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Saturday, 05 July 2008

Switzerland: A Second Honeymoon - Page 3

Written by Scott Haas
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A couple of decades ago, although it seems as if was more recent, say about 15 years, my girlfriend and I, newly married, honeymooned in Switzerland.  The placidity of the surroundings suited us just fine after the tumult needed to seal our lives together.  This past June we returned to the scene as empty-nesters on our first holiday without the children who were now grown up enough to attend colleges and use my credit card for an impressive variety of goods and services.

Because Luzern is situated in the middle of the country and is not tied to any financial or political interests, it has managed to cultivate and preserve a more genuine Swiss character.

This means that can you enjoy the two famous painted wooden bridges spanning the Reuss and dine on echt Swiss-German food.  Typifying that cuisine are veal and cheese and bread and potatoes, but above all it is the farm freshness that stands out.

Since Luzern’s beauty has made it a global tourist destination, it’s difficult to find restaurants serving real local food.  The two best are Der Galliker and Die Taube.  It’s not the fancy-schmancy cuisine of Philippe Chevrier.  Au contraire!  But it is the comfort food of my dreams: rosti (grated and fried potatoes), speck (smoked bacon), bratwurst...this is food like my grandmother, had she been Swiss, would have served at Sunday supper.

Wednesday and Saturday mornings bring the cheese market, and its aromas alone are more pleasurable than a morning spent under the covers.  The king of the market, whose booth can be found on the western bank of the river, at the foot of the famous Kappelbrucke, is Rolf Beeler--you have not tasted Swiss cheese until you have eaten his Emmental or Gruyere.  (His cheeses are also available in the US.)  You’ll find Rolf there on Saturdays even now although his fame reaches new heights.

OK, so it wasn’t like our first honeymoon in Switzerland.  I know that.  Why should it have been?  But it wasn’t nostalgic either: we weren’t longing to be who we once were.  We were content being who we had become through decades of marriage. Switzerland, through its serenity and calm, reminded us of that value.

© Scott Haas

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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