ERASMUS STORY: LUCERNE AND ZÜRICH

“THE SADDEST AND THE MOST MOVING PIECE OF STONE IN THE WORLD”

In Germany, there is a small sea of travel agencies that constantly organize excursions for students. Thanks to the low price for the offer they have, I found myself on the weekend excursion “Rhine Waterfalls – Lucerne – Zurich”. These are the types of excursions where the tours are intense and you get to known places very briefly. It should be expected that the trip will not be luxurious and it may even be slightly painful.

As a sardines in a two-story bus, we headed from Frankfurt to a night-trip to Switzerland. The first stop at six in the morning was the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfalls in Europe. Still asleep I listened to some of the information our guide gave us. They are located in two Swiss cantons, Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen, near the Swiss border with Germany. Formed in an ice age, the widest waterfalls in Europe are 150 meters wide, and 23 meters high. The highest waterfall in Europe, is Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland.

 After an improvised breakfast and obligatory selfies with waterfalls in the background, we headed towards Lucerne, a medieval town that awaited us with a morning mist that was gently floating above the Vierwald Lake.

Before the city began to wake up, we crossed the bridge over the river Reuss, which divides the city into two parts and then flows into the lake, to walk all the way to the monument of the dying lion. The sculpture, designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and later sacked by Lukas Ahorn, is incredibly realistic and does not leave you cold. At that time, it started raining which made the darkness of the moment even more intense. Memorial to the memory of the Swiss Guard, which was slaughtered in 1792 during the French Revolution, is nicely described with Mark Twain’s words: “The saddest and the most moving piece of stone in the world.”

Later, when we, due to the rain, furried up to find shelter under the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, we surely missed many frescoes that adorn the facade of buildings since the Middle Ages.

Zurich, a good hour of driving from Luzern, awaited us in the sun, with beautiful turquoise roofs of churches and with the Pride Parade, which was that day on the streets of the city. The city with 400,000 inhabitants is the largest Swiss city. It is located by the Lake Zürich and is, as well as Lucerne, surrounded by mountains. Both cities are in mine opinion sooooo Swiss, extremely expensive and incredibly clean. Which was especially pleasant to me.

In those few hours of the afternoon, we pressed the main attraction of Zurich before I personally capitulated in front of the lake watching people on the promenade, waiting for Tina Turner to come by. She didn’t.

Zurich and Lucerne are probably the nicest places I’ve ever been to. Not only do they look fairy, the atmosphere is incredibly quiet and calm. And if Switzerland was not on my travel list before, it is definitely now and I cannot wait to get back there.

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