jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 60 [30 Mar 09] – Lucerne

Posted in Lucerne by jn82 on March 30, 2009

From Interlaken West to Lucerne this morning, we had to catch a German InterCity Express from Interlaken West to Bern, and then change to a Swiss inter-regional from Bern to Lucerne. Total travel time around two hours.

Lucerne is not a big city by European standards, with a population of around onlu 58,000, but it does have a pretty developed city centre and transportation network. Once out of the rail station, everything around seems pretty busy, but still relatively clean and safe. We took a 10 minute walk to the hostel where we left our bags in the room, and headed out to explore the city.

The most famous landmarks in the city are two wooden pedestrian bridges which span across the river Reuss, the more famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and less popular Spreuerbrücke (Mill Bridge). Interestingly and amusingly enough, the original Kapellbrücke which was built in 1333 was mostly burned down in 1993, and then rebuilt thereafter. There is a water tower across Kapellbrücke which served as a fortification in the 13th century.

Kapellbrücke.

Spreuerbrücke.

They are really nothing much to look at or walk across, just two very regular bridges! They do give the city a bit of an old fashioned feel though. We walked around a bit of the old city in the morning along the old city walls, and ended up at Löwendenkmal, a statue of a lion which Mark Twain really liked. The city itself was not unlike any other European city, just that there were nice views of the mountains from the city.

Bits of the old city wall.

Across the river.

View of the city.

Löwendenkmal, The Lion of Lucerne.

After the walk, we had our first decent meal in days, where I had some pork cutlets and pasta for 18 CHF, and then took a walk to Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (Swiss transport museum) around 2km from the city centre. In the museum, we saw all sorts of scale models depicting the history of flight, road and rail transportation. It was not as interesting as I had expected, and I tuned out for a bit and did not take many pictures. I did however get to try out a F1 simulator-like setup, driving the 2002 season Ferrari powered Sauber Petronas around the Sepang circuit for a few laps.

2002 season Sauber Petronas Ferrari powered engine.

In the F1 simulator.

After the museum, we caught a 45 minute IMAX movie about the Swiss alps, which was pretty cool as there was a lot of high resolution clips of all the most famous Swiss mountains. This was good as we had not managed to see most of these places up close and personal. Finishing the movie, we headed back to the city for dinner, where I had a veal sausage and roast potatoes.

Veal sausage and roasted potatoes.

Only one short day in Lucerne, then  off to Zurich tomorrow morning.

Today’s pictures available here.