LUCERNE as a base
Lucerne is easily accessible via a train from the Zurich Flughafen airport. We checked in at the tourist information center at the airport and quickly looked around the displayed brochures to pick the ones we might need. For the sake of saving time, I would suggest that it’s a good idea to speak to any one of the employees at the counters and give them an overview of your stay and your interests. They will guide you through the related must know things without consuming much of your time.
We kept the Zurich visit for the last day of our trip as our return flight was from there. After all, it is always safer to be in the city from where you need to catch an international flight at least a day before. Especially in the winter season when the probability of cancellation of domestic flights and trains is high. Initially we were skeptical about choosing between car rentals and train but the very thought of enjoying a hassle free journey made us choose the latter. We will probably choose the first option the next time we come here keeping an “adventurous” tour in mind but not this one since the whole purpose of the trip was to relax 😀
Without wasting any time we caught a train for Lucerne as our hotels were booked here for four nights. We decided to make Lucerne as the base for travelling because some of our must-go destinations were closely connected to it.
@Lucerne Station (or “Bahnhof” in Switzerland ) we again checked in at the tourist center to buy the travel passes. The lady at the counter was extremely helpful in guiding us about the pass most suited for our itinerary and also updated us with the current climatic conditions of the place we seemed interested in. This certainly helped us in reordering the plan. They open as early as 8:30 in the morning and every day we used to go there to get the update and then head for the best possible option for that day. For instance, it is a waste going to Mt. Rigi Kulm on a foggy day as the low lying views will be completely blocked.
Note: all the passes are available to be bought online but I did not buy it beforehand as I found it’s description to be quite confusing. Also, since you might have to change plans last minute owing to the dramatic weather, I believe it is always better to get it after consulting them personally. Again, I would like to mention they are super quick with this!
LAKE LUCERNE CRUISE
Since we were just left with the second half of the day and the winter days are much shorter, a three hour cruise on lake Lucerne seemed to be a great fit. Given the alluring essence of Switzerland, jet-lag could not strain us much. Our hotel being right across the lake Lucerne and in a close proximity to the train station, we freshened up right away and savored a classic Swiss lunch at the Lapin. This restaurant is part of the hotel De La Paix, where we stayed. We then boarded the cruise to embrace the three hours of simulating expanse of the lake and multifarious peaks. The houses layered on the gradient and the birds in flight accompany you alongside, adding to the ecstasy.
Some of my favorite captures from lake Lucerne cruise
This bustling bridge connects the train station with the other side of the city and overlooks the famous “Chapel Bridge”.