10582827_10153191136228265_704531938191527510_o.jpg

Hi.

I'm an American living in Switzerland, sharing my love of food, travel and wellness - from one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

Luzern. Lucerne. Lucerna. Lozärn.

Luzern. Lucerne. Lucerna. Lozärn.

It has many spellings, depending on what part of Switzerland you're in (there are four official languages here), but Luzern truly is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited. I may be biased, but the hoards of tourists we get every year seem to agree. It's the perfect combination of historic charm, majestic mountains, sparkling lake and moderate weather. On a sunny Summer's day, it really can feel like paradise. (On a foggy, cold day, it feels like any other dreary city!)

Having grown up in an area with many lakes (at least two dozen lakes span Waukesha county), where everyone either lived on a lake or knew someone that did, I love water. And I find I'm much happier living somewhere where either a lake or river is within walking distance. Luzern has both a river and a lake and both are beautiful and always buzzing with activity.

The wonderful thing about Luzern (and most of Europe) is that everything is walkable (plus there is great public transportation). So a car is completely unnecessary. As such, everything is much more social; you see people walking around town constantly and you're very likely to run into someone you know. In warm weather, everyone congregates by the water. Since the majority of residents live in apartments, the lakefront becomes everyone's shared "back yard". On a sunny Sunday you'll see everyone - from teenagers, to young families to elderly - out for a stroll along the lakefront or sitting at one of the many outdoor cafes along the river. Really, I've never seen so many old people out and about as I do in Switzerland! There's also a farmer's market by the river every Tuesday and Saturday - all year round. I love it.

I also LOVE having visitors and giving tours of my new home town. Here's a virtual tour of my favorite sights - of course, even more impressive in person. Come visit!

The  Alt Stadt (Old Town)  area is pedestrian only, with winding cobble-stone roads, centries-old buildings and picturesque squares filled with ornate fountains. I took this photo from the Gütsch Hotel, you can see the Old Town on the left (with the city wall behind it) and the New Town (still really old) on the right. And that's Mt. Rigi in the background.

The Alt Stadt (Old Town) area is pedestrian only, with winding cobble-stone roads, centries-old buildings and picturesque squares filled with ornate fountains. I took this photo from the Gütsch Hotel, you can see the Old Town on the left (with the city wall behind it) and the New Town (still really old) on the right. And that's Mt. Rigi in the background.

Mt. Pilatus  looms nearly 7,000 feet above Luzern and can be reached by either cog-wheel train (the steepest in the world!) or gondola (or hiking, but this takes about 5 hours and is very challenging!). On top is a hotel with restaurant, a "dragon cave" and some of the most amazing views of Lake Luzern and the surrounding area.

Mt. Pilatus looms nearly 7,000 feet above Luzern and can be reached by either cog-wheel train (the steepest in the world!) or gondola (or hiking, but this takes about 5 hours and is very challenging!). On top is a hotel with restaurant, a "dragon cave" and some of the most amazing views of Lake Luzern and the surrounding area.

No visit is complete without a cruise on  Lake Luzern  (officially the Vierwaldstättersee). Numerous 100+ year-old steam ships are available for just this purpose. The lake itself is a lot bigger than you'd expect and you can easily enjoy a several hour boat cruise to the other end and back.

No visit is complete without a cruise on Lake Luzern (officially the Vierwaldstättersee). Numerous 100+ year-old steam ships are available for just this purpose. The lake itself is a lot bigger than you'd expect and you can easily enjoy a several hour boat cruise to the other end and back.

Originally built in 1333, the  Kappelbrücke (Chapel Bridge)  is one of Luzern's most iconic sights. The medieval wooden bridge is one of 5 that cross the Reuss River joining the old town and the new town. It is decorated with a number of paintings dating back to the 17th century.

Originally built in 1333, the Kappelbrücke (Chapel Bridge) is one of Luzern's most iconic sights. The medieval wooden bridge is one of 5 that cross the Reuss River joining the old town and the new town. It is decorated with a number of paintings dating back to the 17th century.

The  Jesuit Church  is located on the Reuss River and, while not as big as other churches, has a very unique Baroque style interior and exterior. It has a prime location and makes for a nice backdrop at the many river-side restaurants. 

The Jesuit Church is located on the Reuss River and, while not as big as other churches, has a very unique Baroque style interior and exterior. It has a prime location and makes for a nice backdrop at the many river-side restaurants. 

The  Lion Monument  is an impressive sculpture that commemorates the Swiss Guards who died in battle during the French Revolution. And one of my favorite cafes is conveniently located across the street. 

The Lion Monument is an impressive sculpture that commemorates the Swiss Guards who died in battle during the French Revolution. And one of my favorite cafes is conveniently located across the street. 

The  Dreilinden Music Conservatory  is one of my favorite 'secret' spots. This is one of the best (free) views in town and has a very magical feeling. The original old mansion houses the music school, so you are serenaded by violinists and pianists practicing while you take in the amazing views of the lake and mountains. There are walking paths and plenty of green space to just relax and have a picnic.

The Dreilinden Music Conservatory is one of my favorite 'secret' spots. This is one of the best (free) views in town and has a very magical feeling. The original old mansion houses the music school, so you are serenaded by violinists and pianists practicing while you take in the amazing views of the lake and mountains. There are walking paths and plenty of green space to just relax and have a picnic.

Meggen Schloss  is another magical location outside Luzern, this little castle sits on the shore of Lake Luzern, surrounded by a vineyard and a small farm. We actually had our civil ceremony there so it holds a special place in my heart. It's also one of my favorite destinations when we go for a long walk, since you can follow the paths along the lake the entire way to get there.

Meggen Schloss is another magical location outside Luzern, this little castle sits on the shore of Lake Luzern, surrounded by a vineyard and a small farm. We actually had our civil ceremony there so it holds a special place in my heart. It's also one of my favorite destinations when we go for a long walk, since you can follow the paths along the lake the entire way to get there.

The  Museggmauer  is the old city wall that still surrounds the Old Town. You can walk up (many stairs) to the various towers (great views looking back at the city) and walk along the ramparts.

The Museggmauer is the old city wall that still surrounds the Old Town. You can walk up (many stairs) to the various towers (great views looking back at the city) and walk along the ramparts.

Hotel Montana  is one of many luxury hotels that line the lake and is the perfect place to stop for a drink and enjoy the scenery. The entire place has an art deco theme and the 1920s jazz-bar is exceptionally cool. In summer, they open the balcony for  an amazing outdoor Beach Club - complete with a hot tub and lounge beds.

Hotel Montana is one of many luxury hotels that line the lake and is the perfect place to stop for a drink and enjoy the scenery. The entire place has an art deco theme and the 1920s jazz-bar is exceptionally cool. In summer, they open the balcony for  an amazing outdoor Beach Club - complete with a hot tub and lounge beds.

Shoes of the week

Shoes of the week

What I'm cooking today: Chicken coconut curry

What I'm cooking today: Chicken coconut curry