Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lake Luzern

Luzern from the shore
On Friday, March 7th, after work, I hopped a train to Aarau, the capital of the northern Swiss canton of Aargau, to visit my cousin.  After my cousin met me at the train station, we grabbed some food then went to visit his friends at their house on a hill outside the city.  The hill overlooked a small church, which one of the friends proudly exclaimed (repeatedly) had the tallest steeple in central Switzerland.  Of course, we responded by teasing him that having a tiny church with the tallest steeple in central Switzerland was basically the equivalent of being the king...of an ant hill.  Still, he remained extremely proud of the little church's steeple the whole evening.  The friends also happened to have a foosball table in their house, and we all had a blast pairing off into teams and competing the whole night.
Luzern and the Dragon Boat
The next day, my cousin and I spent some time just enjoying the beautifully sunny spring weather and wandering around Luzern.  Having lived there previously when I first visited Switzerland, it was familiar for both of us.  We enjoyed walking along the waterfront on both shores of the lake.  When we got back to Aarau, we cooked a delicious Persian-inspired meal complete with the delicious white rice and tadiq to prepare for a backgammon (تخته نرد) battle.  Apparently, so-called "Tehran Rules" count points differently than my rules, so after some tough games, we proceeded to debate in true family fashion who actually had beaten whom.  It was a lot of fun, and I think I found my backgammon match.
On Sunday, my cousin took me back towards Lake Luzern, but on another side.  There, we met up with one of the friends I had met Friday evening and the friend's 5 year old son.  I am not exactly sure where along Lake Luzern the boat was stored, but it would have taken a few hours at least to make it around the lake over to the city of Luzern's waterfront.  Of course, that time would also be skewed because the boat we were in was the largest size watercraft one could operate without a special boater's license - which is to say that the boat and its motor were very small.  I think they make lawn mowers with more powerful motors.  
Once we got the boat in the water, the American (me) was put in charge of music.  Given that it was a beautiful spring day with warm sun and calm water, I chose my Motown playlist (although honestly, is there ever a bad occasion for Motown? The answer is, obviously, no).  So with Motown music pumping, we kicked up the motor and began to make our way around the lake.  

The lake was beautiful, and it was fun to see another side of Lake Luzern other than the (still gorgeous) view from the city.  We could even see Mount Pilatus and some other peaks from the water.  The friend's 5 year old son was having a blast taking the dock rope and dropping it in the water and pulling it up onto the boat, watching it splash around.  The little boy only spoke Swiss German and would speak to me in Swiss German as well, assuming I understood fluently, and would giggle when I responded in English.  At one point, while his father was sitting on the other side of the windshield on the boat's bow, the boy took the wheel to steer, but then suddenly jerked the wheel to the left.  Of course, the child giggled and found his dad's surprised face hilarious.  
Halfway through the trip, we pulled the boat over to a small restaurant along the shore that had a dock next to its balcony seating.  We enjoyed cold sodas while watching the lake.  After spending some time just sitting (from land) watching the lake, we went back to the boat and began our return to our dock.  What a perfect way to spend a Sunday during Switzerland's springtime.


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