Friday, June 25, 2010

Lucerne Switzerland, or: Not for me

First things first: You can apparently spell Lucerne in many different ways--Lucerne being one of them. Also, Luzern or Luzerne. Just an FYI.

The famous bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
When I went on my Contiki tour, Lucerne was one of our two one-night stops--and unfortunately, not the better of the two. The first problem was probably that we had to board the bus at an unGodly hour for the drive from Paris to Switzerland. It's probably a good thing that I was still drunk from the night before and was able to sleep through most of the bus ride...because what normally would have been a 7-8 hour trip turned into 10 when our bus broke down just shy of the Swiss border. The bus was fairly new but supposedly it was just a cable that had come loose...I think everyone in our group handled it really well, no one whined and complained, and we were back on the road in less than two hours. Shit happens, you know?

Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy in Lucerne, which of course didn't help my impression of the city. It was certainly clean and pretty, but a combination of bad weather and the weirdest/worst hotel I have ever stayed in worked against its favor. The hotel was actually an old jail--they kept telling us that it had been a minimum-security women's prison, but after seeing the rooms, I am inclined to believe it was a psychiatric hospital and that they just didn't want to admit that to us. Also, I have to be a bit of a girl here--the plug in the room was awkward and no one could get their converters/adaptors to fit in it. That's Switzerland for ya...they refuse to be part of the EU (they'll accept Euros but give you Swiss francs as change), even when it comes to their power outlets. Good thing I had already planned to just wear my hair curly ;o)

We did the optional lake cruise excursion that Contiki offers, which was okay. Had the weather been better and had I not been so exhausted from the night before (and yes, maybe a little hungover) it would have been fun, because it included one free drink and then you could get beer and wine for 2 euro a drink...not bad at all! It was still nice to see more of the lake and the scenery considering we wouldn't have been there long enough to see much of it otherwise.
Christy trying to enjoy her weird Swiss McDonald's. (We needed hangover food)

After the lake cruise Christy, Natalie, Gordana and I went to MACCAS (that would be Australian for McDonald's). It was ridiculously expensive, tasted good but not quite the same, and they charge you for extra ketchup! Then we got a bit lost on the way home and that was when the term "serial" was born...because it was raining everyone was walking around with dark jackets on and the hoods pulled over their heads...someone made a comment about them looking like serial was shortened to "serials"...and there you go. I guess you had to be there, and in general I'm sure Lucerne is very safe, but we still felt a little skeeved out that evening.

The next morning we did a bit of shopping. I was able to purchase a really nice Swiss Army knife for really cheap--in fact, I never did figure out what some of its features were supposed to do, and on top of that it had a picture of Lucerne on the back. There were Swatches everywhere as well--also for great prices, and I was very tempted to purchase one...but I don't wear a watch and I decided to save my money for other endeavors. Such as more alcohol. (kidding...sort of) We left Lucerne around 11 AM and I was honestly not too sad to see it go. C'est la vie.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you didn't love Lucerne! I LOVED it. I thought it was so beautiful and was sorry we only had one day there. We went on a fun pub crawl around the city and I met a very cute Swiss boy - so maybe that improved my opinion of the city - lol! I actually thought the jail hotel was cool in a kitschy, IKEA-y sort of way - at least it was pretty clean - but then again I have stayed in a lot of really crappy hotels so I have pretty low standards! The only bad thing I have to say is about the lake cruise - it was so dark you couldn't really enjoy the scenery on the lake - it would be better to do it right when arriving in the city when it is still light out. But it was still very pretty and fun to hang out with everyone.