I wanted to come up with a cheesy name for this last week of traveling, mostly because I didn’t just want to put “Lucerne, Switzerland” up there. I don’t think I like it, but it might just stay as is.
(This post was written on December 16. Captions were written on December 18.)
I know I’m breaking my self-imposed rule of not posting about my trips out of order, but…
I’m gonna do it anyways. I still have to write about Copenhagen/Malmo, Tallinn, Lapland, and Stockholm but I feel as though those may be written during my seven hour layover in Copenhagen on my way back to Sacramento, or (probably) once I return home. I really do want to write about my time in these places, and I don’t believe they’ll be very long posts as I didn’t do any long tours or anything there, so…yeah. Is it against the point of keeping a blog to write for it once you return? Maybe it is, but that’s not going to stop me from doing it anyways. Sometimes you just gotta stick it to the (self-imposed) man.
…about Switzerland though! Lucerne (or Luzern) was my first stop on my final-week-trek across Europe. This trip is really nice because I don’t really have much of anything planned. It’s just nice to spend time in these cities and relax – I’m not in any rush like some of my other trips. Lucerne was great! I met up with a friend from high school, Dylan, who actually stayed with me in Helsinki for a few days at the beginning of the semester. He studied in London this semester, but he’s been spending his last days abroad in Switzerland. Not a bad way to round out your time in Europe.
I arrived in Lucerne on Sunday night after taking a train in from Zurich, and Dylan and I got dinner at the hotel where he was staying (aka the hotel that he basically had to smuggle me into). I got gnocchi with a gorgonzola sauce, which was delicious. We were lucky to find a place serving food at all; in typical European fashion, basically everything was closed – it was a Sunday night though, so I forgive them. I believe that it was pretty close to 11 pm once we finished, so we just walked around afterwards catching up, and head to bed shortly afterwards.
After getting breakfast the next morning, we went out to explore the city a bit. And wow! I finally saw Switzerland in all of its snow-capped-mountain-y beauty. Dylan’s hotel, the Hotel Zum Weisen Kreuz, was basically in the middle of the most scenic part of the city (I’m guessing that it’s the most scenic part of the city because it’s on all of the postcards I purchased). Simply stunning. The views were just incredible, and it was nice to see Switzerland during the day. It was also really nice to see the sun, which has been rarely shining in Helsinki lately (Hours of sunlight in Helsinki this November – just a bit different from San Diego!).
Our search for some of the more picturesque views brought and our exploration of the city brought us to a couple Christmas markets, the bank of a beautiful lake, a few castle-esque buildings, a school with a really large wall, and many other places. I’d tell you what those places were, but I don’t really know. We basically just wandered around and saw ‘stuff’ – a much more accurate description of what we actually did.
As night fell, we got dinner (I got tortellini) and went to see another Christmas market, where we both picked up different gifts and keepsakes. Just walking, talking, looking at what all of the shops offered was a really nice experience, too. It was great to be able to just see and enjoy the city, nothing rushing you.
Today, Lucerne was grey, foggy, and cold – I’m used to it. We started the day a bit late, spending most of the day just going in and out of various shops. We both picked up more souvenirs and ate our fair share of fresh Swiss chocolate, but other than that it was basically just spending time in the city. A lazy day in Switzerland (and I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way!).
I caught my train to the Zurich airport on time, but it left about 30 minutes late. I then had to make an unexpected transfer to get to the airport, so I was a bit delayed. But I got there on time, so no real complaints from me.
But right now, I’m in Poland (Note: I didn’t have access to WiFi, so I’m actually posting this from Oslo)! To be honest, I don’t really have any reason for being here – sensing a trend? – other than the fact that I wanted to come here because a few of my friends from back home are Polish. So I’m here! I’m excited to explore the city tomorrow (I think I’m going to a castle?), and I’ll probably do another write-up tomorrow. I realized yesterday that by the end of this week, I will have been in Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe. That’s neat! I leave for Oslo on Thursday night, but it’s all about Krakow for now!
I can’t believe it, but I’ll be home in a week. Weird.
Click on the pictures for a larger view.
(This part of the post was written on December 19.)
Thanks again to Dylan for letting me stay with you! I’ll try to have my Poland post up pretty soon (maybe tomorrow?). Poland was amazing. I really loved my time in Krakow, and I just wish I had more time to spend there. The city was really beautiful, and there’s just so much history that lives in that city. I saw most of the major sites, but I just wish I had a little more time. Oh well. Now I’m in Oslo! I think I’m visiting the Viking Ship museum tomorrow, recalling what I learned in my Old Norse class. Exciting!