We were supposed to spend all three nights of our post-extension in Lucerne; however, there were no hotels available in Lucerne for the first night, because of a huge music festival. So, our first night was spent in Bern. Nobody was disappointed, because we all fell in love with Bern during our walking tour, before we even checked into the hotel. And, as an extra bonus, Vantage Travel booked us into the top five star hotel; the same place where heads of state stay, as well as the rich and famous. It was THE hotel in Switzerland’s capitol. We sure were spoiled…
Lucerne, however, was fabulous. The Palace Hotel wasn’t quite at the level of the Bellevue, but it was a top hotel located right on the lake and close to the city center. (I mean, when you are used to staying at Microtel Inns like I am, how could I complain? Don’t get me wrong; Microtels are the top-rated chain for their price, but they are far from the 4-5 star hotels we stayed at during our pre-extension and post-extension!) And, the weather was fabulous, once we got past the few drizzles we encountered our first day. Yesterday, however, the sun was shining and temperatures reached the mid-70’s; quite a bit above normal for this time of year.
The first day, we had a walking tour after we arrived and free time on our own for the remainder of the day. It was very enjoyable, because Lucerne is such a great city for walking!
Lucerne is a gorgeous city, located on the lake and surrounded by mountains; Mt. Pilates being the most famous one. Since the city was built on both sides of the lake, there are several bridges connecting each side. But, the bridge that draws the most visitors (and photographs) is the famous Chapel Bridge, built in 1333. All along the bridge are beautifully painted gables. And, hanging along the exterior of each side of the bridge are loads of flowers of every color, in perfect bloom. It was so colorful and picturesque! And, since many of the locals and tourists come there with scraps of bread to feed the swans, the water was full of snow white swans hoping for a free handout. There were a few ducks though; outnumbered but a lot quicker, so they fought for their share- and won.
The (very) old city center was quite attractive and interesting, because of the numerous buildings with beautifully painted facades. And, there were many outdoor cafes; a typically European feature. Along the lake front, there was one right after another; most with only outdoor seating.
After returning to the hotel to unpack and kick up our feet to rest for a short time, we were back at it, walking into town for a light dinner and some night photography. Most of the buildings were not lit up enough to photograph, but I did get one shot of this church, as well as one of our hotel.