Finally, it was time to meet M-san again. It's been a long time.
We arranged to meet near the station, and go for breakfast, before having a tour of the city.
I bought a set breakfast option, since I couldn't decipher any of the Swiss German foodstuffs, and I felt asking M-san for a translation into Japanese wouldn't particularly leave me any the wiser...
There's a big Picasso collection nearby, although I didn't have time to visit. I'm, um, not sure I would have anyway. But it's there.
After a delicious, leisurely breakfast we headed back towards the river to begin our tour. It's great having a local guide who isn't just fairly local, but comes to the city virtually every day! It makes a big difference, as my attempts at tour-guiding around various cities demonstrate.
M-san on the bridge looking towards a mountain. The weather improved throughout the day, but at the time I was expecting basically grey skies throughout.
Of course, any tour of Lucern has to begin with Chapel Bridge. You can see why. It's pretty cool.
Contrary to the picture, we were not (as far as I know) traversing some kind of white interdimensional void. It's just my camera being weird.
There's an odd extension on this building, and it randomly turns out to kind of match M-san today. The rest of the building is just ordinary stone, as you can kind of see from the lower right corner.
There's a vaguely cool shoe shop with a lot of what look like (but in all honestly probably aren't) hand-painted shoes. I've heard those do exist, although I'm sure they're also extortionately expensive if any good.
The Old Town is full of old, elegant and interesting buildings. It's strange seeing the national difference here. Of course, I'm not from a city so I'm more used to low-rise anyway. But my impression is that British city buildings tend to be still relatively shorter, and also relatively further apart, than the Swiss model.
Of course, part of this may be down to history. A lot of older British buildings were presumably lost due to rapid and early industrialisation; in other cases they weren't cities at all before they suddenly industrialised, and a lot of low-quality buildings were crammed in that later got torn down. And of course, there's the whole Blitz thing.
A rather diabolical fountain. The central mask reminds me of the oni masks I saw at festivals in Japan.
After exploring the city centre, M-san suggested we head upwards, towards the Mauegg. This is a complex of towers and a defensive wall that used to help protect Lucerne. Apparently the wall is closed to walkers in winter, but you can still look at it. So we began to wind our way slowly up the hillside, enjoying the views over Lucerne.
Some lovely views over the city, and this is in fairly unpromising lighting conditions. It must be really lovely on a clear day, or at sunset.
It was a bit unclear to us whether we were actually allowed up here, based on some notices lower down, but we decided that probably only applied to cars.
Pretty sure this is the local equivalent of Mauer-Weg, "wall path". We couldn't actually access the path (it's restricted to certain months), but we walked around it and admired it.
We eventually descended and strolled down towards the lake.
Swiss Museum of Transport
Our eventual destination was the Transport Museum. We didn't especially have time to go around it (and honestly I'm sure M-san has visited before) but it was a very pleasant walk, and it looks fun. I should've brought my brother, who I'm sure would have appreciated it.
We stopped for lunch here and I had a very nice schnitzel. It was huge though. I was forced to buy a satsuma in an underwhelming attempt to add some plant to my meal.
M-san had to head home fairly early, but we walked through the shops a bit so I could buy a fridge magnet for my boss.
We decided to have a cup of tea at the station before parting ways. I got some rather impressive flowering tea.
And so, goodbye to M-san! Safe journey home! Maybe I'll see you again in London...
I still had time in the evening, so I decided to talk a walk around the district past my hotel. After all, the hotel was rather gloomy (as mentioned earlier) and not an ideal place to spend a long evening. Plus, I like walking.
A rather typical house. It's mostly apartments in Switzerland (or rather in the cities) but there are a few houses further out.
And that's it for a fairly packed day. Phew. Time for bed.