I know there are 4 seasons, but I knew them as: Temperate, Warm, Warmer and HOT ! I was raised in Southern California. They have 1 maybe 2 seasons. Northern California gets a bit closer, but not close enough. Living in Switzerland, I have the pleasure of experiencing the real 4 seasons and all the pro’s (and cons) that come with them. My favorite season: Autumn.
The calendar tells me Autumn started on September 22, but I only just began to notice the signs: the softening afternoon light, chestnuts and squash at the markets, and Fall leaves. It is a beautiful time of year to be outdoors and to visit the villages — everyone is gearing up for the Holiday season and it begins with the Autumn Fairs.
Saturday morning I headed to Lucerne for the Farmers Market ( 6am to 1pm ) which was coincidentally the first day of the Lözarner Määs / Luzern Herbstmasse or Autumn Fair. Because the fair continues daily for 2 weeks, I spent the time in the market. I perused the stands full of autumn goodies: chestnuts, squash, flowers, meats, cheeses and and a myriad of other items that make the cooler months such a comfort.
Afterward, I explored the medieval city wall, or what’s left of it, hoping to see many more signs of Autumn. Around the clock tower, the season was evident! Colorful leaves against a bright blue sky framed the immense and beautifully painted ancient tower. I walked the rampart and enjoyed the panorama of the city below while appreciating, surprisingly, the solitude I found up there.
When I arrived back in the Old Town, the market was closing but restaurants along the Rathausqaui were packed with people enjoying the beautiful fall afternoon. Swans were congregating in large groups on the River Reuss, enticed by those opting to enjoy a picnic along it’s edge. I was tempted to find a table too, but the crowds were a deterrent. I deeply regretted not having packed a lunch. Instead of trying to squeeze into the crowd, I decided to head for home with a joyful soul and a backpack stinking of a delectable hunk of Pecorino cheese I bought that morning.
It is afternoons like this one that make my life in Switzerland so enjoyable. I still find myself captivated by the beauty of the country and the intermingling of history, culture and traditions. Walking the old town of Lucerne in Autumn is to walk the pages of a fairy tale.
Happy Autumn !
Lucerne Farmers Market
When: Tuesday and Saturday from 6am to 1pm
Location: Along both side of the River Reuss (Rathausquai)
see map below
Lucerne Autumn Fair
What: Annual event complete with food, drinks and a variety of entertainment to ring in the Autumn.
When: Saturday October 6th to October 21st
Where: along Inseliquai in front and behind the KKL, next to the Lucerne Train Station, along the lake’s edge.