Friday, September 30, 2011
More from that wonderful day hiking in Switzerland, past small simple houses and well-cared for animals. (Do you wash cows? Hmm...) It seemed that all had remained unchanged for hundreds of years. It was idyllic on a warm sunny day in May, but can you imagine the winters?
Our guide told us that these small towns are actually subsidized by the state; no one could really make a living working this way now. How great that Switzerland thinks its important to preserve this way of life.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I love the neatness and the practicality of the Swiss. Everything is clearly thought through, but nothing is fancy. The hotel decor was very simple but the room had everything you need, plus the view was extraordinary; the cute town of Lauterbrunnen with the Alps in the distance.
This watercolor was based on a photo from our walk down the mountain from Murren. The houses we passed were small and simple and neat as a pin, and many had flowers in the window boxes as well as a flower garden. These are people who seriously love their flowers, they seem to be planted everywhere possible. Plus there are banks of wildflowers that are amazing, in amongst the tidy fields tended by thoughtful, hardworking people.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
These two girls looked totally absorbed in their drama of the moment, which, I imagined, was about their boyfriends.
Paris cafes are a great place to do people watching, as well as rest your feet after a day of touristy activities. I love coffee, but in France if you order "un cafe, s'il vous plait." you get an espresso. It's wonderful and strong, but those cups are so tiny, I feel gypped out of my coffee enjoyment. So, in the afternoon I order a cafe au lait, half coffee half milk, and at least you get a good-sized cup. The French frown on ordering it in the afternoon--they only drink it with breakfast--but I don't care.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The day we hiked in Switzerland it was an incredibly clear, sunny day. We had started from our hotel in Lauterbrunnen, taken a gondola up the mountain halfway, and then hiked up further. Everywhere I turned were beautiful views of green fields sloping down the mountainside, with the snow topped peaks in the distance. We passed herds of cows and goats, flocks of chickens, fields of wildflowers, and cute Bavarian houses with red geraniums at the windows. My husband the gardener noted that the Swiss seem cultivate every square inch of land and put flowers everywhere possible. Nothing is wasted here, and everything is maintained beautifully.
Then we took a gondola down and returned across the valley floor. These two hikers are our fellow travelers Gary and Roxanne, who kept an impressive pace the whole time. For me it was a fabulous, tiring way to spend my birthday.