The water, the mountains, the sky...
It is July 7, 1857. You hail from Russia, and your full name is Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Your 29th birthday is a couple of months off, you are not yet married and you live for most of the time as an estate owner in Yasnaya Polyana. You have not yet written the major works which are to earn you world fame, «War and Peace» and «Anna Karenina». It is the first time you have travelled to Western Europe; this is mainly an educational trip.
After visits to Paris, Geneva and Bern you have now arrived in Lucerne. The place is alive with tourists. You find yourself irritated by the English and their rather stiff, supercilious attitudes. Your destination is the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern; built just twelve years ago, it is the best establishment in town.
When you go up to your room and open the window that gives onto the lake, you are «at the first moment literally dazzled and overwhelmed by the beauty of the sheet of water, of the mountains, and