Thursday, September 25, 2008


Lucerne is ideally situated in the historic and scenic heart of what many believe to be the 'true' Switzerland - picture mountains, lakes, cowbells, alpine villages and meadows full of edelweiss. The charming town straddles the Reuss River on the western edge of Lake Lucerne and makes an excellent base for excursions.

On the north bank of the Reuss, the picturesque old-town centre offers 15th-century buildings with painted facades, towers, a 17th-century Renaissance town hall and a couple of postcard-perfect covered bridges. North-east of the city centre is the poignant Lion Monument, which was carved out of natural rock in 1820 and is dedicated to the Swiss soldiers who died in the French Revolution. Next to it is the fascinating Gletschergarten (Glacier Garden) where giant glacial potholes prove that 20 million years ago Lucerne was a subtropical palm beach.

The Transport Museum contains trains, planes and automobiles and includes the Swissorama, a 20-minute, 360° film that whizzes you around the sights of Switzerland as if you were travelling by air, sea, road and foot. If you need some fresh air and exercise to work off all those yummy chocolates you've been scoffing, pedalboats, row boats and kayaks can be hired on the Reuss River and on Lake Lucerne. If you need some fresh vegies to combat the calories, there are oh-so-picturesque fruit and vegetable markets along the river quays.

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