You really were amazing and I will always love you. You are truly beautiful, and I will cherish the memories that went far beyond my wildest expectations, but I have just met Lucerne! She took me to Weggis on a steamboat and lifted me to peaks with dazzling views. There was a bit of romance around the lake, some extremely good food, and I do confess, quite a bit of wine involved. I do feel very guilty because I had such a wonderful time and now I’m a tad confused because I’ve fallen in love with another part of Switzerland. I hope you will forgive me. I simply must stay longer!
Yours perhaps again one day,
Lucerne and up to Mount Rigi
If I said, ‘I was blown away with admiration for this part of Switzerland’, it would be an enormous understatement. It is absolutely magnificent, easy to fall in love with, and full of surprises. You will not want to leave and when your friends ask you, ‘Did you enjoy Lucerne?’, your reply will consist of four syllables……. ‘You have to go!’
From Lucerne, hop on a paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne to Weggis. The locals call Lake Lucerne – Vierwaldstättersee which means ‘Lake of the four forest settlements’.
From Weggis there’s a cable car to Rigi Kaltbad, then a cogwheel railway to Rigi Kulm. The view from the top is stunning and encompasses several lakes and valleys that stretch out in every direction. It’s been described as a view that you have to see and I must wholeheartedly agree. During the summer months, the flowers will amaze you. During the Autumn, expect to be equally impressed.
In a theme explored by Shakespeare, we were once taught to believe that beauty is a fleeting gift. But not here. All year-round, the ‘Queen of the Mountains’ majestically casts her rich hues of lush green into an Autumnal orange, then from a pure white to a gentle and gradual cascade of Spring shades.
Strolling around Mount Rigi
Whilst sitting by Lake Lucerne with a cappuccino and a croissant is very much the in-vogue activity, many a Swiss local would utter words of surprise if you didn’t venture to the top of Mount Rigi. In fact, if you refrained from donning your boots and grabbing your walking sticks, they would tell you, that you were a Swiss sandwich short of a picnic – don’t forget to take a picnic. There’s a 120-kilometer network of footpaths on the Rigi. For some, that’s a stroll in the park!
I know what you’re thinking. It’s just another Swiss mountain and we’re all here for the fine cuisine and wine. Right? No! This particular panoramic view will leave you smiling and then full of jaunty and boastful intent, you’ll find yourself asking friends, ‘Have you been up Mount Rigi?… We went last week, it was amazing, you must go.’ I’m guilty of having delivered that line at least a dozen times during the last week. You see, it should be on everybody’s bucket list of places to visit in Switzerland.
It comes as no surprise to learn that the locals constructed the Rigi Bahn 150 years ago. You will be traveling on the oldest mountain railway in Europe!
Looking more closely at the ambitious 120km walking proposition, you may like me to decide to amble a mere 120m towards the Rigi Kaltbad Mineral Baths and Spa. I felt obliged to do so. I do understand this local need to hike across mountain ranges, but frankly, the word ‘spa’, sounds far more appealing and less strenuous. Allow me to quote directly from the source ‘Relax in the 35°C healing mineral waters of the Rigi’s Three Sisters spring.’ The baths were designed by the famous Swiss architect Mario Botta. So all you really need to do is lie back, close your eyes and relax, relax and relax a bit more……..
Are you there yet? Or still, reading this?
Another gem nestling in this idyllic holiday region is Weggis. Picturesque and on the lake, this is a destination harbouring countless romantic settings made for sipping wine. It’s easy to feel like you are floating away.
One last little tip. Hotel De La Paix in Lucerne has an exceptional menu at their Restaurant Lapin and I’m going to say, drum roll, please……. They serve the best soup I have ever tasted. I hope that Riesling soup stays permanently on the menu because I have to go back for more very soon. They also offer a wine tasting which accompanies your dinner and if you are lucky, you may even meet the owner who is a very nice chap called Ferdinand. This is a wonderful hotel and restaurant. If they happen to be full, the Hotel Schlüssel is superb and an experience that will take you back in time. It has been operating as a hotel since 1545. It’s been renovated several times since.
We are quite sure that you too will soon be in love with Lucerne. Just don’t mention this to Lausanne!
They really are easy to mix up.