Monday, August 26, 2013

Euro Trip Day 7: Lucerne

I felt quite excited about Lucerne after all the planning I did the night before. However, the remnants of the anger and irritation from the day before still lingered. The weather forecast and the grey skies which welcomed us as we exited from Lucerne station only made the sombre morning worse.

Our first stop at the Lucerne station was the tourist center. With the unfriendly weather, I was going to ask for transport trips to save time as well as to plan which places to "sacrifice" if weather or time really did not permit. It was a great surprise to hear that I could visit all the places which I intended to visit ON FOOT with a total time of 2.5 hours. I honestly did not expect the city to be that small. Heh..

Chapel Bridge and Water Tower
Not far from the station, the Chapel Bridge (Kappelbrucke) and Water Tower were already visible. It was Sunday and most shops were not open. Or perhaps it was still too "early" that there were hardly any tourists. Great time to take pictures. While the clouds protected us from the sun, it made taking photo challenging with poor lighting condition.
Mill Bridge
After crossing the bridge, we walked along the Reuss River to reach the Mill Bridge (Spreuerbrucke) which pales in comparison with the much more well known Kappelbrucke. After crossing the bridge, we continued along the banks of the river to our next destination Musegg Wall (Museggmauer).
The less impressive Spreuerbrucke
Musegg Wall
We came to a hilly region and when the path diverged into two, I made a wrong decision. I followed the "busier" road which led us to residential area. Musegg Wall consists of 9 towers although only 3 allow visitors to climb up. At the end of the residential area, we reached the clock tower which is the 2nd visit-able tower :'( The correct road was actually the one which looked more deserted. Sigh.. Quite disappointed not to climb the first tower as it seemed much more exotic than the clock tower. Having said that, the clock tower was already a nice experience on its own.

Lion Monument
The sky was getting darker and I had to thank God that it did not rain and thus we visited the Lion Monument (Lowendenkmal). I am not a fan of statues but if time and weather permit, I don't mind visiting a landmark of the city. Hehe.. The timing was rather good too as after we were done camwhoring, 2 buses full of China tourists came. Yuck yuck..
Lion Monument
Do you see a pig? The crevice where the lion lies has a pig shape. There is that the town government failed to pay the artist the second half of his wage after the completion of the monument. The artist was snubbed and thus carved the pig.
Church of St. Leodegar
Our next destination was the lake side. On the way, we made an unplanned detour to a church which turned out to be the cathedral (Church of St. Leodegar). I was blown away with the architecture, especially the interior. One thing which caught my interest was the part behind the main altar which was closed by a large iron gate. Hmm...
Church of St Leodegar
I wonder what's behind the iron gate
Lake Lucerne
The lakeside was unexpectedly boring. Yup, it was Sunday and even tourist attraction things like boat trip around the lake was not open -_-". I thought the lakeside would be interesting as I planned to walk all the way to the end.. Haha.. We decided to look for lunch instead. My sister was horrified with the prices of the restaurants at the lake so she wanted to go to Aldstadt (Old Town) instead. Of course, I knew she also wanted to do shopping so for the first time I felt glad that the shops were closed. Lol.. Otherwise can forget about lunch liao :p
The unimpressive view of Lake Lucerne
We went to one souvenir shop and was quite surprised that the shopkeepers were either Chinese or Indians. Hmm.. Just to cater to tourists I suppose. I decided to buy a winter cap. Okay sounds lame as it was still summer. I would be going to Jungfraujoch on the following day and I had no idea how cold it would be. My mum lost the winter hat which she lent me a few years back so I decided to get one. Better safe than freezing to death on the mountain tomorrow. The cap had a nice Swiss feeling to it: red colour and a white cross embossed at the front.

My sister was mentioning about her intention on having cheese fondue since arrived in Zurich. I did not mind to fork out 40 francs for that because firstly, I knew everything was expensive here and secondly, that was something unique to Switzerland. Well, in the end it was her who could not figure out her mind and we ended up with Burger King for lunch. Well.. I did not mind that either. It had always been my intention to experience how different the fast food chains in different countries would be.

The time after lunch was neither here nor there. We had to return to Zurich early because our parents would be arriving in the evening. However, if we went back straight after lunch, it would be too early and we would end up going back to hotel (and I would be lazy to go out again). I suggested that we walked to Richard Wagner museum to kill time. From the map, the distance from the main station to the museum is similar to the distance to Musegg Wall so I thought it would not take too long.

Ironically, when we had no more mood to take pictures and we wanted to walk, the clouds disappeared and the sun was scorching. Ultimately we did not reach the museum. Lol. After 30 minutes of walking, we were still halfway. We stopped at Sea-park. Although it looks like a beach, the water is actually a lake and not a sea!! Haha.. What a misleading name! The journey there was rather scary too as we had to walk through a bus parking lot and a deserted industrial buildings. Well it was Sunday so of course nobody was working at the factories.

Lake Zurich again in the evening
We returned to Zurich to pick our parents up. And if I saw gay couples in Amsterdam, Zurich is where I saw lesbian couples: from the middle aged ones up to the butch-looking ones. Lol. I was quite irritated that my father wanted to go to Lake Zurich after dinner. It was still bright but it was already 8pm++!! Jeez.. I was tired and I wanted to rest for Jungfrau on the following day :'( But since it was our first time meeting at this trip, I decided to be a good boy and bear with it. Already could not tahan quarrelling with my sister so I should not create another conflict. Haiz..
Lake Zurich
After looking at the pictures online, I should have stayed overnight at Lucerne instead of Zurich. The view of the Kappelbrucke (with lights) and Reuss River and Lake Lucernce (with lights from the buildings around it) were much more magnificent than in daylight. Huhuhu T_T Perhaps next time..

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