My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Saturday’s scene: the lion of Lucerne

2013/01/25by Donna Hull

lion-of-lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne honors massacred Swiss Guards

The Lion of Lucerne honors Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. The memorial was carved into a sandstone cliff face between 1820 and 1821. The colossal work of art measures ten meters by six meters. But it’s not the staggering size that is the most impressive element of the Lion of Lucerne. The emotion of a dying lion that designer Bertel Thorvaldsen evoked and Lukas Ahorn sculpted makes the cold stone come alive. Mark Twain called it “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

Our AmaWaterways tour group visited the Lion of Lucerne, which is in the medieval portion of the city, before we checked into Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne during the land extension of a Christmas on the Rhine river cruise. And it was the only site I saw in the Swiss city. When I woke up the next morning, excruciating pain kept me from walking across our lovely room to the bathroom. My time in Lucerne was spent in a hospital room trying to control the pain of a herniated disc so that MedJet Assist could fly us home.

From this experience, I learned that good health is the key to active travelor any travel for that matter. What if we made 12 changes this year to improve our health? Would you like to make the commitment with me? I’ll be starting a series in February focusing on one health change a month (and in May we’ll make two changes so that we can reach 12 changes by the end of the year). I’ll include tips from experts as well as hints for keeping the change going during a trip.

Of course I want to share my experience and what I learned about evacuation programs (I can’t say enough good things about MedJet Assist) and the ins and outs of how to actually use your travel insurance. Unfortunately, my back did not get better once I returned to the U.S. I recently had outpatient back surgery which forced Alan and me to cancel our February Silversea cruise in the South Pacific. So, I’ll be sharing our experience about trip cancellation insurance, too. Stay tuned, all those issues must be sorted out before I can give you the scoop.

In the meantime, have you visited Lucerne? Post a comment to tell me what I missed. Alan and I will definitely return under better circumstances.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark H January 26, 2013 at 3:58 am

Lucerne is a magical city with its superb medieval bridge (with an elbow in it). I think the Lion is one of the most moving and mournful sculptures I have ever seen with a poignant story behind it.

I hope that you are getting better and your back issues are worked out…
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santafetraveler January 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

Great idea about one health a month. I’m very interested in reading about your experience with MedJet Assist, to learn what insurance you carry- I’ve read insurance horror stories. I’m a big believer in good insurance.
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Vera Marie Badertscher
Twitter:
January 26, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Agree with Mark–the bridge is magnificent. Lucerne is a nice wandering town–particularly the old town area. And of course its a jumping off spot for the Jungfrau and other mountains to get to the top of by cable car or other means–including walks in sunny weather through the Heidi-like meadows.
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Cathy Sweeney
Twitter:
January 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Sorry to hear about your herniated disc on your trip. It’s certainly an important topic about health issues that can arise while traveling and how to deal with them. Good to know that you were happy with MedJetAssist. To answer your question, yes – I’ve been to Lucerne, but probably didn’t get to see much more than you did. It was a whirlwind afternoon and evening, but I loved every minute of it. I did get to see the lion carving — very impressive!
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Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

Cathy, I definitely want to return to Lucerne. It had been on my want to travel list for a long time. I’ll get there. Thanks for your well wishes.

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Heatheronhertravels
Twitter:
January 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm

What a lovely and moving monument. I do hope that your back operation is a success and that you’ll be back on track soon. As we get older our health is something we need to nurture and no longer something we can take for granted.
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Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

Heather, you are right about nurturing our health. Because of this experience, I’ll be writing a year-long series on making one healthy change a month and why it is important to travelers. Look for it in February. Thanks for your well wishes.

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Ele January 28, 2013 at 2:43 am

I haven’t been to Lucerne but I am a huge fan of Marie-Antoinette, so I do know the story of Swiss guards. But I seem to be the one who thinks France owes her an apology.
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Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

Ha! Ele, everyone deserves a champion to take up for them. Marie-Antoinette has you. :-).

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Travelwriticus
Twitter:
January 28, 2013 at 5:16 am

I haven’t been to Lucerne yet but personally I’d like to visit the Museum of Transport and to see some paintings called ‘Danse of Death’ shown at a bridge named Spreuerbrücke. Get well soon, Donna!
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Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

Thanks. We’ll add the Museum of Transport to our list. I just have to return. Lucerne was going to be the highlight of the trip for me. Thanks for your well wishes.

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Debbie Beardsley
Twitter:
January 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Unfortunately,you are certainly a poster child for the travel insurance industry! You simply must go back because Lucerne is a very beautiful city. Hopefully your back surgery was a huge success and you’ll be back out there in no time!
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Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

Ha! Yes I have become a poster child for the travel insurance industry. After all the years, we’ve paid out big bucks on travel insurance, we’re finally seeing that, yes, it’s worth it. I’ll be writing much more about it. Thanks for the well wishes. I’m already feeling much better. So much better that Alan and I are deep in the planning stages for several trips :-).

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