München to Luzern

Today we reluctantly leave München to travel to Luzern via Zurich. It’s another beautiful day here, blue skies and 70F. Our train is at midday, so we have time to have a leisurely breakfast before heading out to catch the bus and UBahn to Hauptbahnhoff.

The station is busy with travelers like us, wheeling bags, bicycles and baby carriages.

As a sleek grey ICE (Intercity Express) rolls in, you can hear the loud hum of the engines.

We have 45 minutes to kill before our train arrives and two others will depart earlier from the same track before ours. We found some seats on the second level of the station overlooking the tracks so we can see all the people below rushing to their trains, disembarking, grabbing something to eat from the various Imbis stands.

Our train arrives and we look at the train board to see where our carriage is positioned within the train with our seats. We have reserved seats, usually a good idea in high season. Our car is full with a few people standing. It’s a four hour trip if they’re going all the way to Zurich.

The train pass by a number of small villages, the houses with red tile roofs and solar panels. There are a few solar panel “fields” with arrays of panels, but many houses have them as well.

There is no Wifi connection on the train unless I use my Google-Fi phone, but I’ve already used 6gb in about as many days, so I’ll hold it in reserve until I really need it. I’ll listen to my offline Plex playlists.

Some of the farms we pass have their first hay cutting drying in the sun. Others have already bailed their hay and it’s wrapped up big white bales waiting to be hauled into the barn. This area has broad rolling meadows, cattle grazing on the hillsides, forested snow capped mountains in the distance.

In the map below, you can see Munich and off to the right Salzburg, about 20 miles from Berchtesgaden. The green patch below that area is the Königssee National Park. The “blue dot ” on the map is us getting closer to Switzerland. We cross into Switzerland at Lindau/ Bregenz.

As we get closer to Lindau, the hillsides have wine vinyards planted instead of hay fields.

Lake Bregenz

By the time we reach St. Margrethen (Switzerland) , the aisle is full of “standers”. But by the time we reach Winterthur, while there aren’t any standers, it’s been a long 4.5 hours.

We arrived in Zurich for the next leg to Luzern, a short trip really. The weather here at 87F is quite a bit warmer than München! Last time we came to visit Luzern, we actually stayed in Zurich and took the shuttle train over and back. Zurich is quite expensive, reported as 26% more expensive than New York City, ranking 1st out of 375 cities in the world sampled. Another survey found it to be the 5th most expensive city in which to live. 1st or 5th, it’s expensive.

I’m sure Luzern is up there in cost of living, but sometimes, the view is worth it.

Kapellebrucke (Chapel Bridge)

After check in to our hotel, we strolled around old town Luzern crossing one of two wooden bridges over the Reuss River, then into the old Weinmarkt and Kornmarkt, towards city hall. We found the entrance where it’s obvious couples go to get married, as there was confetti all over the ground outside the old door.

Ahead of us is the (modern) bridge across the river where Lake Luzern empties into the river. This shot of the river is downstream of the lake, but shows how fast it moves.

Reuss River, Fed by Lake Luzern

Looking out from the bridge and using the Peak Finder app, it displays the names and heights of the peaks. It’s about 9:30pm but the mountains are still visible.

View to Lake Luzern and Kongress Center
View to Mt Pilates

To the right of us is the train station where we arrived just a few hours ago, so we’ve made a complete circle.

Oh, and the price of the view? A Diet Coke was $4.60 (no free refills). Totally worth it.

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