Wednesday 17 August 2011

Swiss Trip 2012

The thing I love most about our trip to Switzerland every year is that nothing ever changes . Well the Alps and the Bernese Oberland wouldn't but then nor do the delightfully old fashioned tea rooms, still decorated in their 70's brown and orange hues with rafia lampshades. There's something rather re-assuring about a place that doesn't feel the need to re-invent itself every decade in the name of 'progress'.

The hotel we stay at is family run and friendly and looks like it would have done 20 years ago, even the staff are there for life, which makes it all the lovelier. The view from our balcony overlooking Lake Thun never fails to make my heart sing and the cool mountain air is the perfect antidote to everything that's stressful in modern day life. And if all of that fails to impress then I can eat my own body weight in cheese and chocolate every single day. What's not to like about a country that is clean, decent, old fashioned , polite and beautiful to look at ?
Oh and then there's the stationery shops brimming with art supplies and coloured pencils and every shape, colour and size of pen, pencil or pencil case. Don't start me.

So here's a few pictures to show you what I mean.

Cycling down from the Niederhorn with the Eiger in the distance.

A quiet backwater in Interlaken 

The hillside in Sigriswil adjoining our hotel apartment

The local Baren Fest ( Bear Festival) where you buy a carrot and if you pick a lucky one you win a delightful bear ... but if you don't at least you get to eat the carrot !

Most bakeries have a sign like this outside . I love to take photos of them all .

The view of Lake Thun from the top of the Niederhorn. Can't get enough of this view nor the turquoise of the water.

The Swiss take real pride in homemade crafts. I bought this table runner with a matching bread cloth for when we have fondues at home at a local craft fair. It's beautifully hand embroidered and cost next to nothing.

Just a few buttons to add to my collection bought from a local garage sale... you can never have enough buttons.

Thrilled to discover an exhibition of the craft of Scherenschnitt - a traditional hand papercutting art which has to be seen to be believed. The detail and intricacy of design is phenomenal.

Meet Susanne Schlapfer who kindly allowed me to photograph her at work.

The organiser's car - how beautiful is that ?

Braving the heart-stopping icy lake waters - those are Max's feet in the air ! Nothing beats swimming in freshwater Swiss lakes fed with water from the surrounding mountains. Even better when followed by a snooze in the sauna. That look on my face is a mixture of pain and pleasure.

Cruising the chocolate aisles at the local supermarket - spoilt for choice.

Views from Oberhofen castle.

Filling up the water bottles from mountain waterfalls.

I only have to wait another 364 days before we're back again.