The day started with a trip to Mount Pilatus, which is about 7000 feet. According to one legend, it’s named for Pontius Pilate. According to legend his body is in one of the lakes. Every Good Friday, he would arise to wash his hands. Locals were not allowed up there because if disturbed he would create a fuss. Then some priest went up there to end his reign of terror and were arrested. Finally the locals did something that rid the lake of his spirit. There’s also supposed to be dragons up there. The dragon legend, the tunnels, and the clouds reminded me of the Hobbit and the Misty Mountain song. Tissues please. There were hikers who hiked up. I met one woman briefly who said she hiked it at a fast pace, and it took her 2.5 hours. She said it would normally take four.
We of course took a train up, which took about 30 minutes. OMG. The views were so amazing. I walked up this path and was so out of breath. Out of shape and high altitude did not do me good. Anyway, I just stood in awe. This place is something else with the water and mountains. And in the background a guy was playing Amazing Grace on an alpine horn. It was kind of a a Wedding Singer moment because the song would end, he would pause, and then play it again. So it was worth getting up at 8 to get to. Plus when we were leaving the sun was coming out, it was getting windy, and every other tour group in the city was descending. The rail that took us up is 125 years old. Amazing. Glad it’s there cause I would have missed what has to be in my top ten places of amazement. Oh. When I die, I want to be cremated, and my ashes released from the top of there towards the Alps (this is of course 50 years from now).
Went back to the hotel, and then I headed out. I began by doing the walk in the Rick Steve’s guide book. Started at the rail station to see the arch that was the entrance to the old train station. Did the Chapel Bridge. There was also a market at both entrances, mainly flowers and fruits and vegetables. The Water Tower there was built in 1300. The bridge was built in 14th century, with paintings added in 17th. In 1993 a leisure boat moored under the bridge caught fire and some of it was destroyed but rebuilt. Many of the paintings were ruined.
Then went to the Jesuit Church, which reminds me, I always want to put my feet up on the kneelers but I stop myself. There is an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry goes to a priest to rat out Tim Watley for telling Catholic jokes. When the priest comes into the confession box, Seinfeld is sitting on the kneeler, and the priest was like you know that’s a kneeler don’t you. Comedy. Anyway, I digress. The color scheme is so amazing in the church. The church was finished in 1677. The pope wanted a strong presence in Switzerland during the time of reformation.
Walked along and saw the river system. Then to the mill bridge, which is original and no smoking anywhere near it. I was walking across it and there was a painter doing some touch up work to one of the paintings, which by the way are not pleasant. They depict Judgement Day with some going to heaven and some going to hell. So the painter sneezed, and I said bless you. He said thank you, and I asked if he was touching up the paint. He said he was controlling it, which I found a strange word but hey Lost in Translation. On a side note, he was cute. It would have been a perfect story. Grandma tell us again how you met granddad. Well, I was on vacation in Lucerne, and was passing this bridge and granddad sneezed, and I told him bless you. I have a lot of great meet queue stories (a term I learned from the movie The Holiday). Like the bike rider who dropped his key, and I picked them up as he was returning to get them. Like the guy in Safeway I asked to get me from the shelf. These are all great how did you meet stories.
Then off to a couple of squares: Weinmarkt (old marketplace for wine, Hirschenplatz, Sternenplatz). One of the squares has a mural with a depiction of the Wedding Feast at Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. There is also a facade from what was once a pharmacy that says, “Amor medicabilis nvllis herbis,” which roughly means “No medicine can cure a broken heart.”
Then to St. Peter’s Church, which was very simple.
I also walked up (and was out of breath) and along the Old Walls and went to a St. Leodegar im Hof Church, which was quite nice. It had nice grounds with tombs.
Then just kind of walked randomly around towards whatever caught my eye. What I realized in Brugge is that I have no desire to see the new parts of cities even though it’s where the people live now. I like being in the old part where the history lives. Bought dinner from the store which is basically meat, cheese, and bread and ate it along the water.
I walked slowly back to the hotel. This place is just so amazing to me. I feel a kindred spirit here.