November 4, 2010

Day Sixteen

In Lucerne I fell in love... with Switzerland. With its breathtakingly beautiful scenery and the overall feeling of safety and freedom this was the place. You know what I mean? The place where you instantly feel at home and at peace. Well that place is Switzerland.

We started by taking a cable car ride up to the top of Mt. Stanserhorn. What a way to start the day!!! Rising up above the cloud bank into blissful sunshine to be greeted by snow-capped mountain tops.

The cloud was so thick it looked like you could walk on it... Or lay down for the most beautiful sleep you have ever know. Mt. Stanserhorn caught me up in a dream - of beauty, of rest, of peace. My vocabulary completely failed me as I simply whispered 'wow' over and over again. There was a platform set out into the clouds so you could be right on top of them. It was as close to floating as I'll ever get.

Coming down the mountain we returned to Lucerne to go see the lion. Who knew a single sculpture could hold such sadness?

For a bit of background I turn to good old Wikipedia
"It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France. The American writer Mark Twain (1835–1910) praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."
I have to agree with Mark. It is such a moving carving that you can almost feel the lion's pain and sacrifice. Truly the picture simply does not do it justice. If you've ever read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe you'll understand when I say that the sculpture immediately reminded me of Aslan. My recommendation is that if you have a life list you simply must put going to see the lion monument on it.

Most of the rest of the day was spent wandering around Lucerne - ducking into multiple chocolate shops and enjoying a bit of shopping (I simply had to buy the obligatory Swiss Army Knife). But one thing I was taken with was an old bridge in what seemed to be the center of town.
The middle of the bridge had actually burnt down leaving only two stubs at either end. It has since been restored (obviously) and all along the bridge you can see char makes and a photographic history of the city of Lucerne.

This day was wonderful filled with such highs - seeing the magnificent vistas atop Mt. Stanserhorn and gazing at the exquisite sadness of the Lion Monument. Lucerne was a definite highlight of the trip and I'd love to go back again. In fact I would love to go back to Switzerland and get to know the whole country. I found it to be the most comfortable place of the whole tour (and I'm not just talking about the beds!).

Next stop Innsbruck.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how lovely this all looks! The photo above the clouds and the mountains is stunning! Exactly as you described it but better, jealous!