"Knowing glances passed around the Palace bar on Lake Lucerne."
So goes the single-line entry for 14 June 2004 in my oft-neglected journal. After traveling eastward overseas, usually on the second night, the lag hits me hard. I find myself not merely awake, but energized—and strongly desiring smoke and drink. So, around 2:45 in the morning I made my way downstairs in the Hotel Palace to the Palace bar and found a dark corner. It wasn't dark enough. That's when the knowing glances began among the lounge lizards.
If you've traveled much at all, you'd know to be distrusting of the over-friendly native. An older man stumbled over to my table and asked, in surprisingly good English, if I'd like to buy the middle-aged lady at the bar a drink. She swiped me furtively with her eyes. I imagined she was a classy whore and he her pimp, hoping to end the soirée with a last-ditch effort to pick up a young American and drain him of his spending cash. Usually I'm game for an anonymous drink or two, but not this time. It wasn't the seediness of the whole thing as much as the fact that I just wasn't in the mood to talk, but rather drink and smoke, which is serious business. I politely declined with a firm, bugger-off look in my eye.
(Just in case your wondering, no, I'm not wealthy. In the early 2000s, my wife and I had the privilege of going overseas a few times, mostly to Europe, to work on a history project. Basically, I served as her grip, while she shot tons of B-roll.)
In this photographic series I've included a few pictures from Lucerne and a couple from Bavaria. As usual, all of them were taken on a Canon AE-1 with E100VS (slide film). Click on an image to get a closer look.
and behind that the exterior of the Jesuitenkirche (see next pic).
The composition of this photo is just okay, but particularly I
like the baptismal font. One of the best I've seen.
Not too shabby. My summer residence as a kid was a big hole entangled in
large roots next to a huge oak tree in our backyard. Mine was better.
Wagner's Siegfried Idyll—note also the connection to Lucerne).