Day 8 - Lucerne & Mount Titlis

I've seen tricks like this before
I've been shaken to the core
and I got over it

When I Wake Up - Lions Head

What's the different between one snowy mountain and another? I don't know. When you're on one, it may not look much different at all. So at first I wasn't sure if I wanted to take a trip to Mount Titlis. Like Jungfraujoch, Mt. Titlis always have snow in them. In the end, I decided why not because this trip that I went to also visited Lucerne in the morning. I felt like I had heard of that city before so I thought okay, let's go, also it's not actually a bad idea to visit another snowy mountain in Switzerland.

On the way to Lucerne, the guide said we're doing really good on time, so we could make an unplanned stop to Astrid Chapel. This is a very small chapel in memorial of Queen Astrid of Belgium who died nearby due to an accident. The chapel is by Lake Lucerne and the view was pretty nice.

Arriving in Lucerne, the first stop was to see The Lion of Lucerne, which is this very sad sad sculpture of a lion to commemorate the death of the Swiss guards during French revolution. There's a little pond by the rock where the lion is sculpted into. I thought the place with the greenery was quite fitting for a memorial. It felt rather peaceful and I think it would be especially so without the throng of tourists. The lion looked so sad that you can't help feeling sad yourself.

Here, I decided to approach the Indonesians who I knew were in the group. There were 3 of them, 2 girls and a boy. I heard them that morning when they entered the bus. They're travelling friends, people who found out each other through travelling and decided to travel to Europe together. They're in my age group, but these days when I think people are in my age group, I'm often wrong. So it's possible they're actually much younger. Upon knowing that I was alone, being the true blue Indonesians that they are, they said let's just hang together. This is so so Indonesian. Somehow the united we stand, divided we fall mentality is so ingrained in Indonesian. I smiled both in my face and heart when I heard them say that. However me having been living in Singapore alone all this time, has just gotten quite individualistic. So throughout the day I just went on my way, didn't wait up for them, and didn't hang with them. I know that perhaps makes me such a snob or dare I say more Singaporean? Singaporeans would hate me saying that! I'm just wired differently now. The Indonesian group mentality where it feels like they have your back (though certain things that happened in Indonesia recently seem to indicate otherwise) is comforting, but I can't deny that they frustrate me sometime too. The need to move together and do things together all the time often feels like a handicap to me. I really think that having have to fend for myself in Singapore all these years has caused me to be quite individualistic.

So anyway in Lucerne, we're given a map and some time to explore the old town. I just went about on my own. I started with the wooden bridges. There are 2 of them, Spreuer Bridge and Chapel Bridge. The Chapel Bridge is the more famous one. Spreuer Bridge was nearer to where we stopped, so I started with that. Inside the bridge there are these triangular panels on the low ceiling that feature drawings which are rather religious.

I walked through that bridge to cross the Reuss river to get to the other side of town. Then I explored that side of the town. Saw buildings with paintings on them, sculptures, and fountains. Then I took Chapel Bridge to get back to the other side. Apparently this bridge was on fire in 1993 due to cigarette. It makes you think who that dumb ass that left the cigarette butt. Due to the fire, many of the triangular panels were destroyed. No more paintings and there's a few where you can see they're just charred black. I just googled the picture of the fire and it was really something.

Overall I think old town Lucerne is quite interesting. I chatted more to the Indonesians again as we waited in our meeting place. They had quite an ambitious itinerary which included The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and perhaps many other places before reaching Turkey and making their way home. They also stayed in hostels, co-ed ones. Upon knowing, I was telling the 2 girls that they're awesome for being able to do so. I wouldn't say I am rich, but since the first time I traveled, I never stay in a hostel. Hence that's why my travelling expense can be obscene sometime for us common people. Yes even for me. Sometime after I tallied all the cost, I was like ... you're insane! It's even more so the past few years when I feel I'm giving myself more and more comfort. Knowing the cost cutting measures that they took, I thought about how I never undergo that kind of hardship and that makes me wonder if that makes me weaker mentally. It's good you know to know you have that ability to rough it out if need be and I wonder if me by not having all those experiences really just can't rough it out enough. I am just impressed with them and their hardcore-ness :) We talked about a few other things. The guy asked me if I know the cost of a taxi ride to the airport in Zurich. They're contemplating that because of the luggages that they had and they weren't staying near the train station in Zurich. One of the girls was saying it's like lugging a small cupboard. I laughed at that and I thought about how this is perhaps the typical mind of an Indonesian who can make such a comparison. I don't get to talk to Indonesian a lot in Singapore and it's really good when I have this kind of conversation and be reminded how silly and funny we can be :D Anyway, I didn't see them again until after we arrived back in Zurich. Well the group was quite big and being the individual me, I didn't make an effort to wait or look out for them.

For pictures from Lucerne, please go here. They're not very good and mostly just different shots of the bridges. By the way, all the photos from this day didn't turn out so good (or perhaps the whole entire trip you say). It's most probably just me and my sub par skill, so just please note that the places look much nicer. Moving on, after Lucerne we made our way to Mt. Titlis. We entered Engelberg region and this is the starting point to take the cable cars to Mt. Titlis. If on the trip to Jungfraujoch we had to take trains, on this trip to Mt. Titlis we had to take 3 cable cars. The sizes went from smaller to bigger and the frequency of the cable cars also got lesser. As you went higher and higher, the landscape changed and the temperature dropped. You went from still seeing green plains to all white. The second picture below was taken from the first cable car.


The weather that day wasn't optimal. It was very very cloudy with strong wind, so it was much colder than when I was in Jungfraujoch and visibility wasn't very good. On arriving, we were left by the guide to explore on our own. I started with the indoor activity first. I saw this sign in Indonesian and I was so so curious. What's with the sign in Indonesian, is it because many Indonesian tourists come here? I don't have any explanation for this.

Indoor, I went to the glacier cave which was not very interesting especially compared to the ice palace in Jungfraujoch. It's kinda dark so you can't really see much. After that I went outside. It was really windy and I had difficulty keeping my eyes open. I think it's the combination of the wind and snow. Only after I put the sunglasses on, it was much better though it made everything darker since it was already a cloudy day. The area to walk on was much bigger than the area I walked on in Jungfraujoch. I found it really really hard to walk in because it was slippery and it was supper windy. I had to pray while walking so that I'd be alright and didn't stupidly fall and hurt myself. Photos from here are extremely cloudy. As mentioned visibility was poor.


Somehow I made it to where the chair lift and the cliff walk started. The cliff walk is this bridge along a cliff. It was very windy, but somehow I decided to just do it. Oddly I felt safer walking there than on the snow despite of the strong wind. First because it wasn't slippery. Then the bridge felt sturdy, it wasn't swaying, also the side of the bridge was high enough that I felt like there's no way I would fall over. It took a lot of effort to walk in it though because it was really really windy and I felt really cold. At the end, I just quickly took some pictures. Met a few tourists and asked if they tried the chair lift, they said they did and I should to. So I went back, thinking if I should really try the chair lift. By this time I was so cold that I quickly took out the gloves that I actually brought. That's when I realized how cold I really was because I couldn't really feel my hand. All was better when I finally managed to put the gloves on.

Now the chair lift connects the area I was on to Titlis Glacier Park where you can play more in the snow, doing things like snowtubing. I'm googling the site as I'm writing this and it looks so fun, but the photos in the site are of sunny blue sky day where the people were just wearing T-shirt. That was not the day I had. I saw some people in the area and asked a group of people who seemed to be waiting. From what I gathered it seemed because of the weather, there's no one allowed to go to the glacier park, but there were chair lifts taking people from the glacier park to our side / the main area. I didn't confirm this with the staff. I just took it as my out of not having to do this. On a better weather, I wouldn't hesitate, but it was super windy and cloudy and doing it alone, well I don't know if mentally I could keep myself composed enough throughout the entire ride. Here's what the chair lift look like.

Do I feel like I missed out? Yes kinda, because I would like to try snowtubing, sure, of course why not. However really the weather and the difficulty I had walking in the snow to get there, I just couldn't. I didn't wait to see if the weather would clear up and people were allowed in the chair lift. I just started my way back. Even going back to the building was as struggle. I actually still had some time and when I saw people walked up a slope, I did think of doing the same. However, logic or perhaps cowardice got the better of me. Me falling in Jungfraujoch really made me more cautious. I thought going up might be somewhat possible, but I really couldn't be sure that I could go down that slope without falling and hurting myself or even more major, other people. Also as evidenced from last year and many other occasions (I am sure), I tend to do stupid thing even on normal ground without slippery snow.

It is perhaps a sad thing that I didn't do much in Mt. Titlis due to the weather, but at least the contrast between this visit and my visit to Jungfraujoch is still a good experience to have. After this visit, I'm more appreciate of the good weather I experienced in Jungfraujoch. Indoor I had lunch, had a Sacher chocolate cake too and I really really like it. Funny, I wasn't aware that it's like a famous thing in Vienna. Only inside Vienna airport did I realize it's a thing when I saw the whole cakes were being sold in boxes. So I was curious and though I didn't try the original version in Vienna, I have to say the one I had was really good and I want more. Arriving back in Zurich, I made a point to wait for the Indonesians to get out of the bus and say good bye. That's the least I could do. I do feel rather sorry that I didn't make an effort to spend more time with them. They had been so friendly and I was such an anti-social snob. For pictures from Mt. Titlis, please go here.

:) eKa @ 9:38:00 PM •

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