Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lucerne tour: Chapel Bridge and The Lion Monument (Day 7 of Chan Brothers Europe Travel)

This morning, after a hearty breakfast (but the food fare was still as salty as ever from Italy to Switzerland), our tour group proceeded for a city tour of Lucerne. It was a walking city tour, led by our tour manager.

From Hotel Monopol where our tour group was putting up, we walked to the Chapel Bridge, just a stone’s throw away. The Chapel Bridge was the icon of Lucerne which was restored after a fire. There were swans swimming in the lake under the bridge.

From the bridge, we walked on to tour the Lucerne city which was resplendent with interesting houses and sights. Fountains after fountains greeted us. Our tour group was told that fountains were the status of a family’s wealth in those days. But now not all of the houses remained, in their places were shophouses.

Next, we toured the Lion Monument , a monument commemorating the Swiss Guards who participated in the French Revolution. After more briefings of the scenery around Lucerne, it was a full day of own Free and Easy tour of Lucerne. We were told where to get the good bargains, etc before we were left to explore Lucerne on our own.

My Dear and I went to shop in a multi-storey shophouse and were amazed at the wide suite of offerings from cheap and quality chocolates to steady Swiss knives and KooKoo bird clocks and Swiss watches. I also broke the string of a Kookoo bird clock accidentally.

My Dear and I went to redeem free gifts from the watch shops nearby and then we went shopping from one aisle to the other, buying more chocolates from the compartment stores. We also visited the pharmacy where I bought many hair loss shampoos: Alpecin hair loss shampoo, Rausch and Klorane hair loss shampoo. I mean I have been dropping lots of hair as such when I come to Switzerland, a country prided for its excellent medical standards, I bought those shampoos which could not be found in Singapore and somemore they were not expensive.

We also bought many Swiss souvenirs and hence our hands were soon full of heavy shopping bags that we had to return back to Swiss Hotel Monopol for “unloading”. We settled our lunch at the Macdonald below our hotel as walking in Lucerne vicinity, there was practically not many food choices.

A simple Macdonald set meal costing just $5 to $6 costs around $18 Singapore dollars in Switzerland! We ordered the largest size set meal which is medium but the feeling is like that of large (not really large as I thought Europeans eat bigger-sized meals).

After lunch, we went out of our hotel suite to explore the underground train station and other parts of Lucerne. It was a very hot day and the shopping can only last 2 to 3 hours and then the rest was the usual boring and ordinary sight-seeing.

The day soon passed as my Dear and I travelled and explore the sleepy little town of Lucerne. Cheese fondue was our main pursuit for dinner. After frantically searching for a Cheese fondue, we were put off by the fact that the restaurant “penalized” those who did not order some expensive drinks. Furthermore, a cheese fondue costs around Singapore $44 for a small portion! We wanted some solid food but the restaurants for we enquired the menu were not very delighted to have Chinese customers.

My Dear and I spent almost half an hour looking at the birds of different colours swimming in the pond. We were hungry but there was no good food around. We missed Singapore!

To cut the story short, we had Macdonalds again for dinner! We ate Chicken burgers as opposed to the beef burgers we had for lunch. We nearly ate Burger King!

The night was spent stuffing our luggages with the items we bought. Almost half of the whole Europe tour has passed. Tomorrow, we would be visiting Geneva before dropping at DJohn (France) for the night.