Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Guten Morgen, Luzern! Part I

It was time to say Guten Morgen, Luzern!
But we were soon to realise, reinforcing what we had sensed in Interlaken, that if there is limit for unfriendliness that I have seen so far, it has been in Switzerland. 
We were in our hotel at Bundesplatz by 1030 hours but the poker-faced lady at the front office curtly told us that we would not be able to check-in till 1400 hours. Grumpily she agreed to shorten the wait period by one hour to 1 PM. We then had to persuade her to keep our bags in the luggage room so that we could venture out into the city. Needless to say, we freaked out when she did not help us with the WiFi details.
After a quick sandwich and tea break at the hotel itself, we figured out that the hotel has bicycles that guests could use during their stay here. 
At the front desk, there was a Peruvian male manager who was a lot more friendlier than the lady we had "encountered" earlier. He gave us two cycles with helmets and we happy to venture out and explore Lucerne.
We rode our bikes along the Bundesplatz, heading to the Bahnhof Luzern or the Lucerne Station, observing quite a few interesting heritage buildings on the way - the Hotel Monopol, where we could not get reservations earlier.




From the Bahnhof, we were guided to the arts museum of the city, which is known as the Kunstmuseum Luzern - it houses Swiss artworks from the Renaissance to the present, with a focus on 19th-century works. I honestly felt that the ultra-modern glass and steel structure was a trifle out of place in the charming heritage backdrop of the city.



From the Kunstmuseum, we headed along the Bahnhofstrasse towards the jetty, Bahnhofquai and the Seebrücke, a vehicular bridge across the Reuss River. On the way we came across an ornate archway, which is a remnant of the old station building which was gutted by a massive fire in 1971. 


The ornate archway made me wonder how beautiful the old station building would have been!






View of Lucerne city across the across the Reuss River



Sampling of German architecture can be seen across Lucerne city. People of German ethnicity dominate the city, in terms of population, though off-late, especially after the Schengen system was put into place, foreigners constitute nearly 25% of the city's population... 



Flags of Switzerland and local cantons flutter along the Seebrücke...


The Bahnhofquai jetty - from here one can hop on to a boat for a ride across the Lake Lucerne...




The main post office...




And finally at the Kapellbrücke, or the Chapel Bridge...
The 204 metre long wood covered bridge was originally built in 1333. After a fire that broke out here in 1993, allegedly caused by a discarded cigarette, much of the bridge had to be replaced...  
The Kapellbrücke has the Wasserturm, or "water tower", an octagonal structure right in the middle. It is believed that the Wasserturm predates the itself by nearly thirty years and was intended to be a fortification for the city...  










2 comments:

Ananya Kiran said...

Great Post.. Thanks for Sharing !

Ananya Fashions and More

Archana Kapoor said...

my god Rajeev - your posts are really making me nostalgic... I loved this place when I visited it :-)

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