Lucerne (Luzern) in Winter!
After skiing in Davos for two weeks we took the train back to Zurich and then to Lucerne to visit another good friend. We arrived to cold, damp weather but still enjoyed our visit!
We stayed at Ameron Hotel Flora Luzern, we booked through Booking.com and the hotel was perfect! Beautiful rooms, great staff and close to old town, the Rosengart Museum, great restaurants, the main train station and buses. As in Davos, we received a free Visitors card with our hotel which allowed us to take all the Zone 10 buses and trains for free.
Since the weather was rather gray, this post will be a lot of links and information with fewer pictures than most of my posts.
Upon arrival our friend, Margrit, met us and we walked across the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke) into Old Town. She showed us some of her favorite sights and gave us some ideas for the next day. The town is located on Lake Lucerne and the Reuss River flows out of the lake.
We took a delightful detour over the Spreuer Bridge (Speuerbrucke), past the Jesuit Church and into town thru a pedestrian walkway with many shops and restaurants back to the main street, Pilatus Strasse. We stopped into La Vie en Rose to warm up. This is a grand coffee house and reminded me of a Vienna Cafe that was modernized. We loved it! This also brought us back into the main town and Margrit was able to show us easily how to find our hotel, the larger bus stops and pointed out where we were in relationship to the train station. From their we took a bus into the Lucerne suburbs to pick up Margrit’s car and drive out into countryside to her sisters flat. They made us a wonderful Raclette dinner and we had a wonderful time visiting with her sisters.
A guided Walking Tour
A large visitors center is located in the Train Station. We signed up for a 9:30 am walking tour. It was great and gave us a nice orientation and history of Lucerne. We started at the train station, heard about the Convention Center, then were shown the Ferry piers and then to the Chapel Bridge. Our guide discussed the history of the bridge and water tower and the fire of 1993 which did so much damage to the bridge and paintings. Then we walked into the Old Town to see the beautiful painted buildings and hear their history.
In Old Town, many buildings have ornate signs hanging that identified the business to those that passed by.
Believed to be the only working Needle Dam (Nedelwehr) still in existence. Installed in 1859/60 it still regulates the water flowing into the river. However, it is not the only dam. Each ‘needle’ is a pole. The workers go out on a very narrow walkway and remove the needles to let more water flow and add more needles to slow the flow. Very interesting.
The Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche) was established around 1666. It is still in use and just beautiful.
Easter window displays
The Easter displays in various windows were so pretty!
Town Walls and Towers (Museggmauer & Turme)
We got as close to the walls and towers as we could with the weather. The wall built between 1350 and 1408 has nine different towers. The Zyt tower has one of Lucene’s oldest clocks and it still works! If you go in Spring or Summer, you can walk a trail along the walls and go up some of the towers. Definitely, we have to go back!
We walked up many streets outside of the wall, this is as close as we could get to the wall and a tower.
The Lion Monument (Lowendenkmal) is north of Lowenplatz. A short walk from old town and free to walk up and explore. Designed in 1820, the monument commemorates the death of many Swiss Guard troops killed during the French Revolution in 1792.
Ferry and Transportation Museum
We took a water ferry from Pier 1, just in front of the Train Station on the lake, to Lidostrasse to visit the Swiss Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus der Schweiz). We took the bus back and choose to take the Ferry just to get out on the lake. This museum is fantastic! I love transportation and the Swiss have some of the most efficient transportation systems we have encountered in all our travels. This museum has a gigantic space. It has more trains, train simulators and exhibits than I Have ever seen at a train museum. In addition it has separate indoor and outdoor exhibits of planes, boats/ships and space. It has numerous hands on activities. Definitely can fill a day!
The ferry stop and ferry. The ferry was not part of our pass, but it was so nice to be on the water.
Sample of train displays; many simulators, trains and wonderful history of Gotthard Base Tunnel which opened in 2016.
Road Transport building.
Navigation and Tourism building. Sorry, no indoor pictures. It was very interesting.
Aviation and Space Travel exhibits were outdoor and in another large building. This area is huge, almost overwhelming with the amount of air craft in the building, plus simulators and space travel section.
After the Transport Museum, Margrit and I went to visit some more of her family. We ate at a wonderful restaurant outside of Lucerne, Wirtschaft Trumf-Buur.
We were only in Lucerne from Saturday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon. We packed a lot in but have much more to see in this beautiful part of Switzerland. Below are scenes of the countryside. Our friend drove us out to some of her favorite places.
We also went to Burgenstock Resort to see the views. What a lovely area. I can only imagine how magnificent the views would be on a clear day. You don’t have to stay at the resort to visit. You can take the ferry and then take the funicular up and back. The Burgenstock Mountain is what gives this area its name.
After a long day of sight seeing and driving for Margrit, we went to dinner at a lovely Thai Restaurant near the university area in Lucerne. Margrit headed home and we went back to pack for leaving the next morning. Overall a great time!
Our parting view of Lucerne as the snow fell softly as we headed to the train station for Zurich. This was March 21, 2018.
In Zurich, we stayed at the Welcome Inn which has shuttle service directly to and from the Zurich Airport. We took the train directly to Zurich Airport on Wednesday afternoon, had a relaxing dinner nearby and took the early shuttle back to the airport.
A nice surprise, we were flying on a Airbus 8380. This plane has four jet-ways to load and currently is the largest passenger jet flying. It has two stories of passenger seating. It was our first time on this plane.
Until the next time – be adventurous and enjoy this short life! Vicki and Bob