November 04, 2004

Four travel favorites: Lakes

It came to me while I was to share glimpses of lots of great places in the the short space of a blog post: a list. With FOUR TRAVEL FAVORITES, I’ll share four of my favorite fill in the blank (exotic places, museums, bridges, mountains, islands, man-made wonders, natural wonders, scenic drives, seaside towns, buildings, ruins, castles, rivers, cities of various sizes...tell me what you want to see

Let’s start with lakes:

  • Moraine Lake, Alberta, CanadaAlberta’s glacial lakes sit like aquamarine jewels cradled in magnificent Rocky Mountain settings. Base yourself in Banff or Jasper and drive the Icefields Parkway between them, detouring to take in the necklace of stunningly-colored lakes. Moraine is close to Lake Louise, another mountain-ringed eyepopper. Just off the Parkway, take in the arresting beauty of Peyto Lake. It’s a color you’ve never seen before.
  • Lake Titicaca, Bolivia – Earth’s highest navigable lake sits between Peru and Bolivia, and you can access the lake from either. From the lakefront Inca Utama Hotel in Huatajata, Bolivia, take a hydrofoil trip on the 12,500-foot lake to the Island of the Sun, peppered with agricultural terraces built by the Incas, many still under cultivation. Stand on the island’s pebble beach and face the towering massif of the Andes’ Cordillera Real, which towers above Titicaca’s eastern shore.
  • Lake Como, ItalyLa dolce vita doesn’t get any sweeter than this. Go in summer, pick a lakeside town like Cadenabbia, Bellagio, Tremezzo, Varenna or Menaggio to base yourself in, and enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing—dolce far niente. Nothing but soaking up sun, drinking brilliant local wines, eating food so fresh it bursts in your mouth, and watching sunlight and moonlight play on water, green mountains and rainbow-colored buildings.
  • Lake Lucerne, Switzerland – Called Vierwaldstatter See, Lake of the Four Forest Cantons in German, Lake Lucerne is a high-altitude beauty ringed by Alps, plied by inter-canton ferries and lined with pristine Swiss towns. Base yourself in Lucerne, and take in the medieval walls, watchtowers and painted covered bridge that juts out into the lake. Mounts Pilatus and Rigi kiss the clouds above you. (Yes, there’s a pattern here. I like my lakes served with a side order of mountain grandeur.)

    Travel to stunning American places in Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America