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Today we’re making a day trip to Luzern from Zurich. Luzern is a picturesque city, bounded by the Vierwaldstattersee (lake of the four cantons) a large lake, it’s a magnet for tourism and events like the Luzern Festival (music festival) that just started.

We’ve been to Luzern many times, but it’s always a pleasure to return to this beautiful city. This time we’re staying in Zurich, a 45 minute train ride and doing a day trip here. My wife, the travel planner supreme, found that if she booked the train tickets online and we committed to a specific train (vs walk up), we’d save 50% ($50) over the walk-up pricing.

One of the most memorable sights is the Kapellebrucke , chapel bridge that crosses the Reuss river (fed by Lake Luzern).

The tower in the center of the bridge was at one time, a prison.

The weather today is beautiful. It’s about 82 degrees, which feels hot, but I shouldn’t complain because Texas was going through a 100 degree temperature streak before we left. The combination of the normal summer tourism and the added draw of the festival has made it a bit more crowded. We spent our day in the old town, where you can still see parts of the walls and towers that once defended the city.

Tower part of the old town wall. The tile roof of another bridge.
Reuss river

On a beautiful day like this, if you have the time, you can take a paddlewheel steamer around the lake as it calls into the various small villages that line the lake. There’s even a sandy beach (Lido).

We did a lot of browsing and a little shopping, noting where stores had changed since the last visit. We took a break by going up to the top floor of the Co-Op (regional retailer) where they have a cafeteria, just to sit and cool off.

We walked over both of the covered bridges (Kapellebrücke and Steuerbrücke). The archways above you in these bridges have (reproductions) of period paintings. The Kapellebrücke was nearly destroyed 25 years ago in a fire. The city workers were out at the end of the pier in the river near the Steuerbrücke adjusting the wooden staves that direct the water flow. The river is pretty low today, but we’ve seen the river when the snow melt swells the lake and then flows into the river, rising dramatically from summer levels.

In an old city like this, there’s always renovation going on to preserve the historic buildings and monuments, fountains . Some of the doorways or structures have the dates they were built.

Old doorway across from Wilden Mann Hotel

Wilden Mann hotel. We’ve stayed here a few times. The building is 500 years old.

We’re back on a train to Zurich, but here’s a brief video of the area near the river.

Tomorrow, we journey on to a new location.

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