My first experience with Switzerland happened to be in the middle of a European winter, and I’m still not sure whether this was a good or bad decision. Amidst my month long tour around Europe, was Lucerne. Now most people stopping over in Switzerland might opt for Zurich, but Lucerne has a lot to offer. After an all day drive from Paris we finally arrived, our hotel was a small family owned place just outside the city. After unpacking and dinner and a few mishaps with some suspicious shower water, I headed for bed on what was the first truely cold night of my trip, thank god for goose down quilts and thermal pajams.
The following morning we walked to the base of Mt. Pilatus, and after a very long ride, in two different gondolas up the mountain. We stepped out to breathtaking 360 degree views. As we went up the hill in the gondolas, the trees got more frost covered and the sky turned white as we passed through the clouds. Once on top of the mountain you looked out, seeing the clouds as though they were the ground, realising just how high up we were. After walking around to take in the spectacular sight, we quickly took off our gloves in order to take photos. Looking back at the shots in was clear we were freezing, red noses and huddled together. After making our way down from the viewpoint we ducked into the cafe and tried to warm our insides with hot chocolate, whilst my phone gave me a warning saying it wouldn’t turn on because it was too cold, something i didn’t even know could happen.
Once we were on ground level again, we wandered around, landing in a cafe to indulge in even more hot chocolate, this time with a side of pastries. After a brief recess in the hotel and a fierce game of UNO, we caught the tram into the city centre for a fondu lunch and exploring. Now, as a big lover of both cheese and chocolate this lunch was my idea of heaven. A main meal of cheesy fondu and bread, followed up by a sweet pot of chocolate and marshmallows and fruit to dip. This was by far better than any form of fondu that i have experience back home, and so it should be given Switzerland is the home of this genius meal. After this, we layered up again and wandered to see some of the sights of Switzerland. We walked to see the lion monument, which is actually a lion inside a pig? Having now forgotten the backstory behind this, I look back on the photos in confusion, but a quick google search revealed that it is a monument to the Swiss Guard, but the pig aspect of the design was added after the artist was not paid for his work. From here we made our way across the beautiful chapel bridge, and found ourselves at some small Christmas markets. It was here that we found an ice skating rink, which provided endless entertainment of tourists (including ourselves) struggling to make our way around, meanwhile local kids showed their expertise.
Switzerland is now on my list of places to revisit, Lucerne won my heart over with its sweeping mountain views and gorgeous lakeside architecture. Whilst my time there was only short, I managed to take in a lot of the sights, and of course, fill my suitcase up with chocolate (Milka is my preferred brand) which most certainly didn’t make it to the end of my trip.
A video snapshot of my Winter Wanderer tour: here!