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Adorable Chick

Switzerland Diary - Day 4 - 08 April 2014

Sitting in the lap of central Switzerland, Lucern also called Lucerne or Luzern in the local language, is a pretty city that lies to the south of Zurich and is reachable within an hour from here. The thing that makes this city more attractive than many others is that it is slightly laid back, it has a beautiful lake, it is not so crowded as other places but also has all features of a good city, there are many places of tourist interests not only in the city but also in the surrounding area. One can savour the ancient architecture while taking a walk around the picturesque city. River Reuss flows through the city splitting it into two.

The old town of Lucerne is famous for its medieval walls, age old wooden bridges, towers, narrow streets that take you back in time. The Main railway station does not lie far away from the old town. It takes around 5 minutes to walk between them. The railway station displays a quay right outside it, which makes it convenient to get around different parts of the city. Getting to Mount Rigi from here is pretty easy.

We set out that morning from Interlaken and took a train to get to Lucerne . A short train ride from Interlaken west to East (OST) station and thereafter a switch of trains to get to Lucerne in less than 2 hours was the most easiest route. Of course, depending on the time you leave, the Swiss transport system ensures more than one ways to get to a particular place. Interlaken being a central town, it is easy to get around the entire country from here in less than 3 hours time maximum.

As we got out of the Lucerne Bahnof, we spotted the quay right outside. It was time for a free ride through Lake Lucerne to get to Mount Rigi. Walking upto quay no. 3 , we boarded the ferry by producing our SWISS PASS( The return journey to Mount Rigi is free with a Swiss pass). We were out on a ride to VITZNAU. It lasted approximately 2 hours. Passing through some most fabulous landscapes, shivering in cold on the open deck, we reached Vitznau. A FUNICULAR from Vitznau took us to the top of MOUNT RIGI.

The red funicular pertains to the Vitznau- Rigi route. The ride lasted a little less than an hour. It was completely foggy at the top. We couldn't spot anything except for the path every few metres ahead ahead of us. It was magical. It got more colder than the ferry ride and we quickly took shelter inside a tiny restaurant in Rigi. We enjoyed the pumpkin soup and some pastries and savouries here. The shop next door got some business from us in terms of additional shoes and woollen wear purchases. Sadly, we couldn't walk up Mount Rigi as we had imagined. It was pointless to take pictures too. The Fog ensured that we did NOTHING up there.

Tidy Desk

After spending around half an hour at the top, we took the return BLUE funicular and followed the route to get to Arth-Goldau. It was raining here and we walked up an entire pathway, crossing the railway line of the Arth-Goldau. We were elated to hear the bells ringing in a nearby church. The town was relatively sleepy and we hardly spotted people around. We walked upto a train S line nearby and boarded a tram type vehicle to get to our next stop - THE SWISS TRANSPORT MUSEUM.

This museum is built on a large piece of land and came into existence in 1959. The Giant , cement grey WHEEL outside its entrance is a big hit. People look so tiny against this mammoth structure. The museum displays all forms of transport that ever existed in the history of Switzerland ranging from the erstwhile trains, automobiles, ships and aircraft as well as the latest forms of communication technology.

The space of 20000 square metres is worth a visit when you are in this part of the town. It will just sweep you of your feet and shower you with immense knowledge on not only the genesis of the entire transport Swiss-transport system but also how it has widely progressed over the years. Each and every display room is an encyclopaedia in its own way. To top it all, the entry to this museum comes free with the SWISS PASS, so there is no way you should miss your visit here, especially if you are in the area. It might take you a few hours to get around the place but it is all worth it. What beats everything is the way this museum is maintained. You can spend hours in each display room or demarcated area by interactively learning about how each vehicle works.

There are simulations and interactive live learning possibilities, fitted inside huge vehicles, which will intrigue you in every possible way. I cannot stop raving about the museum as it is one of the best experiences I have had so far, especially when I am not a much of "VEHICLE LOVER". Getting out from the museum, we boarded a bus right outside the museum to get back to the old town. We were back near the railway station.