Sunday, June 23, 2013


Ok, brace yourselves. I took a lot of pictures in Lucerne  Also, I have not been thrilled with the facebook uploading feature, so I may just switch entirely to using the blog for the rest of the trip. The facebook album cut out about half the pictures. From Zurich, we took a 45 minute train ride to Lucerne (or Luzern). We had an awesome hotel, Hotel Des Balances, which was right on the waterfront. Lucerne sits on one end of Lake Lucerne, which is a huge lake that is in central Switzerland.

This is the view from our hotel's main floor.

This bridge is an icon in Lucerne. It is all wooden, and was the center of the city's defenses back in the day.

Famous church.

Another hotel and restaurant. We had our best dinner in Lucerne here on the second night that we were here.

 You can see our hotel (Balances sign)

Front of our hotel (or non-waterfront side).

This was the view from our balcony on the top floor. It was simply stunning.

After we had gotten settled in our hotel, we decided to go on a lake cruise. The weather was perfect, and it was a great way to spend the afternoon. The tour also had an audio guide in English that was very helpful. Oh, we also had purchased a Swiss pass for the trip. It allowed us unlimited travel on the train system and discounts on a lot of other things, such as the boat tour.

Mount Pilatus. We ended up going up the mountain on the second day that we were there. More on that in a bit. The mountain is called Pilatus because Pilatus means cap in Latin, due to the cap of clouds over the mountain.

The lake is surrounded by the alps, which was really cool.

Many famous hotels line the lake.

There is a lot of wealth around Lake Lucerne.

First church in Lucerne.

The largest rolling ball clock.

We got chocolates on our pillows each night.

The second day in Lucerne, we ascended Mt. Pilatus, albeit not by foot.

We took cable cars on the way up.

J was a little concerned about riding in the cable cars at first. He got over this rather quickly as we traveled quite frequently in cable cars.

Advertising on the cable cars.

About midway up, you had to exit the cable car to take a larger cable car.

There was a toboggan ride that you could do at the midway point, so we decided to go for it. (8 CHF = 1 fahrt, yes, we had some jokes about that). It was really fun. I didn't go very fast, but it was a good time.

The larger cable car. As you can see, it was a bit more cloudy towards the top.

Toboggan track that we did.

I would think that the parish of that church up there would be a little on the small side. The ride up on the larger cable car was a little on the scary side. I actually shrieked at one point when we went over one of the crests.

At the top. We had lunch at the hotel at the top (~7000 ft).

It was a little too cloudy to see too far out, but it was still pretty cool.

They had a walking loop around the summit. We saw some people who had jogged (yes, jogged) up the mountain.

On the way back down, we took a cogwheel train (the steepest one apparently) down the entire mountain. It was quite the feat of engineering.

Not pictured were some tourists who were trying to walk down the mountain and nearly got stampeded by the cows who refused to move off the path.

We took a ferry back to Luzern after the train.

I think that we decided that Lucerne may have been our favorite stop in Switzerland. Before the trip, I was convinced it would be the alps, but I think it was Lucerne. The only downside to Lucerne was the amount of tourists (yes, I know we were tourists too). There were more tourists here than in any of our stops (okay, maybe not Paris, but there were a lot of them).

Old city wall.

They also had this huge lion carved into stone that we walked to after an amazing Swiss dinner. Joe had sausage and I had this meat puff pastry thing. It was amazing.

After Lucerne, we headed up to the alps, but I will cover that in the next post. Thanks for sticking with me to the end if you made it this far.


  1. WOW....I am practically drooling over these photos! I want to be on the next plane to Switzerland...

    1. Thanks Ginny! I can't wait to see your photos from Sweden! We'll have to plan a time to catch up on all the travels soon.