To Lucerne by boat and train

After 2 beautiful days in Interlaken we continued moving northwards in Switzerland. We planned to spend most of the day in Lucerne and to take the afternoon train from there to Olten where Nadia was to meet us. We spent 2 days with her and her family which was very special.

BrienzBoat on Lake BrienzJust because we could use our Rail Pass, we decided to go from Interlaken to Brienz by boat. This 10km trip took an hour and twenty minutes as a number of stops were made on the way for people to get on & off the boat. It was a truly wonderful hour+, just sitting back and relaxing while absorbing the beauty of creation all around us. This is just how Switzerland is supposed to look. From Brienz we took a train to Lucerne which is a city rather than a large town like Interlaken.

We stored our luggage at the station and then began wandering around the city. Not far from the station is the Chapel Bridge which was originally built in 1333. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and is famous its beautiful paintings on the trusses which were added in the 15th century. Sadly, the bridge was burnt down in 1993 but has been rebuilt to its original design and some of the paintings have been restored. In the middle of the bridge is a tower known as the Water Tower, not because it stores water but because it stands on the water. It has been used as a prison, torture chamber and recently as a municipal archive.

Crossing the River Reuss via the Chapel Bridge we walked up a hill through the old town to a now inactive fort at the top of the hill. We were able to climb a steep staircase in the tower on to the surrounding wall from which we enjoyed beautiful views over the city and the lake. From there we went down to the river bank walk and decided to take a boat ride across to the other side of the lake to eat our lunch. Why? Well we could ‘cos we had a Pass. This Pass pays for itself over and over again which is why we have already purchased one for our trip at the end of this year.

We returned to the station side of the lake and went to catch the train to Olten. It was wonderful to find Nadia waiting there for us and to learn that she not only now had a driver’s licence but also her own car. She had also moved into her own apartment not far from her parents’ home but it was in the next village. Switzerland has hundreds of small villages, some just a road width apart but each quite independent of each other.

Church muralMural on church walll at Monte TamaroThe following morning we all drove south together to the border with Italy at the northern tip of Lake Maggiore. We enjoyed a morning of taking in the beauty of the lake and the simplicity of the town. From Ascona we drove to Monte Tamaro where we ascended the mountain by cable car. At the top we found an adventure park, the start of a downhill bike route, a chapel – Church of S. Maria des Anges, 3 beautiful sculptures and a restaurant. The view from up there was just stunning and the food at the restaurant was also excellent if expensive.

 

Nadia at St GotthardNadia at St Gotthard

On returning to the base of the mountain we began the drive home over the St Gotthard Pass, stopping at the top of the Pass to visit the museum which showed the importance of the Pass to the history of Switzerland. A number of bridges and tunnels were built to facilitate the use of the Pass the best kow being the Devil's Bridge. We also learnt that the Rhine River rises at the top of St Gotthard.

On the way back to Kappel we stopped at a restaurant, Rӧshti Farm, for the most fantastic Chicken in a Basket we have ever imagined - crispy and tender and just perfect. After a long but lovely day of friendship and fun we made our way back home.

Sadly, the next morning was our last day in Switzerland and the end of our trip was in just 3 days. My 30-day blogging challenge ends in 8 days so I shall have to find another story of our travels to share with you.

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About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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