Waking up to the sudden sound of clashes and bangs drifting down the corridor from the kitchen was not how I had envisioned spending my first morning in Switzerland. I spent a split second being a little bit annoyed, before the anger rose a little higher at the realisation that it was just 5am back at home and even still, just 6am in Switzerland. As I started to come round a little bit more, the irritation began to ebb away as I remembered that I was on holiday and being awake early while in another country is ok as it gives you ample time to explore as much as possible in the short amount of time that you’re there. Suddenly waking up well before my alarm didn’t seem so bad and then when I rolled over, my eyes were drawn to the huge ceiling to floor window and out of there I caught sight of the mountains in the distance. And suddenly I couldn’t even remember what I was annoyed about. The sounds from the kitchen drifted off into background noise and I was lost in a world outside of the window, awestruck by the beautiful view and wishing that I could wake up to that sight every day in England.
Moving away from the abrupt awakening, the day itself started as what can only be described as a disaster. It was raining and I managed to leave the house without an umbrella or a coat in hand, but we traveled out of Lucerne and into Root to the Aeschbach Chocolatier Factory. We were full of hopes for the day ahead of us, despite the poor weather but fate had other plans for us as upon arrival we found the factory in darkness. After trying to find out what was going on from people whose first language isn’t English, we left very reluctantly having been informed that it was going to be a while until the lights would be working again.
Not ones to be defeated though we got ourselves on the train back to Lucerne for a bit of sight-seeing. Back in the town we were greeted with blue skies and the appearance of the sun, which were much welcomed and being able to throw down the hoods on our coats was very much appreciated. We spent several hours touring the beautiful and historical sights that the town has to offer. From the famous Kapellbrücke bridge (that looks like it was lifted straight out of a Harry Potter movie), to the lion monument (also known as the Lion of Lucerne), to trekking up several flights of terrifyingly steep stairs inside the Clock Tower which gave us the opportunity to fully appreciate an aerial view of the town and its majestic mountain back drop. We did it all and more and it was fantastic.
Hungry from our early start and trek between the sights of Lucerne, we made our way back to the house for a (very quick) lunch in order to make it back to the bus stop in time to make it into the second to last tour back at the chocolate factory. And to be honest there are no real words to describe the moment when the doors of the chocolate factory mechanically opened to reveal not just the tours of chocolate, statues and famous monuments of Switzerland all coated in layers of chocolate, free taster pots but also the strange, fake neighing donkey that you are able to hear when you enter the factory (a sound that had us all a bit confused as to what it was prior to laying our eyes upon it). Of course, as any group of 20 year olds would have done, we all reacted like a group of 5 year olds once we were inside and we ran about filling our hands with as much chocolate as was physically possible. Far from being interested in the actual mechanics behind the creation of the chocolate and free from a tour guide, we showed ourselves around in the best way possible – by tasting every single piece of chocolate we could. Admittedly we may have left feeling a bit sick but not one of us had any regrets and we proudly clutched the bars of chocolate that we had made and decorated ourselves. In the words of H, pallet cleansers would have been appreciated but y’know beggars can’t be choosers and a good glass of water back at the house did the job well enough.
Back in Lucerne and the days activities were far from over as the town still had plenty to offer, a quick walk across the sights led us to Lucerne’s Street Food Festival and with our stomachs fully recovered from our over indulgence at the chocolate factory and beginning to rumble for some form of savory food, we entered the tent with the determination to find a good meal. The only downside was that all of the descriptions on the stalls were in Swiss German, meaning selecting a foreign food dish quickly became difficult and hungry overrode our search for a new meal. Just a few minutes later we all emerged from the tent, with a beer in one hand and a burger bigger than our heads in the other. We looked a far cry from the four girls we actually were when we exited the tent in search for a place to eat. In fact, we actually looked more like a group of lads. Lads in Lucerne to be exact. But not one to be misiled by the thoughts of others, we all tucked into our meal upon finding a wall to perch on and reminicsed about the day on our way home. A walk (and an entire day) that was perfectly tied together and finished off by watching the lightning flash upon the mountainside and illuminate the peak of Mount Pilatus.