A city that is about as good as it gets
06.19.2013 - 06.19.2013
We left Lucerne on Wednesday morning. I hated to say goodbye. They say that Luzern was founded at this spot—where the Reuss River flows out of Lake Lucerne—because an angel shined a heavenly spotlight on the site— “Luzern” is derived from lucerna, Latin for “lamp”.
No wonder Lucerne seems so divine.
It has a quiet elegance without feeling snobbish. A friendliness that’s understated— they don’t shout, they just smile. And a youthful energy and vitality you feel when cramming in on bus line number 1 when everyone downtown seems to be going home.
Simone, one of our hosts at the B&B Lucerne, seems to exemplify a lifestyle that places more emphasis on living well that being well off. She’s around thirty, I’d guess. She works several days a week at the B&B. On the days she works she does everything. She checks you in, shows you to your room, prepares breakfast, helps with travel arrangements, washes your dirty clothes, and makes you feel like a valued guest.
Simone speaks four languages: Swiss-German, French, Italian, and English. She doesn’t own a car because you can get around much more easily on a bicycle. She moved here from the countryside two hours away where she grew up and where goes back often. She loves to travel, but prefers unpretentious out-of-the-way places. Simone spends a half-an-hour talking to me on the evening I go down to the front desk to pay my bill. She seems to genuinely enjoy getting to know everyone staying at her B&B. And my conversation with Simone makes feel good—like I know Lucerne a little bit better than by just visiting the iconic tourist sites.
Emily and Andrea, the two other winsome women who rotate workdays with Simone, seem to have a similar attitude. I get the impression that somehow, here in Lucerne, they seem to find a balance in living and have found a way to work but also to enjoy life.
Simone calls a taxi for us on Wednesday morning. The trip to the station, the Banhof-Platz, is five minutes. The Banhof-Platz is an uber-modern transportation center. Take the boat, the train, or the bus. You can do it all from here. Transfer from your boat ride from Fluelen to a train to Zurich? You can do it here. Catch the bus back to your B&B? Yep. You can do it from here. Coming from the states, you think, why haven’t we done this? It’s fast, efficient, and fun.