In the flurry of final fondues with family, packing up the trailer once more, and driving to Maine, I have yet to complete the Switzerland 2015 category of eeeeeep.
So without further ado….
Week two (ish):
Just out the door and a short walk down the road, one enters a magical, mossy forest. It is amazing to me that with all the people and the limited land available, there is any land like this left at all (but there’s tons, thank goodness!).
Some keep their wood in the forest. The wood piles are neat, tidy, well-stacked, and protected from the elements.
Man in the mist.
Rolling fields and Neyruz (Stéphane’s home) in the background.
There are crosses all over Switzerland: in the fields, at the summits of every mountain, and in the churches whose beautiful steeples can be seen from the very smallest village to the largest city.
Jürg and Maria cook an amazing birthday lunch for Fabio et Maria’s birthdays.
Aunt Louise has some great stories to share.
BRAVO for picking up after you pet!
Enjoying du vin chaud Chez Missana – a yearly event – the neighbors gather with food and drink.
Anthony shows TonTon his very cool Lego creations.
Thierry paints a Père Nöel. Joli!
Silvia serves the Magic Potion (vin chaud / hot wine).
The Swiss throw very little away. If you look at a Swiss trash bin, it’s divided into compost section (food scraps, which go out back in the compost bin), aluminum, plastic, cardboard. What’s left, which gets thrown out, is very little. Here Mami is demonstrating her handy-dandy plastic bottle-smooshing machine.
After our daily parcours session, we checked out the Chateau de Gruyères (castle!)
At Gruyères, everywhere you’ll see a crane on a field of red. The story goes, back in the 400s, a duke was passing through the area. That evening, he saw a beautiful crane fly by, in front of a fabulous red sunset. He decided to settle in the area and made the crane, in a field of red sunset, his special crest / flag.
The castle gardens.
See all of the roof tiles?
This is how the are attached! A notch in the back that rests against a piece of wood.
Look how thick the walls are! If I lived here, this would be my reading nook.
Posing on “the rampart” – the wall built around the chateau.
One of the many rooms inside the chateau.
The mountain in the background is Dent de Chamois (tooth of the goat).
A giant box, 1693. Older than my country, no big deal.
Pietà: wooden sculpture of Christ & Virgin in the chapel / gardens / floor of chateau – all rocks / moss growing on roof tiles.
Cool art in the chateau: stone, stained glass, tapestry, painting (the last one is a modern painting from a local artist).
This is a cool story. Gruyères castle was going to be attacked by enemies. The women herded all of their goats inside the castle walls. That night, they tied straw onto the goats’ horns, lit them on fire, and shoed them out. The enemy army fled from “the devil army”!
Raclette! So, you get a big slice of raclette cheese and it sits on a little tray under a heater. It gets all melty and goey and you scrape off the melty top part onto your plate. Then you eat it with pickles, pickled onions, and baby potatoes. YUM!!