Looking Out My Back Door: on Lake Lucerne

Looking out my backdoor. No, really– the view from my hotel window.

Evidence of travel aside, I am a homebody at heart– a creature of habit, a conscript of cozy.  But travel is glorious too–new sights, new sounds, new smells, new tastes.  When I am lucky enough to marry these things–to thrill to the new while being wrapped in a happy blanket of cozy– that is a joyful day.  A recent trip to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland delighted me with just that experience.  Here are a few photos and brief thoughts on the stay.

Night begins to fall on Lake Lucerne, by our hotel in Weggis
Night begins to fall on Lake Lucerne– by our hotel in Weggis
Bright buildings and green hills.
Bright buildings and green hills.


A cozy spot to rest at the foot of the Alps.
A cozy spot to rest at the foot of the Alps.
In the city of Lucerne
In the city of Lucerne
Lovely Lake Lucerne and the Alps
Lovely Lake Lucerne and the Alps

We drove from Germany to Luzern/Lucerne, and we spent our first day wandering around that town and drinking in her beauty.  From Lucerne, we drove a short distance around the lake until we came to Weggis, where we set up camp for a few days.  Our hotel was small and comfortable, and about as hospitable as any place I’ve ever been.  The staff made us hot cocoa, coffee, or ice cream whenever we wanted (Yes, please!), and the morning breakfast was taken in a room that reminded me so much of old university or church spaces in England.  Absolutely charming.

After watching the sun set on the lake and tucking in for a good night’s sleep, we got up to tackle a hike to the summit of Mt. Riggi the next day.  The weather was accommodating, and the views from the summit (as well as all along the hike) were fantastic!  I’ve posted some photos from Rigi already, and I’m sure more will come in the days ahead.

That night we had dinner in Weggis and tucked in for another good night’s sleep, nestled cozily in the comfiest bed, in the friendliest hotel, in the prettiest little town, around a magical sparkling lake, in the heart of the world’s most picturesque mountains.

As John Fogerty once said, “Bother me tomorrow; today I’ll buy no sorrow.  .  . Doo, doo,  doo lookin’ out my backdoor.”

Where Have All the Cuckoos Gone?

cuckoo bird crtv commons

This is not a figurative or rhetorical question!  (Believe me, all of the figurative cuckoos are still with us, and any departure amongst their ranks is usually immediately corrected by a new arrival.  But, I digress. . .)

Our neighborhood cuckoo birds, who arrived around April and delighted us with their enthusiastic calls, seem to have fled.  Not a cuckoo within earshot for weeks now.  What gives?

I googled cuckoos, and it sounds as if they generally stick around this area until September, so this in an unusually early departure.

Anyone out there have any cuckoo bird experience and can shed light on this?

Friday in the Frame: Pont Neuf, Paris

The Pont Neuf, Paris.  June 2015
The Pont Neuf, Paris. June 2015

The Pont Neuf (“New Bridge”) is the oldest standing bridge in Paris.  How’s that for a paradox?  It made sense at one time . . . a long, long time ago.   It was built in the late 1500’s/early 1600’s– and still looks spry for an old girl.  Yes, there have been nips and tucks, but the bone structure remains the same as far as I know.

If the structure of the bridge is little changed by time, what about the “life” and function of the bridge?   It’s always held a central role in the city, but it was once a very dangerous place, replete with thieves and murderers.   In fact, it was replete with everything: vendors, performers, prostitutes, con artists, pickpockets, artists, families . . .all the best and worst of Paris.  It was the best of mimes, it was the worst of mimes.  (Oh, so sorry–I didn’t want to say it, but I couldn’t stop myself.)

I remember reading (somewhere) that the Pont Neuf once had its own gallows right there on the bridge.  That’s hard to imagine today, when you see her cleaned up and looking stunning, but I’d wager that at least a few of those surly pickpockets are still around.  We haven’t changed that much over time, and, as this bridge reminds us, “everything old is neuf again.”


The Personalities of Paris

(an abbreviated list in photos)

Tuileries, looking toward the Louvre
Tuileries, looking toward the Louvre

Two weeks ago, we spent three nights in Paris and stayed at small hotel in the Tuileries area.  It was a fantastic area in a fantastic city.  (Was it Audrey Hepburn who said that Paris is always a good idea?  Absolutely right!)

Paris is many things in the summer:  the city of light; a banquet spread over a city-width of streets;  a rock concert moshpit ;  and a beautiful stroll.

The City of Light
The City of Light
A Banquet– Laduree on the Left Bank, since 1862


At the Louvre--is that the Mona Lisa or Mick Jagger? Am I in a moshpit or museum?
At the Louvre–is that the Mona Lisa or Mick Jagger? Am I in a moshpit or museum?
Maybe the best of Paris:  the Tuilieries
Maybe the best of Paris: the Tuilieries. Perfect for a stroll, a sit, a sail . . .

In the weeks ahead, and when time allows, I’ll take you more in depth into some of our favorite bits of Paris.  Until then, à bientôt! (See you soon!)