After surviving our flat tire, we made it to Lucerne (or Luzern, for the German speakers out there). We had dinner at Restaurant Taube, and I loved it! I read that it was known for “grandma’s cooking,” and that was definitely true! It was really cozy – perfect for a rainy evening.
Two of us tried some kind of macaroni & cheese with apples, potatoes, and onions. The potatoes were a bit much, but the rest was really delicious!
We stayed in an apartment five or ten minutes out of town – in a town called Meggen. One of my friends stayed in the area last year, and she knew a spot for breakfast. We drove down to this adorable Swiss Chalet! Of course we were “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” before we even stepped foot in the restaurant.
Unfortunately, when we walked in, we found out they stopped serving breakfast 15 minutes earlier! Sad! The waitress offered to bring us coffee and croissants, so we decided to stay. We asked if they had a menu we could see. She brought out menus, but when she put them on the table, she informed us that the items on the menu weren’t available until 11:30 – more than an hour from that moment. She explained very matter-of-factly that we chose the hour and a half when they didn’t serve any food. We still lingered over our coffee and croissants – almost to the point where we could’ve ordered lunch.
Since it was rainy and cloudy, we couldn’t go up Mt. Pilatus like we hoped. Instead, we went into Old Town Lucerne to see the infamous Chapel Bridge. I was in Lucerne with my mom in 2003, and this bridge is the thing that I remember most from the city.
We had another coffee and decided to go find the Lion Monument. This huge statue (33 feet long, 20 feet tall) seems so strange carved into the side of a cliff in a tiny park. I took a moment to share the story of the lion with the group (courtesy of Rick Steves, of course):
The mighty lion rests his paws on a shield, with his head cocked to one side, tears streaming down his cheeks. In his side is the broken-off end of a spear, which is slowly killing the noble beast. (Note the angle of the spear, which matches the striations of the rock face, subtly suggesting more spears raining down on the lion.) This heart-breaking figure represents the Swiss mercenaries who were killed or executed defending the French king in the French Revolution. The inscription reads, Helvetiorum fidei ac virtuti – “To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss.”
Well, I learned something new! Despite the history lesson, all I can think of when I see the lion is Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia.
We had lunch at Heini Café in the Old Town before going back to our apartment. Our location in Meggen was perfect, since we had two Meg(h)ans on the trip! And, of course, when that happens, you have to pose next to the sign!
It also turns out that Meggen has some agriculture – including pumpkins growing in someone’s yard. And of course, this also warranted jumping the fence to get a picture!
Even though we had to forego mountain fun, because of the rain. It was still a great day in a really beautiful city!