Tag Archives: Lucerne

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The lakeside city of Lucerne is compact and easy to navigate on foot. The dominant feature is the extensive lake, misty today with the mountains barely visible.

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The Dying Lion of Lucerne was carved in 1792 into the rock beside a tranquil pool to commemorate the Swiss Guards killed in the French Revolution. Mark Twain described it as “the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world”. Mio marito thought it was sentimental trash. But look at the lion’s little face…!

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The wooden Chapel Bridge with its octagonal water tower is rumoured to be the most photographed view in Switzerland. Built in the 14th century as part of the city’s defences, it has a series of 17th century paintings under its roof, though many were destroyed by fire in 1993; blackened timbers are still in evidence. In the squares of the Old Town the buildings have richly painted facades. It is rather like being in a Hans Anderson fairy tale!

The Needle Dam, constructed in the 19th century, manually regulates the water level of the lake by raising or lowering the wooden “needles”. We climbed to the ancient ramparts with its 9 towers, all of which was largely intact.

This man is no Banksy!

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River Deep, Mountain High

After the flat plains of yesterday, today we have driven through some spectacular scenery, through the verdant, round-topped Vosges Mountains and over rivers on high viaducts. Entering Switzerland at Basle, there were a few tricky manoeuvres before we cleared the city and were once again treated to lush green pastures. Then the Alps hoved into view; magnificent peaks still covered in snow, picture postcard perfect at every turn. In Lucerne we found a hotel straight out of the Grand Tour right on the shore of the lake. Junior suite, balcony overlooking the lake….didn’t take much persuading to settle in for 2 nights, but I did negotiate the price down of course.