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Glorious Lake Views in Lucerne

Posted on October 29, 2010 by Holly Hayes
Part of: UK and Western Europe

We spent Wednesday night in Lucerne, an lovely small city in central Switzerland. We had a great hotel on Lake Lucerne, just outside the city proper. It was magnificent. Our room was large and comfortable and views were absolutely amazing.

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Front of the hotel

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Room

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View!

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View from room of Lake Lucerne and Mount Pilatus (6,955 ft)

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Part of Lucerne can be seen on the far right

The weather was just glorious when we arrived, too, as you can see. It was not only sunny, but ridiculously warm for Switzerland in late October. We flung open the windows and really soaked it in for a little bit. But we wanted to enjoy the town in the good weather too, so we soon got into the car and drove into Lucerne. In the summer, you can take a boat - the hotel has its own pier! It was sad that it wasn't running anymore, but that's one of the downsides of traveling in the off-season (and there are many upsides).

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The pier, photographed by David early the next morning

We have good memories of Lucerne - on our train trip through Switzerland a few years ago, we had about a 40-minute stop here and took a whirlwind tour of it before buying a sausage with bread and hopping back on the train. It was good fun. But it was also nice to have a more leisurely tour this time.

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Boat at the Lucerne pier. The train station (far right) also functions as the bus station and boat station. Pretty fun. We parked in the train station's parking garage. The modern building with dramatic roof on the left is the art museum.

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Closer look at the pier

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View from next to the pier (before the boat arrived). The swans are everywhere and make the crystal-clear lake even more beautiful. They are ill-tempered when food is involved, but otherwise as lovely and elegant as we expect them to be.

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Swanning around

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Lucerne has several bridges over the lake, all of which are pedestrian-friendly and have great views.

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But the most famous bridge is this one, the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden covered bridge from the 14th century. It goes diagonally across the lake and is quite lovely.

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By now our shadows were getting longer and we were ready to find some dinner, but it was remarkably hard to do so. All these restaurants you see here are either Italian or British, and we wanted Swiss food, dangit! But it was seriously nowhere to be found, at least not before we ran out of patience. In the end we decided to drive back to our hotel and eat there.

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At least crowds weren't a problem! And the food was excellent - but really, really expensive. Switzerland is an expensive place in general.

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David had this lovely venison, which was magnificent. It's hard to make venison taste that good, but they did.

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It came with Spätzle, a thick German egg noodle with lots of butter involved.

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Pumpkin is the latest seasonal dish, and so I had this pumpkin gnocchi from their specials menu. I expected the pumpkin to be cooked into the gnocchi rather than chopped as a topping, but I liked it. It also had a bunch of whole chestnuts (there's one front and center in the photo), which was fun since I've only ever had those roasted in the shell from street vendors, never in a restaurant.

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Caramel custard for dessert. YUM.

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Back in our room, the view was as spectacular as ever.

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And after dark, a million stars came out and a lodge up on the mountain lit up. It was so beautiful I took the trouble to get the tripod out of the car to take a night photo out the window. Definitely one of the best hotel views ever.