It was late when I arrived at camping seeblick on the banks of lake Hallwilersee. I cycled into the entrance and up to the office, the lights were off and it was most definitely closed. I looked for the sign which usually says, pitch up and pay tomorrow but there wasn’t one. The entrance was fairly narrow, a little wider than a single track road, the office on one side and some plastic tables and chairs on the other in front of a large gazebo. Just passed the office were curved wooden benches with a wooden table in the middle, then a park bench, there were two elderly woman sat smoking and chatting on the park bench. I said hello and asked if I could camp, one women pointed towards the office and said, bell. I acknowledged her but decided to cycle around the site to see if there was an obvious tent area where I could setup and pay in the morning. What was obvious was this was a residential static caravan site, there wasn’t a single tent. I headed back towards the two women, one of them had gone and rung the bell on the office door. I waited with the woman attempting to make light conversation but she didn’t speak English and my German was awful. What seemed like an eternity passed before a man in his pyjamas and slippers appeared at the door, I felt bad that I’d either woke him up or disturbed him watching television. He was nice and polite, spoke excellent English and asked for my I.D, I handed him my driving licence, which I had used all the previous times I’d camped. Instantly he said, that’s your driving licence I need your passport, I told him it was in the bottom of my panniers and started to unload my bike, as I did he obviously wanted to get back to what he was doing and said, never mind come to the office tomorrow, sleep on pitch 44 and gave me directions.
It was pitch black when I set my tent up, I used my headlamp but it wasn’t very bright. I was really tired so didn’t peg guy lines into the grass just tied the back two to my bike frame, climbed in and went straight to sleep. When I woke up it was light, there was dew on the tent, I stuck my head out of the tent door. You’d have thought I’d set up on a bowling green, the pitch was immaculate, only the Swiss. I was the only tent in the whole place it seems this perfect lakeside piece of Switzerland has attracted people to stay all year round in their caravans, no one could blame them, it was beautiful. The Morning was misty, I’m 431m above sea level, squeezed between a lush forest and a lake, by the time I’d freshened up, it was blue skies and blazing sunshine. I went into the shop next to the office and bought a coffee and croissant then sat under the gazebo and updated my journal. It was fairly busy with people having breakfast in the sun. Most of them residents but a few staying in their holiday homes. A group of scouts went past, if that’s what there called in Switzerland. They dropped their rucksacks outside a door which was adjacent to my tent and went into the building. I lay all my gear out to dry and went to take some photos of the lake. Some of the scouts passed me carrying firewood as I returned to pack the bike.
I wasn’t in the mood for cycling my ribs ached, so I walked up the camping Strassa to the Molsem tram station. I thought that if a tram was heading in my direction I would take the day off from cycling but keep moving. It was noon and a tram was due at 12:31 going to Luzern, it would save me 28 km of cycling and several hours. I had time to figure out the ticket machine, simple really as you push the word English first. I bought a ticket to Luzern and waited for the tram, this time I was ready for it setting off at high-speed and got wedged in straight away. The journey was brilliant, the views were amazing, I defiantly knew I was in Switzerland, green fields and rolling hills. I passed an aerodrome which was holding an air show, there were jets zooming around the sky, a car boot sale which was full of really old fire engines, I nearly got off to investigate but resisted. I passed a village called Baldegg which had a stream train full of people waiting to go up the Alps. I had no idea what was in store for me at Luzern, I’d never heard of the place. On arrival it took my breath away, I wheeled the bike through the train station, visited the tourist information office for a map of the Eurovelo 5. I waited outside the entrance for a few minutes so I could take it all in, it was big, busy had thousands of bikes parked everywhere and I bet it’s been in a James Bond film.
Luzern is dominated by a huge lake with the Alps reaching towards the sky at the far end, it was a dramatic view. I walked along the front of the railway station and saw a food cart selling sausages, I waited in the queue and when asked what I would like, I just pointed at the persons order in front of me and said, one of those. I crossed the road and sat in the square in between the railway station and the bus station. I sat on the floor under the big monument with the clock on it and ate my street food, delicious. Luzern had an amazing atmosphere it was like the Swiss version of Monte Carlo, every prestige car from every conceivable year and the most beautiful women I’ve seen, all willing to spend some rich guys money. There were tourist everywhere, steam boat rides around the lake and a fantastic wooden bridge covered in red flowers. Wow!
I checked the navigation app, which wanted me to go along the far side of the lake then across it. The app wanted me to go on a ferry, I wasn’t keen on going on a ferry and thought I would just cycle around the lake, big mistake, a four-hour mistake. I pushed the bike across the busy road and through the crowds, the view from the bridge was amazing, the chapel bridge on one side and the lake with an old stream boat on the other. The bridge I was on was wide and busy with tourists all stopping to take photographs, I stayed on the bridge for a while taking photos myself. As it was busy I pushed the bike along the lakeside passing beautiful gardens and sculptures until it was quiet enough to ride.
I was heading towards a village called Meegan, it was a long hard ride up hill but the views were spectacular. I stopped several times and at one of them I was approached by a guy who was friendly but a bit hyper. His name was Bob he had lived in Luzern for seven years, he was in the I. T business and was very chatty, he also told me I was going the wrong way. I cycled on for about five minutes into Meegan and stopped in the shade under a tree to check the navigation app. Bob was right I’d just cycled in the wrong direction up hill for the past three hours, I was on the wrong side of the lake and if I continued I wouldn’t get to were I needed to be. I turned around and headed back to Luzern which was easy as it was all down hill. I passed Bob at speed and shouted, it’s the wrong way, Bob shouted back, I told you so!
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