Late arrival by train from Vals to this loveliest of Swiss cities, thanks to trade with Italy centuries ago that resulted in architecture and narrow streets reflecting Italian aesthetics more than Swiss.

We are in Wilden Mann, a favorite inn, by the Reuss, and though it’s only a very short stay, it feels like home since the city has many memories for me even from the time I was a boy of thirteen.

Luzern was the first place I went to with my family.  Then later I did a Landdienst in Root, a nearby village, about 10 km away.  There Herr Bucheli had me climb long, wooden, rickety ladders up forty feet to pick cherries, then clean horse stables, feed calves fresly mown grass, empty sewer tanks, etc.  Once or twice I hitch-hiked to Luzern.  Much later my wife and I traded homes with a city minister and stayed a month.

Now it’s vibrant, still, and as lovely as ever.

Last night we ate at Galliker, a favorite Stube away from the old city; 150 years old: Low ceilings, lots of good local wine, a great local crowd, Wiener-style schnitzel pounded flat.

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