Monday, August 24, 2009

Luzerne, Switzerland

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This morning after breakfast we took the bus to the train station here
in Basel to catch the train to Luzerne to spend the day. The
transportation in Europe is great whether it be train, tram or bus. The
hotel gave us a "mobility ticket" that is valid for all public transport
in the city of Basel and its surrounding areas. However, this does not
cover the train. The trip to Luzerne was just about an hour and the
trains between Luzerne and Basel run about every half hour so it is
pretty convenient. In addition, as with most cities in Europe the train
station is in the heart of the city so when you arrive at any place you
are in the town or city center.

On the train ride as we came closer to Luzerne you could see the
mountains in the background. Luzerne is the beginning of the Alps. The
city is very picturesque with the water and the mountains. Lake Luzerne
is right there and the city wraps around it. We took our walk around
the city with a map that we picked up at the tourist center in the train
station. On our Rhine River cruise someone told us to not miss the Lion
Monument carved into the side of a granite hill. It is a monument to
Swiss mercenaries that were killed fighting for the French King during
the French Revolution. These same mercenaries are those today that
guard the Pope.

Another site that we wanted to see was the church of St. Leodegar that
sits at the end and overlooking the Schweizerhofquai, a main waterfront
street. The church has a main high altar and many side altars, all very
ornate. Near the baptismal fount is a 'mural' with pictures of about 75
or so pictures of babies that had been baptized there in the last couple
of years. Around the outside of the church are burial sites of members
of the church. No dates were very old, most within the last 50 years or so.

While we were walking along the water looking for someplace to have
lunch we ran into two couples from Tennessee that were on the Rhine
River cruise. They had come to Luzerne yesterday directly from the
cruise and were taking the high-speed train to Paris and then flying
home. We picked a spot outside for lunch on the water and the menu had
something I had never seen before - horse. That's it, horse, as in
equine. Turns out the horse (roast horse) was more expensive than the beef.

We are back in Basel at the hotel now and tomorrow we will probably take
the train in the morning to Zurich. Zurich seems to be the same
distance as Luzerne was. We will have to see what the weather brings then.

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