Leaving Lucerne (Important: do not follow the signs for Bern even though that's where you're going. Follow the signs for Basel, which puts you on a faster road that goes north to Sursee, and farther north until you get on an Autobahn that whisks you southwest to Bern.)
Lucerne to Bern You will be driving through small towns and low-lying hills. The lake is off to the right, about 15 miles outside Lucerne: Lake Sempach. At the end of the lake is the town of Sursee, a sleepy hamlet full of Gothic towers and timbered houses.
Bern was plagued by fires in the 14th and 17th centuries — hence, newer buildings were put up then. (Several km. before reaching Olten, look for signs for the Autobahn to Bern, and follow them.)
The Autobahn skirts the canton of Solothurn (population: 200,000, German-speaking, and Catholic), then enters the canton of Bern: population: 900,000, German-speaking and Protestant. (Wait a while, then when you're about 20 km. from Bern, give an introduction to the city.)
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