Hard to believe our time in Zürich is over. We really enjoyed exploring the city and neighboring areas.
As Zürich is our entry to Switzerland, we could not be happier with our choice. Our favorite things about Zürich are easy to list: very organized, very clean, very friendly people and a little something for everyone. We had a little sticker shock when it came to prices, but we knew it was an expensive city and country.
As we move on, we have fond memories from Zürich and hope to have even more as we go forward.
We were ready to go way earlier than expected, so we checked out and decided to catch an earlier train to Lucerne. We walked over to the train station and waited about a half hour for our train to arrive. The station was pretty busy this morning, but not enough to delay us.
We boarded the train and took our seats in a nearly empty first class car. It’s only a forty-five minute journey through some very scenic country-side and in a blink of an eye we arrived. We have found that first class is not full very often. For the difference in price for our Swiss Pass, it has been well worth not having to search out seats when we board.
Arriving in Lucerne, we easily made our way out of the station and to our hotel – it is literally right next door to the station. We are staying at the Hotel Monopol Luzern -it was built in 1898 and is a beautiful, historically protected building.
Since we arrived early, our room was not available, so we checked our luggage, grabbed the camera and went down to the lake for a boat ride.
We found a boat that was making a round trip journey that would take about an hour and climbed aboard. The boat was heading to Burgenstock and at that moment, so were we!
It was a beautiful day on the lake. Temperatures in the mid 70’s, light winds, bright sunshine and just a few clouds. It was a great way to be introduced to the Lucerne area. The water, just like in Zürich, was clean and clear. We were in awe of the scenery as we sailed on. Snow-capped mountains, green meadows, fairy tale houses and big, fluffy clouds.
When we returned to Lucerne, we were still too early to check in, so we took a walk around the old town and the waterfront to see some of Lucerne’s treasured sites. We started at the Chapel Bridge. It’s a covered wooden bridge that spans the river. It was originally built in 1500 and has been rebuilt a couple of times due to damage and fire. It certainly seemed to be the center of everyone’s attention today.
Under the roof of the bridge, there are paintings depicting various historical scenes – some of which were pretty macabre, as they reflected the plague-filled times in which the paintings were completed.
We next zig-zagged our way across the other three bridges that span the river, enjoying the views and getting our bearings for places to see over the next few days.
Since the clock was showing 3:00 pm, we headed back to the hotel to claim our room. It was ready and they had already taken our luggage up to the room – Swiss efficiency.
Our room is a nice size with a large bathroom and, much to Sue’s delight, has two big windows that can be opened. Lots of storage space, free Wi-Fi and big fluffy pillows.
We rested up a little before cleaning up for dinner. Tonight we went to a Spanish restaurant that sounded delightful and was close by. The restaurant was called “Bolero” and we had a wonderful meal. A glass of Sangria to get us going, then a bowl of gazpacho followed by a pork dish for Sue and a veal dish for me. We had a bottle of Spanish wine and delicious desserts.
Afterwards we toddled back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow’s excursion to Mount Pilatus.