We arrived in Switzerland after a 4 hour bus ride. Thankfully it was one of the most picturesque drives of my entire life, so it wasn't as terrible as it could have been. We drove through the Swiss Alps in all it's glory and it did not disappoint. The best part was that every so often we would see a waterfall or a bunch of wild flowers. SO STINKIN GORGEOUS!
We arrived right around dinner time and did not feel up to lugging my camera around when the sun was down so there are no pictures from our first night in Lucerne but let me tell you. We experienced first hand just how expensive the beautiful city of Lucerne.
Our hotel was located right off of one of the main streets that runs adjacent to the Reuss River that runs through city and empties into Lake Lucerne. And just across the river there are a string of restaurants to choose from. So after settling into our hotel, we grabbed our umbrella's (this was one of the only days it rained on us a little) and headed to find some food. After taking a glimpse at each restaurant's menu we quickly realized we would not be finding a meal for cheaper than 20 bucks each. To make a long story short we ended up getting cheese fondu and it cost us 35 DOLLARS EACH!!!!! For some melted cheese and bread. And just so you know none of the meals were inexpensive.
Travel tip: If you plan to go to Switzerland be prepared to spend a TON of money. It is the most expensive country you will go to in Europe. So plan accordingly. Oh and go to Switzerland ASAP because even though it is expensive the exchange rate is really good right now. The Swiss Franc is as close to the dollar as it's been in a long time!
Bright and early the next day we had our walking tour of the city. Our local guide, Christina was one of the best we had throughout the entire trip. What's funny is she's originally from Spain but has lived in Switzerland for about 20 years. But she was SO knowledgeable and had so many fun stories to share with us along the way.
And now I'll let some of my pictures do the talking! Enjoy!
This is the Kapellbrücke or Chapel Bridge. Named so because it was the one bridge in town that lead directly to...you guessed it....the church. It used to hold the title of oldest wooden bridge in town but the title had to be taken away when half of the bridge caught fire and had to be rebuilt. The inside of the bridge is covered in paintings from the 17th century.
We stepped into the Jesuit Church just before the Sunday service began and I am so glad we did because look at the inside. I think this is one of the prettiest interiors of a church I have ever seen. I just love the white and gold. This church was built by the Jesuit priests in during the 17th century. At this point, more than of half Lucerne had converted to the Protestant faith. This would make Lucerne the only Catholic city left in Switzerland.
Our walking tour ended at the Lion Monument located in a small little park in the older part of the city. The monument was built in 1820 in memory of the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution. They had been part of Louis XVI household guards as mercenaries and so were slaughtered when the King was removed from Versailles and forced to return to Paris by the revolutionaries.
After our tour we had about 2 hours to do some exploring on our own. So we grabbed some lunch (sandwiches and water which cost 5 dollars! For the tiniest bottle of water I've ever seen), did some shopping, and enjoyed the scenery!
We had some time to kill so we jumped on a paddle boat and paddled around Lake Lucerne. Well I did the picture taking and Jenny and Katie did the paddling! I got off easy! :)
The next part of our day was SO fun! First we had an hour and half cruise in first class (oo la la) on a ferry boat. It took us around the lake and dropped us off at the cogwheel railway that would take us to the top of Mount Pilatus. This particular cogwheel happens to be the steepest in the world.
So there are two stories behind Mount Pilatus. During medieval times it was said that a dragon lived at the top of the mountain. Lots of the merchandise you can buy up at the top had a dragon on it to represent this story. The other story is that the mountain was named Mount Pilatus, after the body Pontius Pilot was thrown into one of the tiny lakes that rests on mountain. It is said his ghost haunted the lake and usually let himself be seen on Good Friday (the day of the Passion). Then during the 16th century a priest came to lake and performed a kind of exorcism and the ghost was laid to rest. Crazy huh?! And fascinating at the same time!
I cannot even begin to describe what the views were like. If you do make it to Switzerland you MUST MUST MUST go to the top of Mount Pilatus. It will be best decision you make that day. I promise. Now be prepared for some spectacular views! The rest of the pictures were taken from the mountain.
Switzerland is one of those countries that I am so glad I can say I've been to and seen. But unless my future husband (Leonardo DiCaprio) is paying for my trip OR I win the lottery I'm pretty sure I can skip it the next time I go to Europe. It really is one of the most gorgeous countries ever and everyone should see it at least once. Sadly, it is a tad too pricey for my tastes and bank account.
Have mentioned how much fun I've had writing these posts? Because I have. I'll be so sad when I write my last post because it me ants the trip is REALLY over. And I'm just not ready to stop looking at my pictures! So it's a good thing I've printed a ton of them out for a project for my bedroom!
Tune in next week when I tell y'all all about our time on Lake Como. My first taste of Italy! :)
Have a great Tuesday!
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