Saturday, April 30, 2016

Europe Trip - Lucerne, The Pretty Lady by the Alps

There is a family run Korean restaurant nearby the cable car terminus. We had our lunch there before making our way back to Lucerne. Taking the same bus that we took in the morning, we stopped at the train station. 

Brezelkonig, yay
We took a stroll, enjoying the city of Lucerne. Lucerne is the most populous city in central Switzerland, the German speaking part of the country. It is located at the shore of Lucerne Lake with Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi in the view. The city centre where the tourists flock can be explored on foot.

The history of Lucerne goes as far as the year of 750 when Germanic Alemannic people increased their influence here. Austria then ruled the area before Lucerne, together with Zurich, Zug and Bern made an alliance to throw Austria away. In 1386, Lucerne's victory was granted in Battle of Sempach and Lucerne expanded even more after that.

When most area in Switzerland converted to Protestant after 1520, Lucerne remained Catholic. However, in 1712, the Protestant won the battle in Toggenburg War.

During the French Revolution, French army marched into Lucerne and industrial revolution finally hit Lucerne. The population quadrupled in less than a century. To date, there are 80,000 people inhabiting Lucerne.

View of Lucerne Lake from Seebrucke
Another view
Can't get enough
Strolling is the most enjoyable thing to do

Crossing the Reuss on top of Seebrucke, we then reached the part of the city whereby tourists, especially Chinese, could be seen everywhere. The biggest watch store called Bucherer is one of the shops here. If you come here by tour, you will be dropped off in front of this 7-storey building and asked to spend money here.

We went in and realised that the stuffs sold here were not cheaper than other cities, even Singapore or Indonesia. Moreover, too many people were in the store. So, we just looked around and continue to explore the rest of the city.

Streets full of shops
Department store at the left and more shops ahead
A little square where people enjoy the sun

Actually there were a lot of shops here, but they were not cheap. And it was a Saturday, they were closed at 4:00 pm. The shopkeepers even hushed us out in a good way, saying that they would be closed in any minute. I find the people here are so relaxed. If they were Chinese, during high season, they would certainly extend the operating hours to gain more profit.

So we walked to the bank of the Reuss and cross the bridge to the other side. The bridge is called Spreuerbrucke, which is the furthest one downriver. It was constructed in the thirteenth century to connect mill place on the right bank with the mills in the middle of the river.

The extension of the bridge
Hello from the other side
Looking towards the Reuss
The covered wooden bridge

And we saw a gelateria still operating although it was past 4:00 pm, we went in!

Dolce Amore
Gelato, gelato, and gelato

We continued our walk to reach the most famous bridge in this city, Kappelbrucke or Chapel Bridge. Kapellbrucke and the Water Tower were built in the fourteenth century. The bridge served as a rampart and fortification while the Water Tower served as dungeon, archive and treasury vault. In the seventeenth century, a set of paintings that depicted the development of the city were hung along the bridge. However, on the night of 17 August 1933, a fire broke and burnt most of the paintings. Although replacement paintings were hung afterwards, there were gaps in between paintings to serve as reminder of the irreplaceable damage the fire caused.

Kapellbrucke from afar
It's getting nearer

Another bridge that caught our attention was a newer bridge before the Chapel Bridge itself. It is called Rathaustegg Bridge. From here, the angle of capturing the Chapel Bridge is just perfect.

It is just simply wow
Me with the famous Caphel Bridge
I just can't get enough
We make a turn at Seebrucke and walked along the bank of Lucerne Lake to get back to the hotel. Even though all the shops are closed except some cafes and restaurants, we still saw many people around. I think people used the quiet afternoon to enjoy the scenery and have quality times with their loved ones.

People and the swans
Approaching the hotel
View from the room

We spent a quiet night. It was quite difficult to find dinner that night. Only a few diners were in operation. And the next day was public holiday.

Next - Mount Titlis, Snow All The Way

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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