). Goethe was everywhere…it seems like he did a similar road trip to us 😉 I will leave you with some more photos of Lucerne. After walking around, we stopped for lunch near the train station, and then continued our drive through Switzerland to north Italy and Lake Como.

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