Christmas in Europe – Yes it's Christmas Day!
Our journey this morning took us from Firenze to Lucerne. We had our usual morning stop, lunch stop in Switzerland and arrived at Lake Lucerne in the early afternoon to do our lake cruise. It was grey and foggy and I wondered if there was any point in doing a cruise in this bad weather. No one else appeared to have shared my whimpy thoughts and the cruise proceeded. The boat captain reckoned that it was 0ºC on the lake and with the windchill factor it felt much colder. A few of us decided to brave the cold and stayed on the open deck. It must be wonderful doing this cruise in warmer weather.
After the cruise, we were happy to be back on the coach to defrost a little. We were dropped off in the city and by foot we made our way, a little north of Löwenplatz, to visit the famous Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal). This huge figure of a dying lion, carved out of the rock face, was to commemorate the heroic death of the Swiss Guards (26 officers and over 700 troops) who were killed during the attack on the Tuileries during the French Revolution (1792).
Our hotel in Lucerne was the Hotel Astoria. Although quite central, it was away from the old town. It was also very much in renovation mode. Being Christmas night, we had drinks in the penthouse and Kris Kringle presents were distributed. Dinner was in-house tonight. Can’t remember too much about the meal, but I do remember the nice waiter feeling sorry for us and he smuggled in two cups of espressos from the bar.