I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog account of our student group travel with EF Tours this June. If you’ve missed Parts 1, 2, or 3, I encourage you to check them out. The highlight our our tour was our visit to Lucerne, Switzerland. We loved everything about the area. It was gorgeous with a shimmering lake surrounded by mountain vistas, green meadows and forested slopes. The town is intriguing. Quaint shops, cobbled streets with delicious restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and souvenirs. Churches, castles, bridges and an old city wall with a view well worth the numerous steps. I could go on and on.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things I found was an Irish gift shop. I stopped in and spoke with the friendly woman running the place and found out her husband is Irish. We chatted for a bit, then I joined my husband and friends for a walk to the city wall.
As a group we rode across Lake Lucerne in a boat and traveled up Mt. Pilatus in a cogwheel train. The steepest in the world, we were told. The views as we rode up the mountain included a breathtaking moment with each turn of my head. Cattle grazing peacefully in alpine meadows, wire fence and trails cut into the side of the slope, wildflowers, trees, and an occasional house or barn. We saw a hiker or two as well. Braver (and better conditioned) souls than me.
At the top a few of us climbed a wee bit higher. I learned first hand that exertion at high altitudes is more difficult. The oxygen is definitely lacking!
We rode in a four-person gondola on the way down. The view was different, yet no less spectacular. On this side of the mountain were more homes with animals and hayfields. We stopped at an area with zip-line, toboggan, and other attractions. Several of us rode the Dragon Glider – a cross between a zip-line and an overhead rollercoaster. We all were disappointed in the lack of speed throughout the ride, but the views were nice. The toboggan closed before we were able to try it. Sad! But we got a fantastic group photo with the mountains and valleys in the background.
Our hotel was located nearly an hour’s drive from Lucerne by bus, but the scenery and views of the lake made the drive worthwhile. Also, the proprietors of the hotel were fun and accommodating people. The food was amazing and the view from our window along with the enchanting sound of the cowbells made the place magical. I would definitely recommend the Hotel Minster if you ever travel to Lucerne.
Next week will be the final installment in this series. We’ll be back in Germany, in the charming old towns of Freiburg and Heidelberg.