In 2018 we took an exciting 14 day trip across Europe with a Tour Group. One of our included destinations was Lucerne, Switzerland.
Lucerne was one of the places that I wasn’t sure what to expect. My mental picture of Switzerland was snow, alpine houses and sheep on the hills (Like the movie Heidi).
Although there were plenty of mountain peeks, Lucerne was nothing like I expected. It is a beautiful old world city filled with history, charm and tradition. When we arrived, we wasted no time dropping our bags and heading out to see as much as we could before dinner.
The Lion Monument
This Memorial was created around 1820 as a tribute to the nearly 800 Swiss Guard who died protecting King Louis XVI and his family during the French Revolution. The monument conveys much symbolism and is a very moving piece to see up close.
The Chapel Bridge
We crossed the famed Chapel Bridge. Built in 1333, it is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. It was severely damaged by a fire in 1993 but has been mostly restored.
One of my favorite parts of the Chapel Bridge are the panels in the rafters. Each triangle is a painting telling the story of the towns history. Some date back to the 17th century and some are missing or blank due to being damaged in the fire. I also found it unique that the bridge crosses the River Reuss diagonally. It adds to the bridges charm.
I am not a big shopper when we travel, but My husband was interested in a Swiss Army knife. So we purchased two different Swiss Army knives (one was a gift) and have them engraved. Who knew there were so many varieties to choose from.
Later we crossed the Chapel Bridge again on our walk to dinner. It was a totally different feeling with the sun setting and the lights along the bridge all coming on. It was even prettier as it got fully dark.
Swiss Folklore Show
The Stadkeller was where we went for Dinner and a Swiss Folklore show. The buildings in Lucerne are so ornate. The restaurants exterior had traditional colors and artwork while the building across the street from it had really bold colors and darker themed images. I would have like to have seen inside that building too!
Appropriately, we started our dinner with a Swiss Cheese Fondue appetizer and finished with Chocolate Fondue for dessert. I also had a small (giggle) stein of local Swiss beer!
The Stadkeller not only had delicious food but very lively entertainment as well. After their show which had a Lawrence Welk style delivery, they started pulling people up for contests in yodeling, dancing and playing alpine horns.
On our second day, we boarded a boat with our group for a cruise across Lake Lucerne. The sun was shining and the scenery was gorgeous.
We sailed by a statue of Jesus with outstretched arms along the edge of the lake. What was interesting to me was that people were sunbathing in their swimsuits so close to this religious monument.
Although I think this honor is normally reserved for kids, the Captain let my husband have a few moments driving the boat. He IS a big kid at heart. When we reached the other side of the lake, we boarded a bus and headed to Stans to explore Mount Stanserhorn.
In order to climb up Mount Stanserhorn you start from a Funicular Train then switch to a Cabrio Cable Car. It was a beautiful ride up (unless you are my husband who hates heights). The view when we got to the top was amazing.
While I was on the Observation Deck taking in the view, my husband scoped out a great place for lunch. We enjoyed our lunch with friends before the ride back down. A Charcuterie Board made with local cheese and sausages along with some local beer to calm the hubbies nerves.
The view down was very pretty since we were facing the lake. As we descended, there were indeed some cows and goats on the hillside, just like in Heidi!
Switzerland was a very pleasant surprise for me. It was so much more than just a stop while traveling between Italy and France! I am so glad it was part of our trip or I may have never experienced this beautiful country. With it’s old world architecture, the mountains and lakes, and an abundance of history and folklore, Lucerne was a great place to visit.