I like surprises and I love Lucerne. So, when the opportunity arose to take part in an intriguing "great race"-style adventure through this beautiful city it was not to be missed.
"Foxtrail" is a paper chase that can take you on foot, by boat, up the funicular, and via several other forms of transport through one of a number of different trails in and around the city. Armed with a series of clues, small groups meet at a central location and set off in search of their first target location. With a little discussion and head scratching, this should yield enough information to allow you to reach the site of the next clue and so on for each subsequent one. The chosen trails can vary in length, but all are well-devised and planned. The clues are challenging enough to keep you on your toes, but never so cryptic that the chase is at risk of becoming frustrating. This fox may be wily, but he's never downright mean and he certainly knows some beautiful areas of Lucerne.
Our group's cunning and steady legwork took us to parts of the city we never knew existed – a lovely urban park hidden behind a museum; a funicular railway on the edge of one of Lucerne's suburbs; a ghostly building with a hidden past; a hillside stroll with stunning mountain views, and then a plunge down into a forest alongside a watercourse before being led back down into the old town for the last few clues. This was not the Lucerne you would ever know as a tourist, or possibly even after living here for some years.
Having successfully tracked the fox (have I mentioned that we were the first group back?), we gathered for an apéro and a comparison of the trails. The groups were made up of expats of various nationalities and lengths of residency in Switzerland, who very quickly bonded through the shared experience and the opportunity to compare notes. Provided you are armed with a comfortable pair of shoes, a bottle of water and a desire to see a city in a very different way, "Foxtrail" is a great way to play tourist in your own town.
"Foxtrail" operates in a number of regions in Switzerland, and is available for small group bookings and also larger corporate team building events.
Photo:swiss-image.ch/Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas