The breathtaking view of Switzerland. Photo: Samiha Matin
A two-day trip to the quiet city Lucerne, located in central Switzerland, was a perfect way to end the winter holidays in January 2013. Boarding a train from Erlangen, Germany with my uncle and aunt who accompanied us on this trip, it took almost eight hours to reach the old-fashioned city, with its entangling cobblestone roads and dim neon streetlights which provided the place with a holiday afterglow.
The first day, my brother, mother and I set off for Mount Pilatus, the gigantic snow-capped mountain overlooking the city. With everyone exclaiming how cold it would be up there, we managed to wear two coats to protect ourselves. Using the traditional way of riding on cable-cars, we went upwards, and I was starting to feel a little queasy, being rather afraid of heights. But the views were so amazing and breathtaking that it soon became easy for me to forget that the mountain was more than 2000 metres high!
Green fields stretching into the horizon, with drops of white snow scattered all around, surrounded by the mountains; huge evergreen trees almost touching the cable cars and miles and miles of crystal clear blue sky—I don't think any description could ever do the picture perfect scenery any justice. The second stop provided other activities for the visitors such as hiking, sledging, skiing etc. Thanks to our slippery boots, we had to stand in disappointment as people took sleighs and dashed down the mountains, screaming in joy.
Unluckily for us, the tallest peak was covered with snow, so we had to take a steep narrow stairway to climb the opposite peak on foot. There was a strong breeze blowing, and we held onto the rails tightly in fear of toppling over. But it was all worth it in the end when we reached the very top and felt the warm sunshine.
A once in a life time experience in Lucerne. Photos: Samiha Matin
After spending the morning and afternoon at Mount Pilatus, we finally came down, and then spent the rest of the day roaming around the beautiful city. Lucerne is famous for its huge lake, named after the city itself, and we had a great time feeding the beautiful swans and birds biscuits and bread as we took a stroll down the pavements. But the most fascinating part for me was walking across the historic Chapel Bridge, made entirely of dark wood, with intricate interior paintings. It is one of the oldest bridges in Switzerland, built around the 14th century and walking across it gives you a sense of travelling back in time. The next day, we took a car ride to other parts of Lucerne. However it wasn't as enjoyable as the first day, since rain started pouring and a fog covered the mountains, hiding everything from view.
My trip to Lucerne has still been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, and I have fully realised that nature can indeed make you feel better irrespective of what happens. And the best thing about it was before coming home, my brother and I managed to bring chocolates from this shop called Ledorach, and to be very honest, Swiss chocolates really are the best in the whole wide world!
(The author is a student of Sunbeams School.)