This day as it turns out was one of the most memorable of my life - not because I was swept off my feet or that Lucerne was the most magnificent city ever but simply because I enjoyed the simple pleasures that surrounded me. I will show my total ignorance - and lack of planning. I did not do much research on the city of Lucerne and on Switzerland in general so I was expecting a city with skyscrapers and I was so pleased to find this wonderful city.My hotel was situated in the old part of Lucerne and after I checked into the hotel I went straight off to the Transportation Museum
. I am appalled to say that I spent approximately 4 hours in the museum - mostly with the trains and the history of the Swiss railways. It was fascinating for me to see aspects of the development of the railways in Switzerland. What can I say: I am a railway junkie!!!! After my meander in the museum, I went off the Imax to watch a great film on the Alps. As I walked out of the theater, the magnitude of what I was doing finally hit me. This trip and indeed this moment was a pinnacle in my life. As I strolled around the lake, I watched life and nature pass me by. As I watched a paddling of ducks, a couple of philosophical thoughts struck me and I feel compelled to write it here in the hope that I will remember them:
- As I watched the ducks, it looked like they were floating effortlessly in the water. It was only when I particular duck was close by that I realised that its legs were moving furiously below the water. A lesson for life, just because you can't see the effort - it doesn't mean that it isn't happening.
- A particular duck duck saw something in the water and dove in for it. There it was with its rear in the air and all its feathers on show. A lesson for life: When you want something, sometimes you have to show that world your rear and go for it ;).
I finished off my perfect day with a traditional Swiss meal at my hotel - which has a restaurant that is known for its traditional meals.
The following day I went on a walking tour of Lucerne which I found to be quite fascinating. It seems that the early history of the Lucerne was built on the economy of war / defense - but I guess that depends on which side your are on!!!Lucerne's primary economy was based on the provision of mercenaries to whom ever needed them
. These mercenaries where called Swiss Guards and the last remnants are found in the Vatican City. The Lion Monument to the Swiss Guards that were killed during the French Revolution is one of a dying lion. It has been said that the monument is one of the most haunting and I have to agree. The memory of each of those killed is quite beautifully encapsulated in this monument. I also found the fresco painted exterior of buildings quite beautiful. One which is found on the exterior of a doctor's home reads: There is no cure for love. I guess there are always heartbroken people in every age looking for some peace.I decided to take look at the Rosengart collection which has a fantastic Picasso collection. I didn't think that I would be a big fan of Picasso but I was so wrong. I found his art fascinating. In fact I would sit in the middle of each gallery and stare at the pictures. The only reason that I would get up and move into the next hall because I was like an addict who needed to see more. It was experience of art really moving me to the core and I absolutely loved it. I have said it before but I think I need to learn more about art - mostly to satisfy my curiosity and lessen my ignorance.After the Rosengart I wandered through the churches and walked across the Chapel bridge. I closed a wonderful day in Lucerne by walking across the battlements of the city. This activity truly gave one the impression being in days of old. I could almost imagine myself being Maid Marion with my Robin Hood coming to rescue me. Sigh!!!! In the end I truly enjoyed my time in the city that I didn't research or plan. It was tons on fun and I could see myself spending more time there - I noticed that I could go back to every city that I have been in. I guess its good sign that I enjoyed myself.
I left to Lucerne the next day and I found that the heaviness that was there the day before had not left me. I decided that I wasn't going to put pressure on myself and that I was going to accept each day as it came and for its own challenges. On my way to Lucerne I met a lovely lady on the train who happened to be a pollution scientist at the University of Bern. It struck me that a great deal of work was being done to maintain this apparently effortless beauty that surrounded me.It should actually be quite obvious that success doesn't happen by chance - it is something that requires effort and commitment ;)