Lucerne – Where Water Meets The Sky

The first time I visited Lucerne was 22 years ago.  My husband, three-year old daughter and I had to cut short our stay in Lucerne by one day because our passports, money and my new Olympus camera had been stolen in Zürich two days earlier. While my husband searched frantically for the stolen bag, I went to look for a police station to report the theft. Unfortunately, I did not speak German or French and none of the people I approached understood English! Those who spoke English were tourists and no better off than me! Finally, a passer-by who read my desperate hand gestures pointed me in the direction of the police station. It turned out to be a small music store specialising in the sale of Police (the band) memorabilia!

Two hours later after searching unsuccessfully for the bag and police station, we made our way back to our hotel and got the manager to help us contact the police. Luckily for us, our passports (sans money and camera) were retrieved the next day from a local resident’s trash bin. We were able to continue with our journey to Lucerne, albeit a day later. With my camera stolen so early into our holiday, I did not take any photos during the rest of my stay in Switzerland. I was still trying to get over our setback in Zürich and that affected my mood.

Lucerne has not changed a lot since my second visit five years ago. It is still a “modern” medieval town, full of history and character, set against a mountainous backdrop and generous water features.

Lucerne sits at the mouth of the Reuss River.

The Chapel Bridge stands out as the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape. It is considered to be the oldest wooden footbridge in Europe, dating back to the 14th century.

The wooden bridge is decorated with flowers all along it length.

Only a few bridges in the world can boast of having old paintings under their roofs. Chapel Bridge has more than 100 early 17th century paintings under its roof! However, I must add that the “wow” factor is a bit lost by the fact that the bridge was destroyed in a fire that broke out in 1993. What we see today is a restoration of the original bridge.

The iconic Kapelbreucke (Water Tower) and Wassertum (Chapel Bridge)
The iconic Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge) and Wasserturm (Water Tower)

Adjacent to Chapel Bridge is the Water Tower or Wasserturm.  This octagonal-shaped tower built in the 1300’s does not have a happy history. It was used as a prison and torture chamber before being converted to an archive and treasury. The Water Tower typifies Lucerne, so it is not surprising that it is the most photographed monument in Switzerland!

Swan
Swan in the Reuss River.
Feeding the birds and the pidgeons.
Feeding time for the ducks, swans and the pidgeons.
Residents and visitors enjoying themselves dining in the many frescos alongside the river
The nearby attractions, shops and restaurants allow the visitor to a historical town with modern facilities.

The old town is adjacent to the river. It is a charming little town, with a good mix of restaurants, speciality stores selling clothes, timepieces and chocolates, souvenir shops, churches and galleries. As cars are not allowed, it’s pretty easy to take a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets and and enjoy the atmosphere and buildings.

Clock Tower at Lucern's Old Town Square
Clock Tower at Lucerne’s Old Town Square
Fountain in the quaint square
A medieval fountain in the square.
International brands
You can find all the well-known brands in Lucerne.
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Just across the road from the town centre. Hanging out and soaking in the beauty and atmosphere of Lucerne.
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Paddle water vehicles and boats are available for hire.  A good way to discover the natural beauty surrounding Lake Lucerne.
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A boat ride in Lake Lucerne opens up a scenic world of snow-capped mountains and lush green scenery.

 

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11 thoughts on “Lucerne – Where Water Meets The Sky

    1. Yes, we were really lucky. Even before arriving in Switzerland, we had been warned to be very careful because of the many illegal immigrants who were stealing and forging passports in order to remain in Europe. My husband felt it would be safer to bring along our passports instead of keeping them in the hotel safe. Not a good decision! 🙂

  1. What a beautiful place. I know it wasn’t funny at the time but finding a music store devoted to The Police did make me smile! We were in switzerland a few years ago and I loved the red geraniums that were in the window boxes.

    1. Ha! Ha! Now I, too, can look back at the whole incident and laugh! Switzerland is so fresh and colourful so I harbour no ill-feeling towards the thief who stole my camera nor The Police who failed to apprehend the perpetrator! 🙂

  2. Oh no, so sad about your camera! I lived in Geneva for a year, and to be honest it wasnt the safest place Ive been in Europe, by thank God nothing ever happened to me. The positive thing is that the few pictures you took look amazing 😀

    1. Thank-you very much for dropping by. It was a sad thing that happened in Zurich but well, we were just very lucky that our passports were found the very next day because we had heard that there was a big demand for stolen passports to be sold in the black market. I have read your blog about Paris. Must say that your photos ring a familiar bell. I have been to Paris 4 times, and can never get enough of it. I will be following your blog from now on. 🙂

      1. You’re welcome!!! True, thank God you found the passports! Thank you for stopping by my blog, Im glad you liked the post about Paris 🙂 you are most welcomed to come back as much as you want! I will also be following your stories!

  3. Beautiful beautiful photos, Lene. Must say those photos brought a lump to my throat thinking about the same trip I had 32 yrs ago! Will send ur story about stolen stuff to Tiffy who must be warned the same as she goes in 2 wks, luckily the same thing didn’t happen again. Welcome back.

  4. I’m so sorry your camera was stolen in Switzerland! But have to say your story about the police is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. At least you managed to get a great travel tale out of a bad situation!

    1. Yes, Ben. What an experience that was! But I have to agree with you that it is rather funny. Whenever Switzerland is mentioned, I see 4 policemen playing the guitar, keyboard and drums. The memory of that day is etched in my mind forever! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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