The weather since I got here has been really nice. Last night, Mathias and I decided that Luzern would be a great place to hike, see some Swiss mountains, and enjoy a nice view from the top of the mountain. He helped with trying to find the best tickets for us along with the routing. The costs here are really highâ€”the USD is so low, itâ€™s almost at parity with the Swiss Franc, so everything is ridiculously priced. $7 for a bottle of orange juice. $15 for a simple lunch, and $25 – $35 for a simple dinner. I miss the times where the USD actually was great to have.
We headed on for our journey and shortly after we started, I got a text from my friend Vera, who lived in San Francisco on Nob Hill just a few blocks down the street from me. She was originally from Switzerland and moved back just a while back to Zurich. She and her fiancÃ© were planning to go somewhere to hike, so they decided to join us. We got there around 11am and started on the tram incline way that goes up the mountain. After and exhilarating trip up, we started hiking around and enjoying the view.
It was an absolutely impeccable blue sky with the snow capped mountains jiggering throughout the landscape. The view to the green grass below and little towns was so scenic and gorgeous. I canâ€™t believe how lucky I was with the weather! After a load of pictures, we grabbed some lunch. After our bratwurst lunch, we did a little more hiking until Vera and Leandro joined us.
With Vera and Leandro, we continued walking around the mountain tops and started winding down the path. There was a lot of snow melting on the pathway down, so some parts were slippery. We made it to another station and took the other side of the mountain down. After a very steep descent to the bottom of the mountain while overlooking the lake, we saw lots of houses perched up on the sides of the mountain. Itâ€™s so curious to see these houses in such a remote setting and wonder what their lives are like. Children are playing in the gardens and such, but I still wasnâ€™t able to make out any roads anywhere other than gravel paths.
When we reached the bottom, the ferry/boat station was there, and our ticket that Mathias had planned out included a boat ride to the other side of the lake to the town of Luzern. We boarded the boat and decided to meet Leandro and Vera on the other side as they had driven down for the day. The boat ride was great, but the sun was very strong. The air was perfect and clean feeling, but not cold. Jeans were getting a big warm, and I had now only a tshirt on. After about an hour relaxing boat ride, we arrived at Luzernâ€™s station and headed for our meeting point while walking along this great promenade. We met up with Leandro and Vera and had some drinks at a posh looking hotel/bar outside looking out at the lake.
We then continued a walking tour of Luzern and went through all sorts of skinny pathways through the cityâ€™s cobble stone streets. My feet are so sore from how much walking Iâ€™ve done over the last couple of weeks! Still, the weather made it impossible to stay in one place! We walked across the old bridge of Luzern, and grabbed a doner kebap for dinner. While we ate our dinner at a bench on the lake, a live band was playsing some blues/folk music singing in English on this dock on the lake. It was right behind a creperie stand, and I tried to get a Nutella crepe, but the owner had run out of eggs. I thought there might have been a chanceâ€¦
At this point, I was utterly exhausted, and Vera and Leandro offered us a ride back to Zurich. I wanted to fall asleep on the car ride home it was so comfortable to be sitting. We got back to Mathiasâ€™ place and went to bed after a dessert with his flatmates who were entertaining that evening. I was about to fall over asleep in my chair. It was an amazing, beautiful, and unforgettable day in Switzerland.
Mom and DadApril 4, 2011
Awesome photos! If we ever make it to Europe, Switzerland is the place!!! Safe travels.
LeandroApril 12, 2011
Great shots, Ben – u should visit more often so we can discover our tiny country. It was my first trip up there. The color of the sky is a bit similar to what you get when taking the Palm Springs aerial tramway, don’t you think?