Switzerland in a nutshell: Lucerne, Interlaken and Bern in one day

Although it would be appropriate to start the post with a cool rhyme (Lucerne rhymes with Bern so it feels like a wasted opportunity), none comes to mind, so I'll leave it to another, more inspired moment. I'll rather start with providing an explanation for the title of this post - why Switzerland in a nutshell? Recently I train-tripped across half of Switzerland in the span of a few days and my brilliant colleague Maria suggested I should open a travel agency to organise "Switzerland in a Nutshell" tours (still considering this as my alternative career mind you) (and thanks to an idea of my other brilliant colleague Emma, I won't have to look further for the name of my agency - she suggested Tam Tam Tours, but if you have any other market-grabbing ideas, please come forth) (also, I promise we do actual work as well, not just chat about alternative careers and mindblowing ideas).

In the next posts I'll wrap up the two one-day trips we did - first up Lucerne - Interlaken - Bern (and coming up Gruyeres - Gstaad - Montreux). Being conscious that I generally tend to pack WAY too many things into my travel itineraries, I believe Lucerne, Interlaken and Bern are actually quite feasible in one day even for those travellers that prefer to take it easy (lagano sportski, as we would say in Slovenian Serbo-Croatian).

So, what's there to see in these three cities/towns (don't want to offend anyone here by using the wrong definition)? Watch towers, lakes, bridges, mountains, monuments, you name it (yes I did realise I just named every sightseeing target possible).

But back to the point - our trip. Starting off quite early in the morning, we took a direct two-hour train (biggest fan of Swiss railways here by the way, I hope they sponsor me some day) from Geneva to Lucerne. Lucerne is a charming town, most famous for its wooden bridge Kapellbrücke and its water tower, dating back to the 14th century (thanks Lonely Planet, my most loyal travel companion). But it's much more than that - it also offers magnificent promenades around the cobalt lake of the four cantons, a stroll on the town walls and its watch towers, and beers served cold in one of the numerous squares and river-side cafes.


§  Visit the "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world" according to Mark Twain - the dying lion monument. Pieces of rock rarely touch me, but Twain was onto something - there is an unexplainable sadness to this monument.  
§  Take the steepest cogwheel railway in the world up to Pilatus mountain (to be honest, I kept this for my next visit to Lucerne, so I'm not sure how long it takes. Pack it into your busy travel itinerary on your own responsibility!). 
§  Have a picnic at the Musegg Wall (after climbing up all three towers!).

"The saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world" - Mark Twain

After we've got a dose of Lucerne, we took the train for a scenic hour and a half ride to Interlaken. To be very honest, Interlaken didn't impress me that much - it's the neighbouring villages and towns (Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald) that offer the real Swiss mountain experience, so if you have time, pay them a multi-day visit. Interlaken is a great starting point for numerous activities and trips, including the breath-taking Jungfrau (which remains on my bucket list).

Fact: Switzerland has the best train views.

Yes, also a train view! Lake Brienz. 

Strolls around Interlaken (both photo above and below).

After Interlaken, we hopped on the train to Bern - I already wrote about what to do in Bern here, so I won't go into details again, but here are some fresh photos:

Bern has some super cool beer spots for people-watching. ;-)

That's all folks! Coming up in "Switzerland in a nutshell" next time: Gruyeres, Gstaad, and Montreux!


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