The one day on our trip where there were actually clear skies and sun meant we had to visit Lucerne. First on our itinerary was Mount Pilatus; we caught a tram to Kriens where we could ride a cable cart which was free with our Swiss Travel Pass. The ascent gave us breathtaking views from both sides of our cart: Lucerne and the lake from one window and Pilatus from the other.
When we reached the top, we were able to exit the cable cart and experience the view without a layer of glass and as cliché as it may be, I cannot even begin to describe how it felt. We also managed to make a few friends whilst at the top; at one point, Fatima was taking a picture of me where I was knee-deep in snow, when suddenly a woman jumped beside me, wrapped her arm around me and motioned for her husband to take a photo. After calling Fatima to also get into the shot, she then proceeded to switch places with her husband; we were caught off guard to say the least! The couple, who we discovered were from China, were so friendly and caught the cable cart back down with us.
We enjoyed our lunch beside the lake before exploring the city of Lucerne itself, starting with a walk across the 14th century Kapellbrücke ( Chapel Bridge), one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe. Across the bridge, there are triangular panels hanging from the roof which describe events from Swiss history. There were originally 158, however, after a fire in 1993, only thirty out of the fourty- seven paintings that survived, were able to be restored.
After walking through the streets in the centre, we decided to visit the Lion Monument. The dying lion was carved into a sandstone cliff face in remembrance of the Swiss guards who died during the French Revolution in 1792. The Latin inscription above the lion translates to ‘To the Loyalty and Bravery of the Swiss.’
After Lucerne, we visited a town called Rapperswil which is located on the upper half of Lake Zurich. We first walked along a wooden bridge which is the longest in Switzerland and then turned back so that we would have time to see the other sights. We walked up to the castle where we had a great view of the whole town, as well as spotting some deer. As we entered the castle, we saw a couple of people who were frantically placing decorations up stop and stare at us; whilst I was oblivious to what was going on and continued to walk around, Fatima realised that there was a wedding due to start and so we quickly hurried out!
To get back to the apartment from Rapperswil, we had to change at Zurich and so we decided to pick up some dinner from the station. We ended up eating noodles and rice at a Thai place called Kaimug; it was initially quite bland for us but after adding a chilli sauce and plenty of lime, it wasn’t too bad.
After dinner was when all the chaos began! We picked up some froyos from Coop before heading to our train which was a big mistake. Not only were the froyos much more expensive than we originally thought, but the platform was on the opposite side of the station from where we were. Running to get onto the train, we got there in time to see it departing without us. Although what really topped off the ordeal was when I was running, I dropped the spoon from my froyo and got laughed at by a random stranger!