Swiss Alps, Swiss Chocolate, Swiss Everything!
I was in Lucerne, Switzerland for the past couple of days and I got out just before the rainy days! Lucerne is a very beautiful place. My hostel was a half an hour walk from the city center of Lucerne but it was a pretty walk. I got to walk through the fortification wall and through a neighborhood that reminded me a bit of the neighborhoods on Cleveland Street. I spent Wednesday walking around Lucerne. I didn't have time to sketch while I was in Croatia since we were so busy constantly but I had time in Lucerne. It was a pretty relaxing day. I walked around part of the lake along a tree lined sidewalk and of course stopped for ice cream at a place called Bachmann's. The ice cream there was incredible! They also had lots of chocolate products, I bought a small chocolate bar. There was also an entire wall of flowing chocolate!!! I headed back to the hostel early because all of the shops, cafes, and grocery stores close at 6:30! I was shocked! I walked around to find something to eat and could only find a few fancier restaurants open, nothing else. On my way back to the hostel I saw a family go up into one of the tours of the fortification wall. I didn't realize we could go inside so I followed them in. The tower gave amazing views of the city! I also walked along the wall. It kind of felt like a mini Swiss Great Wall of China. I happened to be on the wall at the right moment because all of the bells in town were going off. I had an amazing view of the city and got a concert of church bells!
On Thursday I bought a round trip ticket up to Mount Pilatus. I first had to take a bus to Kriens to catch the cable car up part of the mountain. It was a small one that only fit four people. The views were amazing from up there but it was a little nerve racking, I felt like the car could fall at any moment. About halfway up the mountain I ate a traditional Swiss lunch of hash brown like potatoes with cheese and spicy sausages on top. It was delicious! Then I took a large cable car up to the top with a ton of people inside. This one also made me a little nervous but it also had great views. On top of the mountain there is a hotel and three different peaks I walked up to. Each peak had incredible views of the mountains and lakes surrounding Mount Pilatus. I have to tell you something strange that happened on one of the peaks. I sat down to paint the view of the one of the buildings on the mountain with the view below it. When I was done I set it right next to me to dry (part of the sketchbook was actually under my backpack so the pages wouldn't flip in the wind) my paints were even out next to me, nobody else was on the bench, just me. A boy walked by and looked at my picture, I've gotten use to people looking over my shoulder when I'm drawing. I'm sure people are curious, I look over people's shoulders when they are drawing out and about too. The boy got his mom to come look at my picture but then she picked up my sketchbook! I was thinking what the heck does this lady think she is doing?! But I was also curious to see what she would do so I didn't say anything. She proceeded to flip through the pages of my sketchbook and look at the different drawings. Then she sat down on the bench and got a pen out. I was so confused and was just hoping she wasn't going to mark up one of my drawings but I also thought it would be cool if she wrote or drew something in it. She flipped to a blank page like she was going to do something. Then she didn't do anything. She put her pen away closed my sketchbook and set it on the far end of the bench. It was the most bizarre thing. She never once acknowledged my existence, never looked around to see who the sketchbook belonged to, just acted like it was hers and looked through it! I grabbed the sketchbook when her back was turned. I was caught between curiosity and annoyance that she would do that. It was strange and I moved on. The lady who sold me the ticket said I had to catch a certain cogwheel train down the mountain to make the last boat. The line was so long I ended up missing the cogwheel train she told me to get. I was pretty upset and didn't know what to do until one of the train men said there was another boat and we would still make it! This cogwheel train is the steepest in the world! There were nice views and it really was super steep! Lastly I caught the boat back. It was pretty cloudy so it wasn't the prettiest but it was still nice. I sat next to some Americans and we talked the whole way. Because everything closes so early my options were limited when I got back from the mountain. I ended up in the train station because everything is open later there and I did what I normally never do in foreign countries...I ate at an American fast food chain...Burger King. Forgive me!
Now I'm on my third train on my way to Barcelona. This one is 6 1/2 hours long...