I got up early the next morning and walked into central Lucerne. The town itself is very small and seems to cater only to tourists breezing through town on the way to the mountains. Every other store sells Swiss watches and knives, and the ones that don’t sell either, sell chocolates. And yes, I found one that sold all three. This shop had me a little homesick for the good ol’ US of A:
What do we like? Guns. And how many of them do we like? Lots. There was even a poker set that included cards, chips and a small snub-nosed revolver. Convenient for accusing people of being yeller-bellied cheaters.
I walked to the far end of town, near the last turret of the centuries-old town wall. Only a few of the original towers remain and they are now considered prized monuments. On the way, though, I stumbled on a two people bringing mannequins into a clothing store:
I just loved seeing a car driving around with a bunch of body parts in the trunk. Also, you think that guy could’ve picked a better hold point for those legs?
The sky was very overcast and the clouds lay low enough to obscure the tops of some of the wall towers. Unfortunately the towers were closed for the winter, so I could only walk around them.
It was actually quite peaceful up there around the castle walls, so I sat on a bench in front of one of the towers and took in the view of the city. That tower contained the oldest clock in Europe (I think) and the bells still rang every hour. In fact, there are dozens of church bells that toll every hour around the city, and because of it’s eminence and prestige, the castle wall tower has the honor of starting about 10 seconds before any other bell in the city.
The Lion of Lucerne is another famous attraction in the city. It’s a large lion carved into a low cliff face to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. Mark Twain described it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
I found a small cafe nearby and stopped in for a coffee before picking up groceries and walking back to the hostel for lunch.
The rest of the day was rather boring. There weren’t any other sites in the city worth seeing and the weather didn’t promote any opportunities to take pictures of the town and lake. That was all supposed to change, so I decided to check out and head to Interlaken in the morning.