Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day Trip to Lucerne

Things have been a little quiet around here lately. Cole just finished up his MBA program, as in doneski last Sunday! Hooray! Of course, he didn't actually feel any relief until his final grade was posted. So proud of him! He even got straight A's! We are THRILLED that he is finished and we can "reclaim" our time together...

So his assignments have meant sticking close to Como as he finished up his studies. A few weeks ago, however, we did take a Saturday afternoon drive to Lucerne, Switzerland and spent a really enjoyable day there. The weather was pretty rainy, so we didn't take a boat ride on Lake Lucerne or get to Mt. Rigi (two highly recommended activities in Lucerne). We took it easy and walked throughout town, stopping to see the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge. Both were very impressive. In fact, Lucerne was definitely our speed... we plan to head back, hopefully for a weekend trip. It was a nice, orderly escape from the chaos that is Italy. :) I say that with love, truly...

On the drive there, we hit construction... it was slow going. Our two hour drive wound up taking closer to three. All was not lost, however! We stopped for "inexpensive" gas and refreshments... Swiss chocolate... YUM!
This little package did not last long.. :) 

One of the "must-see" sites in Lucerne is the Lion of Lucerne, a monument that Mark Twain called, "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." Truly, it was a beautiful work of art, a monument to honor the lives of more than 600 Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution. The dying lion has a spear through his shoulder and near  his paws are both the Swiss and French shields. 

Our sunny day was about to get really rainy so we walked back towards Lake Lucerne and made it onto Chapel Bridge just in time to avoid getting totally soaked! We also found a STARBUCKS (Hooray!) near the bridge. :) Italian coffee shops are awesome in many ways, but it was nice to see a familiar brand and duck in with Eva for a break from all of our walking! 

Lucerne is known for beautifully restored, old, steam powered boats - a must for our next visit! 

Chapel Bridge covers the river Reuss, which separates Lucerne. The wooden footbridge dates back to the 1300's, but was rebuilt in the 1990's after a fire ruined the original. Along the ceiling of the bridge are around 150 paintings - some of which were saved from the fire and others restored. Quite a few of the paintings had actually been in storage when the fire occurred, so they are originals.

Waiting out the rain... we were entertained by all of the swans and ducks enjoying a shower!  
Of course, Eva kept us busy, too. :) 

I've always been told Niederee (my maiden name) is German... am now wondering if we might be Swiss!