The country everyone mentions when describing neutral, is nothing but unique in all aspects of the word. Vibrant colours cover every square inch on the town of Lucerne, Switzerland. Mountains decorating the sky with their snowy peeks seem both eternally far away and close all at the same time. It’s just something you have to see in person.
I call Switzerland one of my random countries, because it never crossed my mind to visit the undeceive country. You know when you hear about things in the media or read about it, and its not that you don’t like what you see or want to see it yourself, but it just seems like a distant idea in the far future. That’s what Switzerland was like to me.
If you want to see a substantial amount of places on a limited time and budget, doing a tour is ideal. Switzerland was one of the Seven (7) destinations on my Contiki tour. Strictly because my friend convinced me to do this particular tour was the only reason I ended up seeing such a beautiful place.
Two (2) things I will never forget about Lucerne:
- The hotel we stayed at
- The bridge
They are engraved in my brain for life. Number 1 for how creepy it was and number 2 for how beautiful it was.
The Hotel: Hotel Jail Luzern
It is exactly what it is called. They have transformed an old jail into a hotel.The prison was built in 1882 and transformed into a hotel in 1999.It sounds really cool and why not experience it… well because it is scary as hell! The doors are the same, the windows still have railings, the beds I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also the same as when it was a jail because they are small and creepy. Just all too much. Especially after you have been getting little sleep and excessively partying. The prison was built in 1882 and transformed into a hotel in 1999.
The Bridge: Kapellbrücke
Previously this covered bridge used to be decorated with a substantial amount of valuable artwork for walkers to admire while they crossed. Many of the pieces were destroyed in the 1993 fire. What was salvaged is still present in the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, making Kapellbrucke a main tourist attraction for Lucerne.
The water runs at high speeds in glorious shades of blues. It is a stunning image. Crossing the bridge by foot was the only way to get to Hotel Jail.
The Alps: Stanserhorn
Plural for a reason – it is a combination of several mountains that create the Alps. In Lucerne you can pay to go the top of one measuring 1,898 meters above sea level. A short train ride in the original 1893 wagons brings you to a cable car that takes you the rest of the way up the alp to the summit station (1,850 meters). While it climbs you get the chance to admire the beautiful town and Lake Lucerne, the fourth largest in the country.
The summit has a restaurant where you can enjoy a treat. Its outdoor observation deck provides another marvellous view of the city – If it is not a foggy day like ours was. From here you can climb all the way to the top where you will find Heidi’s cabin and snow along the way.
A surprising encounter to me, but Switzerland aside from having strange coins for currency they also have delicious chocolate. Belgium has some amazing competition.
Other things to note:
For those who like late nights but enjoy activities there is bar arcade that will be just what you are looking for. It is located a short walk from Hotel Jail.
There is also a famous lion monument carved on a mountain. It honours the Swiss Guards massacred in 1972 during the French revolution. Do to our itinerary I did not have the chance to see it but it was walking distance from the hotel.
If you are looking to travel Europe and don’t want to be a typical tourist, Switzerland should be on the top of your travel list.