Monday, March 5, 2012

Luzern, Switzerland

What do you mean there is no
American football practice on today?

No football put me into this semi-depressed mood on Monday, what to do?


I talked to the people at the nearby Pulver Travel Agency and they recommended a 90 minute train ride first from Thun to Bern and then, after a ten minute wait, aboard another train to . . .

The Canton of Luzern

The target was Central Switzerland and the city of Luzern, Lucerne in English, yet another gorgeous lakeside city offering fantastic panoramas of the Alps.

Luzern is a city of about 60,000 inhabitants but that number swells to 200,000 when you consider Luzern's greater metropolitan area.

Luzern Bahnhofplatz

This arch is the only remains of Luzern's original train station, the new one is in the background. The original station was built in the late 19th century when Switzerland became a big tourist destination with Luzern being a big stop on the"Grand Tour" during Europe's Romantic Era.

It was not a beautiful day as it was cold, windy, overcast and, of course, there was no American football.

But one must endure.

European Post Offices continue to impress

The Kapellbrücke - The Chapel Bridge

This bridge was built at an angle in the 14th century to connect Luzern's medieval fortifications. The Wasserturum (Water Tower) at the far end.

In 1993, a leisure boat moored under the bridge caught fire which soon ignited this wooden landmark.

No smoking and no boats under the refurbished bridge is now the law of the land.

The Kappelbrücke's mossy roof

Jesuitenkirche - Jesuit Church

As seen from the Chapel Bridge, it would be my next stop on my walking tour built between 1666 and 1677.

Before leaving the bridge, lets take a look at some of the colorful overhead paintings that appear about every ten meters.

Madonna, Child and Heraldry

The paintings at the ends of the bridge are restorations made after the fire, the ones in the middle were, fortunately, in storage when the disaster struck.

This one was left in it's charred
state as a reminder of the fire

The Irish are about to invade Luzern


Swiss Glory Days

St. Francis Xavier on the façade
of the Jesuitenkirche

Co-founder of the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic Church's Storm Troopers, he is depicted here baptizing Asians who sure look a lot like American Indians.

During the Protestant Reformation, the Pope wanted to establish a strong presence in Central Switzerland to empower the local Catholics.

Here come the Jesuits!

Rococo interior of Jesuitenkirche

Main Altar

Organ to the rear

St. Francis Xavier heaven bound

The only Swiss Saint
Brother Klaus

He was a 15th century hermit monk who was a peacemaker between the Swiss cantons and is considered to be the original Swiss isolationist.

The statue wears Klaus' original robe.

St. Silvanus Relics

The Reuss River Weir System

This river flows out of Lake Luzern all the way to the Rhine. The lake's main water source is, obviously, the snowmelt from the surrounding Alps.

In order to control the height of the lake and to prevent flooding downstream, this extendible dam, a Nadelwehr or "spiked weir," was built. Simple and ingenious, all that you need to do to increase the river's flow is pull out as few or as many of the wooden slats that you see here as needed. If you need to decrease the flow, just replace a few slats that easily slide back into place.

The old City Wall

Spreuerbrücke - The Mill Bridge

The Spreurbrücke has paintings too

Dia de los Muertos?

Hydroelectric Power Potential

There is a turbine to the left that can provide enough power to sustain 1,000 homes.


Now that's an Apple Strudel!

The already consumed sandwich and the cappuccino hit the spot as well.

Just Hanging Out

Easter Sunday Nears

This building reminded me,
we need to re-paint our house soon

I love these signs

Not sure what we are selling here

The Wedding Feast at Cana

"Amor Medicabilis Nvllis Herbis"

This saying on the wall of a former pharmacy roughly translates into "No medicine can cure a broken heart."


The Hirschen (Deer) Restaurant

A former Jewlery Store

Atop a fountain

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
stayed here in 1779

Goethe is considered to be the "German Shakespeare." If his sleeping in this hotel doesn't boost bookings, what will?

Celebrating the last Swiss-German battle

For the last 413 years, Switzerland has had an understanding with their northern neighbors. We can disagree but there will be no wars with historically aggresive and militaristic Germany.

I wonder if Buena H.S. has
named a new football coach yet?

This Ventura, California high school has a bulldog as their mascot and sport blue and black as their school colors.

I'm guessing that this mural is not centuries old


I think that I saw this restaurant front as a tattoo on Ian Murphy's back.

Maybe it was his brother Tim's leg . . .

Actually, this mural features symbols from Luzern's annual Mardi Gras celebration called Fasnacht.

No Dental Plan

Some of my close Chinese friends
had me pose by the Kapellbrücke

Right on the Reuss River

It looked nice, maybe Laurie would like to stay here when she finally visits.

An Art Museum open on a Monday?

Is that possible . . .


Picasso is indeed the star of this museum but some of Paul Klee's smaller works are also on display.

Great, just what I needed, a reminder
that there was no American football today

The Alps

How can we jazz up these magestic mountains?

Of course, Dancing With the Stars

Or perhaps this is part of the Thun Tiger Juniors' Rock and Rolla pre-game ritual.

Mossy Flora

The Swiss Transport Museum

Also open on Mondays! As the name implies, this huge museum displays every imaginable form of transportation.

EXTREMELY cool Swiss train conductor's cap

Train car sponsored by a Chocolat company

I'm on board with this for sure!

Schaffhaussen is a Swiss canton

The canton's Coat-of-Arms is proudly displayed on this locomotive.

Uri is also a Swiss canton

This train must be a local as well sporting Uri's Coat-of-Arms.

Which way to turn?


I miss my grandson.

Nice 1951 Woody

Should I go left or right?

A big form of transportation in these parts

Golden Girl

Mike and Vanessa's baby boy
will be born any day now!

Grandson #2 is almost here. No official name yet, better hurry with a decision and/or announcement kids.

Somebody call The Doctor!!!


I realize that we'll have a Junior practice on Tuesday night back in Thun.

That should be a great night to practice American football indeed!!!

Swissair Mini-Plane

I love that song

Pilots need work

After World War I, former military pilots from several countries found work with Swissair including some from the new German state it appears.

U.S. B-17 bomber and a Swiss C-3603 Interceptor

This mural recreates, in part, a scene from World War II.

During a WWII bombing raid of Stuttgart, Germany, this B-17 called the "So What?' had to abort their mission due to weather issues. It sought refuge in neutral Switzerland where the Swiss interceptor escorted it to a safe landing in Dübendorf, Switzerland.


And closed on Mondays.

Now my newest Japanese friends
wanted to take a picture of me

Behind me is a famous Luzern landmark . . .

Löwendenkmal - The Lion Monument

It is a huge sculpture measuring about 33 feet long and about 20 feet high carved right into a cliff face.

This noble lion is slowly dying from the wound inflicted by the broken spear in his side. Resting his paws on a shield and shedding tears, this heartbraking lion represents the Swiss mercenaries who were killed or beheaded defending French King Louis XVI at the Palais des Tuileries in 1792 during the French Revolution.

The inscription above the lion, "Helvetiorum Fidei Ac Virtuti," translates to "To the Loyalty and Bravery of the Swiss."

California Dreaming in Luzern

At a small Catholic Cemetery

St. Leodegar Hofkirche

This is another impressive Catholic Church in Luzern.

St. George slaying the Dragon
on the church's façade

I like this church already and I haven't even entered yet.

The church's wood carved entry door

Ornate side chapel

St. George slaying the Dragon
yet again inside

This is easily the best church in all of Luzern if you ask me.

St. Mauritius
The Patron Saint of Luzern

What is Mark Twain doing here?

Luzern's Alstadt or Old Town

This "No Football Monday"
thing is stressing me out

I thought that this Rube Goldbergesque
contraption at the Swiss Transportation
Museum might be of interest to you

I admit that I watched the silver ball bearing the size of a small baseball weave its way through this maze setting off several chain-reactions twice.

It takes about three minutes to complete its circuit and was facinating to me.

Reading is FUNdamental

A rather slow read with some good plot twists in the last 100 pages, this was not one of Deaver's best works in my opinion. Back to the Stadtbibliothek for a new read on Tuesday.

Tuesday should be a great day for American football practice, lets get better!!!

1 comment:

Ryan Bolland said...

Luzern looks awesome. I'm also really glad to see that you are so anxious to get back to work with the Tigers. Must be a great group! BHS is having interviews all day Friday, after which they'll narrow it down to three, or so I've been told.