Vo Luzärn uf [gäge] Wäggis zue

Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people. Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and a nexus of transportation, telecommunications, and government of this region. The city’s metropolitan area consists of 17 cities and towns located in three different cantons with an overall population of about 250,000 people. Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists. One of the city’s famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century. Lucerne was voted the fifth most popular tourism destination in the world in 2010 by Tripadvisor.

This very famous Swiss folk “Rigilied” song was written in 1882 by musician Johann Lüthi, after experiencing a wonderful boat trip from Lucerne to Weggis.

One can’t live in Lucerne without coming into contact with the infamous Rigileid ‘Vo Luzärn uf [gäge] Wäggis zue’. I was no exception.

I too was to travel on the Lucerne to Weggis boat when I returned to Switzerland in the early eighties. So I can thoroughly connect with the very scenic environment in the video. I would have also frequently frequented the area with the au-pair family during the Sunday dinner outings in the citroen car.

I was all but sixteen years old when I first arrived in Switzerland from Goldenbridge. I had seen an advert in the Irish Press looking for an au-pair, just outside Lucerne. I was clueless as to where the country was, but liked the idea very much that my fare would be paid. I sent off an application. I stuffed the recipient with a lot of lies. For example, I stated that I had relations in Scotland. I’d conjured up a profile of the host family who’d taken me out until I was nine years of age and created them as my own, as back up knowledge about myself that was required. I’d had practice at writing to pen-pals in far off countries like Trinidad, that I’d come across in the small religious Messenger magazine. When I was offered the job, I approached an elderly priest on the street and asked him to give me a reference for a passport as I was underage. I’ve been often asked how I thought of such a thing all on my own given that I was so lacking in wherewithal about Dublin and life in general. Even though I was very institutional, I always had the longing to be an air-hostess. I don’t know where the idea derived as I did not even know that one paid money on a bus, let alone in shops. Switzerland was not to disappoint me. I fell in love with the country. It is said that impressionable things that leave their imprints on us when we are young tend to remain with us forever after. Well, it certainly has with me pertaining to Switzerland.


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