Lucerne, city of Mount Pilatus

Towering over the small town of Lucerne, is a large mountain rumored to have dragons living on the very top. This mountain, Mount Pilatus is a large tourist spot for Lucerne, Switzerland. Filled with entertainment, Mount Pilatus is accessorized with a small restaurant, an exclusive hotel, several trails to hike up and even a large balcony to watch the many people parachuting off of the top of the mountain.

The tour of Mount Pilatus was a nice way to spend our time in Lucerne. The trips up and down the mountain take quite a bit of time, however once you get up there, it’s worth it. The first part of the trip up is spent in a small four to six person gondola to a small station about halfway up the mountain. At that station, you then switch to a second and larger gondola which takes you the rest of the way up to Mount Pilatus. The weather on the day we went on the tour made it all the more interesting and entertaining. The entire top of the mountain was surrounded in so many clouds that you couldn’t see it until you were really close. We rode the gondolas up the mountain and as we were going up, we could see the clouds coming in through the open windows. We are just riding up and the entire gondola is surrounded by white. We weren’t able to see the mountain until we were really close. It was pretty cool.

Once we arrived on top of the mountain, the tour guide explained about all the different things there were to do up there including several trails, a gift shop, a small restaurant, and a large balcony that you could go and walk around on. My grandma, grandpa, mom, and baby sister headed inside to check out the gift shop and the restaurant while my dad, my brother and I decided to go hike on one of the trails called the Dragon Cave trail ( it was called this because the first part of the trail is spent walking through a long network of tunnels, and also because there is a legend that says there was once dragons living on Mount Pilatus). The hike took us about maybe twenty to thirty minutes. Because it was cloudy ( and because the top of Mount Pilatus is about 7000 feet in the air) it was really cold. My teeth were chattering about the instant we stepped outside ( I also didn’t bring a sweatshirt even though I really should have. I was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.). We hiked all the way up to the top and stood up there for a couple minutes.

Joemurrayphoto Lucerne Switzerland 2017 12This is the network of tunnels my dad, brother and I hiked through

We waved at Mom and Sammy and my grandparents and then headed down to join them in watching the people parachute down the mountain. While we were watching the people, a man and woman went over to a wall and started playing these really long horns with designs painted on the ends.

Joemurrayphoto Lucerne Switzerland 2017 15Here is the guy playing the horn

After a few hours, the tour group headed back down the mountain by way of a train that took us to a dock. At the dock, we boarded the paddleboat that was going to take us back to Lucerne. The trip back took us at least an hour, and after that I think we were all so tired we just headed back to the hotel for a short rest before dinnertime.

2017 08 05 15 42 13Here is my family and I in the train going down the mountain

If you like mountains, hiking and being cold, then Lucerne is the place to go. It not only has all three of those things, it also had more! Like interesting buildings and history, delicious food, and ice cream. Yes, Lucerne is a definitely a good place to visit.

Innsbruck, the beautiful river-side city

At a glance, Innsbruck might look like a normal, modern city. However once you look deeper, you find that Innsbruck has its older areas just like any other city. In the area of the city my family and I stayed in, there were a bunch of cobble stoned streets with shops filled with souvenirs like stuffed animals, watches, Swiss Army knives, pens, shirts, hats and pretty much any other type of souvenir you can think of.


One type of toy that my little brother and sister thought was so funny were these little stuffed animals that will repeat back whatever you say to them. My brother would say something to it and the toy would repeat what he said back to him. My sister thought it was so funny.


In addition to all of the souvenir shops, there were also restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and even clothing stores. We would walk down to find a restaurant for dinner, and for dessert we would go find a ice cream store for an ice cream cone. After that, we would wander around just looking at all of the stores.


One day, when we were going to get dinner, I was carrying a camera, and a man walked up to us and told us to be careful because there were gypsies on the road up ahead and they might try to steal the camera. We thanked him, and continued walking. We weren’t sure what the gypsies would look like, but we soon found out. Have you ever seen people who dress and paint themselves like statues, so when you walk past them they scare you?


Well, there was a woman we walked past who was sort of doing the same thing. She just wasn’t trying to scare anyone. She was wearing a silver dress, silver gloves, she had painted her face silver too. She would just stand there on a pedestal, but when someone dropped money into the box at her feet, she would suddenly start twirling her parasol, and bowing to people as they passed. My dad took some pictures of her, but she noticed, she kind of scrunched up her face so it was harder for him to take a picture.


I think that maybe Innsbruck was my favorite because it wasn’t quaint and old looking, it was fun. It was fun looking through the shops at all the items they had to sell. Innsbruck is more fun than it is old. Its buildings are newer and more urban. If you are the type of person who likes older cities and tours and site seeing, then Innsbruck is not exactly the place you would want to go. However, if you love shopping, and eating ice cream, and watching gypsies do their acts, then Innsbruck is definitely the place for you.


Rothenburg: A must see city!


A sunrise and the city square

Rothenburg is a quaint little German town famous for being one of the only cities not bombed by the Allies. People say the reason was because the town was a valuable resource. Personally, I think the reason is they thought it was just too pretty to blow up.


Every hour on the hour, the clock tolls and tourists gather to watch

I visited there three days ago, and it is the most quaint and prettiest little town I think I have ever seen. It has a large clock tower on the town square that bongs every hour, and the city hall is a brown building with columns and flowers lining the upstairs balcony. The houses are brightly colored with scalloped roofs and nearly every house has window boxes with flowers in them outside the windows. The streets are cobblestone and there is a car with open sides that takes people around the town.


You can find almost any kind of gift or souvenir in Rothenburg

Rothenburg has all different kinds of shops. There are shops for pastries, souvenirs, ice cream (those are the best shops in my opinion), Christmas ornaments and even ones with armor, swords, and all sorts of other medieval weapons.


Here is the woman burning my name on my piece of wood

One shop I found particularly interesting was a toy store where you get your name burned onto wooden toys or souvenirs. I chose a circle-shaped piece of wood with painted flowers on one side to have my name on.


Walking the wall is a fun way to see the city from a different perspective

An ancient wall encircles the older section of Rothenburg, separating from the new part of town. The walk along the wall gives great views from above the city, there are even little holes in the wall opposite the railing on the wooden walkway where archers most likely attacked approaching enemies.


These cars are a great way to get around Rothenburg

If you’re planning a trip to old Germany, then you should definitely include Rothenburg as one of your stops. This beautiful, historical and old city is definitely worth visiting.