Sunday, February 10, 2013

Luzern, Switzerland

Last weekend I braved the rain to explore a charming town in German-speaking Switzerland. From picturesque wooden bridges to old castles and clock towers, Luzern didn't disappoint. Plus the pre-Faasnacht celebrations added a dash of quirk to Luzern's obvious charm. 

Here are some highlights of my day there: 

(1) Löwendenkmal
No trip to Luzern would be complete without making a stop at this famous monument. Carved into the face of a cliff and an impressive 10 m (32 ft) tall and 6 m (21 ft) long.   This monument was made to commemorate the  800+ Swiss mercenaries who were killed trying to protect the royal family during the 1792 French Revolution. 
I can't explain how piercing this statue was, I can only quote the words of Mark Twain who once called this gigantic lion "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." 

(2) Wandering around the remnants of the old castle wall.

(3) Enjoying the pre- Faasnacht celebrations. The actual festival didn't start until this week but they already were playing "guggenmusik" in the streets. I say, "Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!" 

 (4) This enchanting old fashioned apothecary. 

(5) The Clock Tower
Installed in 1535 the numbers on the clock tower were designed to be large enough that even the fishermen on the lake could tell the time. I wanted to climb to the top of it, but alas all the doors were locked. 

(6) The Jesuitenkirche. 
Completed in 1675, it once was the largest church in Switzerland. 

(7) Heaven in a box
I indulged and bought a box of mini macaroons for the train ride home! Schokolade, vanille, himbeere zimt, blutorange. yes. 

The long and short of it: Luzern is a charming city and easily explored in a day. aka the best day trip yet.

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