🇨🇭 The Autumn Alps Expedition: The tiger discovers the Lucerne Region

Diary Entry

I am fortunate to live in a beautiful area, the Black Forest. Whether excursions on foot, by bike, by convertible or of course by motorbike: it is wonderful to drive through the dark forests and up the heights, look into the distance and let the fresh air blow like wind around your head.

I am lucky to live in a beautiful area, the High Black Forest

But I am a traveler and it appeals to me more than just a weekend trip. Here too, the High Black Forest is an ideal area, because from here France and Switzerland are literally within sight.

My last little motorcycle trip wasn’t long ago. In the spring I saddled up the tiger and explored France beyond the Vosges.

The year is coming to an end and I’m tingling with the desire to take one more step. When the weather is good, I can see the Alps from Feldberg. I want to go there. This time for the first time by motorcycle.

I spent half of my childhood in Switzerland. But I’ve never been there on a motorcycle before.

The universe hears my wish and sends me unusually beautiful weather at the end of September. It’s too much of a good thing. It is said to be the warmest autumn in Switzerland’s history.

The unusually warm autumn invites you to travel through the Alps.

The drive through the autumnal Black Forest is wonderful, but nothing new. I drive south and follow the B500, the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, come along the Schluchsee and can already see the Rhine valley between the local mountains and the mighty Alps. However, a thick soup of fog awaits me in the valley.

I cross the border at Waldshut across the Rhine to Koblenz and can barely see because of the fog. I also lack the motivation to take pictures on the route. Even when it clears up, to my surprise the landscape is not as beautiful as I expected. Shortly before Lucerne, that suddenly changes!

It’s midweek and all hell is breaking loose on the streets of the city center. I don’t have a specific destination, but I think downtown would be a good idea for a direction to see something.

However, I didn’t think it could be so complicated to find a place for the motorcycle. I can usually put the machine somewhere on the sidewalk so it’s out of the way. But it’s tight here and there are actually extra motorcycle parking spaces, but they’re all full.

In itself, it’s nice that the Swiss also think about motorcyclists and allow them to stand in proper fields, free of charge.

That is wasteful by Swiss standards. However, since these are full and no other two-wheeler is parked outside of these places, I have the sneaking suspicion that anarchic choice of place could also result in draconian punishments.

Multi-digit fines for small things are not unusual in Switzerland. I squeeze in front of a small bistro, a little away from the legal area of a motorcycle parking lot, where I eat a little something and can keep an eye on the tiger in order to heart-meltingly beg a Swiss official for mercy if he dislikes the space. In case of emergency.

Swiss parking conditions are… demanding

Well, I made it downtown, the Tiger has its shade parking spot, I’ve had lunch and I’m ready to see the famous downtown. The city’s landmark is the Chapel Bridge, which leads over an arm of Lake Lucerne.

I was hoping that October would be relatively free of tourists, and that also applies to motorcyclists on the roads. But not in Lucerne. The bridge is packed with tourists, especially Brits and Asians.

I do a short lap from the city center over the Ratshaussteg, through the old town and back over the Kapellbrücke, along the water tower over the Reuss river back to my machine.

The weather is as expected. The autumn sun is downright bright, but I don’t want to complain.

There is a story about a man named Kaspar Meglinger who lived in Lucerne in the 19th century. He was a very large man, often referred to as a giant. One day, as he was walking in the city, he was approached by a little boy who asked him if he was a giant. Kaspar replied: “No, I am not a giant. I’m just a big man.” However, the boy wasn’t convinced and said, “But I heard you’re so big you can blot out the sun!” Kaspar replied: “Oh, that’s not true. I may be big, but I can’t blot out the sun.” The boy thought for a moment and then said, “But if you stood on a mountain, you could do it, right?” Kaspar laughed and said: “Yes, maybe you are right. But I think I won’t try.”


I still have a lot to do today, so I’ll leave it to a cursory stroll along Lucerne’s most famous sights. I grab the tiger again and continue along Lake Lucerne.

Is this town really called “Küssnacht”? There can hardly be a nicer name for a city.

Lake Lucerne is famous from two books. The travel guide for Switzerland, as well as Fridrich Schiller’s “Willhelm Tell”. This hero is immortalized in Altdorf, my next stopover.

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