Zürich to Luzern

It’s hard to believe that we were all awake by 7:45, 15 minutes before the alarm.  We each showered last night, which simplified our tasks for morning.

Swiss hotels (at least the 3-star ones) are fairly spartan in their furnishings.  Almost Danish in simplicity.  White or cream linens.  Duvets for each single bed.  No washcloths provided.  One piece of artwork.  Multi-colored curtains.  Simple flooring.  Functional enough!

Our breakfast buffet at Crazy Cow was included.  It was a feast!  Apples, oranges, seeded grapes.  Two breads (sourdough; multigrain), plus rolls and croissants.  Butters and jams.  Sliced cheeses and meats.  Boiled eggs.  Coffee, tea, ice water, and orange juice.  Two cereals and two (yummy) yogurts.  We ate heartily!

After checking out, we crossed the river.  Found a parking spot in a parking garage.  I like the automatic count of spots displaying for each floor.  What a nice time-saver!

We walked back across the river to Limmat Quai.  A nice stroll with little traffic, quaint views of the city, and close proximity to the water.

Our main focus for the morning was our visit to the Fraumünster.  This is the Protestant church that features gorgeous stained glass windows created by Jewish artist Marc Chagall.

Five long panels, each in one primary and dominant hue, as well as the blue “rose” window.  Pictures can’t begin to capture the experience or the artistry.  Nor can words.  Simply magnificent.

We wandered in the old city, trying to find St. Peter’s Kirche, without success.  In places, we could see its spire, but surrounded by tall buildings and small meandering streets.  Just couldn’t get oriented.

We accidentally found a nice, shady park to rest.  It turned out to be a river overlook, too.  And not far from a WC, which was perfectly timed.

Our biggest “tourist” mistake happened at the parking garage.  We found the meters to pay.  I inserted our ticket and asked for English instructions.  Confirmed parking bill of 7.70 CHF.  Paid with, and retrieved, my credit card.  Got my receipt and left to find our car.  OOPS!  We didn’t know that we should also wait for the ticket to be returned ~ required a second time to raise the barricade arm at the final exit.  Ah well, the security guards who had first confirmed how to pay remembered us and issued another billet to use.

We found a COOP supermarket right on the bridge near the train station.  And luckily, we found the last available parallel parking spot.  Of course, it was designed for a Fiat!  Took all three of us to get parked: me driving; Ron navigating from the outside; and Dad praying in the backseat!  =)  Another driver who was leaving even gave us her parking pass with time remaining.

What a wonderful market.  I picked up a load of multigrain bread, three blocks of cheese, a pound of cherries, four raspberry yogurts, a big 6-pk of water bottles, and smaller beverages for less than 40 CHF.  Much cheaper than what we would find at a bistro!

While I was in the market, Ron worked on figuring out the GPS for our car.  I had finally found the button to activate Destination, but nothing else.  We finally maneuvered through the system and entered the address for Hotel Krone in Luzern.

The system worked beautifully in getting us out of Zurich and on our way to Luzern.  Not so good once in Luzern!  We should have taken Siri’s “limited access at your destination” warning as a signal that she wouldn’t easily get us to the hotel.  After several circuits around the same four-block area (on the wrong side of the river) we decided to revert to the directions I had jotted from the hotel’s website in the morning.  Ignoring the “no cars” warning signs, we found it!  Even parked in the plaza right in front!  Room 31 this time.

Once unloaded, we dined on our European-style lunch from the market.  We unanimously voted to throw out the one really stinky cheese, which smelled like dirty and sweaty feet that had been in boots for three days.  =P  It’s hard to shop for cheese when you don’t know the language!  Otherwise, lunch really hit the spot.

After lunch, Dad rested and napped.  I rested, reviewed the tourist maps for Luzern, and worked on my travel notes.  Ron went exploring with the camera.

The concierge had told us that storms were predicted for Sunday.  So we elected to take a lake cruise this evening.  First class tickets were 36 CHG each.  So we splurged.

Our timing was ideal.  By the time we walked to Pier 2, the boat was just ready to board.  We didn’t know to anticipate that tables would be reserved in the upper deck under the canopy.  Luckily, one 4-person party did not appear.  So the host offered us their table after we left the dock.

The tour was 2½ hours, all around the lake.  A nice combination of small villages with traditional Swiss architecture and tantalizing glimpses of snow-dotted peaks in the Alps.  With the heat, it was too hazy to take really great mountain photos.  But it was still a treat as a live experience.

The actuell did not identify any vegetarian entrées and even the meat-based ones didn’t seem appetizing for Dad.  So we each had a beverage.  Then later, Ron and Dad each had an exotic ice cream.

We returned to Luzern about 21:40.  Walked through the huge crowd of music-festival-goers on the pier and the bahnhofplatz.  Then took a different route through the old market, easily finding our hotel.

The room was really hot, but not much moreso than the outside air.  Thank goodness for an oscillating fan!  With the windows open, we did have occasional street noise from rowdy party-goers.  But at least we were able to get a little sleep.

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