wandern durch luzern

**note: since the title of this post is auf Deutsch, I figured I’d take the time to say this now. There are a few things on here that I’ve written in German, mostly cognates or things that aren’t vital for anyone to translate, but if you do want to know what I’ve written, I have linked to my favorite German dictionary at the bottom of the page!**

We’ve spent the past 2 days in Luzern, Switzerland. It’s a relatively-small city on Lake Luzern, and it is absolutely beautiful! Spring has almost sprung here (much to my relief… I was worried that I was leaving the sunny south to come to a frigid pre-spring Europe, but I was wrong!) so there are daffodils and green grass, but the mountaintops are still snow-capped. Here’s what we see outside our hotel window!

We’ve ventured into downtown/old town Luzern both days, following a walking tour from a travel guidebook and kind of making up our own. It’s a really quaint and pretty city (at least the touristy part is)… one cool thing is the way that the history of the city is documented on its buildings. The Kapellbrücke (chapel bridge) is painted with placards of historical figures of Luzern and poems describing what is shown on them, and lots of the buildings and façades bear murals depicting what the buildings are/were used for. For example, in the Weinmarktplatz (wine market square) there is a mural of the Wedding at Cana!

The main motifs of the city seem to be fountains (the water coming out of the fountains, just like all the water in Luzern, is extremely clean, so the people who live here apparently fill up their water bottles out of the fountains!) and churches (which are BEAUTIFUL!).

We saw the Jesuitekirche, Hofkirche (St. Leodegar), and Franziskanerkirche, three very different and distinct styles of churches despite their similar sizes.  We laughed, of course, about the apparent frugality of the Jesuits and their artificial marble and mismatched furnishings. We were a bit disappointed when we stumbled upon the Franciscan church, because there was a symphonic and choral performance of some of Bach’s music… just ending. We walked in just in time to applaud for about five minutes.

I really loved St. Leodegar… it was really delicately decorated with some apparently-very-well-known art.It was once only a monastery, but today it’s simultaneously a monastery and a parish. They also had Eucharistic adoration, so we went in for a few minutes. Always awesome!

At first, I thought Leodegar was some kind of made up German name, but it turns out it's not: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09174a.htm

Our other adventure besides wandering the city was actual “wandern”… hiking! This is a huge pastime in Germany (in our case, the German-speaking world) and we had the fortune of staying in a hotel a mere 30 minute walk from a castle! So we took advantage. It was a great walk with fantastic views that led us to land that used to comprise a single estate, but now it’s owned by a bunch of different households of normal (extremely lucky) people who get to experience the glory of Lake Luzern, vineyards, and the Swiss Alps every day! The castle was pretty–not what you’d think of when you hear “Schloss,” but it was like a beautiful old manor.

Der Schloss Meggenhorn

On the land there was also a vineyard, a Christusstatue that looked a lot like Cristo Redentor, a chapel, some boathouses, and a dock. I may or may not have almost fallen into the water.

We’ve basically exhausted all of the non-summer attractions in Luzern, so tomorrow we head to Bern en route to Colmar, France!

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exhaustion + beauty

Hello friends! I am currently typing this from a hotel room overlooking a lake at the foot of the Swiss Alps in Luzerne! But before you get too jealous, it’s 6 PM here and I haven’t slept since 9 AM yesterday! What a crazy day of travel.

A few points of interest…

-I left my awesome travel pillow that I got for Christmas at home. Mistake. If you’re in the position to fly across the Atlantic anytime soon, definitely get one of those babies.

-Lufthansa, the German airline with which we flew, basically allows their patrons to drink their weight in alcohol… case and point, the elderly woman sitting next to me. She had to get up to use the restroom like 3 times and each time complained about her hip replacement. This was after downing like 2 glasses of scotch and a few glasses of wine.

-My iPod is confused… it used to have huge problems matching up album art with the right songs, and it’s mostly corrected the problems, but whenever I listen to any songs from Wicked, it shows one of Josh Turner’s album covers. It’s quite amusing.

I mean, he's good-looking and all, but it really doesn't match Wicked.

-I am going to have trouble convincing Germans to speak German with me. The first encounter I had was a good one… the stewardess asked me (in German) what I wanted to drink! I was incredibly flattered, but that also meant that I had to choose orange juice (Orangensaft) instead of ginger ale (my go-to airplane drink) because I didn’t know how to say ginger ale in German. For future reference, it’s “Ingwerlimonade.” Eine Ingwerlimonade, bitte! Definitely keeping that in mind for future flights. But besides that, apparently Germans have some kind of American radar or something (or maybe it’s because I have my non-German-speaking mom with me… 🙂 ) because they all shot down my attempts to speak German with them. I figured it wasn’t worth the battle with the guy handling passports at the Frankfurt airport, but I’ll definitely have to get more insistent about me practicing German rather than Germans using me to practice English!

So tonight the plan is to explore Luzerne a little bit, eat dinner, and crash hardcore. Yay jetlag!

Bis später, meine Damen und Herren!