Sam's Exotic Photos of Awe-Inspiring Lucerne (Luzern), Switzerland
An hour south of Basel and Zurich, and boasting invigorating mountain views, lake cruises and a picturesque old quarter, LUZERN (Lucerne in French and English, Lucerna in Italian) has long been one of Europe’s most favorite tourist attractions. With a population of 75,000, tourism is the leading source of income, and yet the city has adeptly managed to retain all of its charm.
The River Reuss splits the town, flowing rapidly out of the northwestern end of the lake. River banks on both sides are clustered with medieval squares, frescoed houses, ancient guildhalls, churches and chapels, and filled with a liveliness that belies the city’s age. Aside from using Lucerne as a base from which to explore the region, it would be easy to spend at least a couple of days taking in some of its quality museums – a Picasso gallery, the impressive Verkehrshaus (Transport Museum) – in between walking on the medieval battlements, and exploring cobbled alleys and hidden garden courtyards.
But Lucerne is no museum piece; café culture is treasured by the city’s large population of young people, and at midnight on a weekend night, the main Pilatusstrasse boulevard has the feel of any European capital, with people bar-hopping, waiting for the last bus, or hanging out deciding where to go. Whether you’re charmed by Lucerne’s sense of history and tradition, or by the misty lake at its doorstep and the snow-capped Pilatus rising above, or even by its nightlife, charmed is what you’ll be.
While every city we visited had its charms, Lucerne was my favorite site of the trip. It was so picturesque, it would be difficult to take a bad picture. I definitely would like to go back, but then again there are so many places I haven't seen yet and so little time.
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