Monday 24 May 2010
Landing back at Geneva airport was a feeling of huge contentment, a sigh of relief to be home. The first thing that struck me was the mountain range which I had already glimpsed with excitement from the air. My family are surrounded by fenland in the UK where there are a great many horizons as the land is flat and full of wildlife. Back in Switzerland you feel encapsulated by the mountains and their immense beauty. It is breathtaking. The drive back home was uneventful, just full of crazy drivers who haven’t worked out how to drive safely and appropriately on motorways but I’m always up for a challenge!
The weather is hot like England and summer is most definitely in the air although late here too this year. There is still snow on the mountains which will be detrimental to the hikes I intend to make but I can always whip the crampons out of my bottomless rucksack!
The cows are out and the farmers are watching them, I even saw a family having their afternoon tea by the field as they watched their father/husband herding the cattle. The plants in the garden look a little dishevelled – I’m guessing it’s been really hot – my duties to watering must resume asap.
Wednesday 26 May 2010
Most of yesterday was spent unpacking and for some reason planting potatoes in a friends garden – a garden which she doesn’t intend to frequent much this summer as she has recently purchased yet another charming abode – two gardens to maintain I fear – lucky she has such willing friends. Strangely I found it rather therapeutic and if it wasn’t so far from civilisation I would move in straight away!
Today has begun in the garden with the hose and in the house with the ant killer!!! I think the veggie patch may still have some life in it thank goodness but not so sure about the scorched orchid? The vines are still alive amazingly but I think it will be quite sometime before they produce any wine. The ants have taken over in the kitchen and are merrily marching into the house from the garden step – ant killer is the only way forward – I think it’s rude when small animals help themselves to my peaches.
Packing up the car again for a short road trip across the alps to another beautiful alpine destination in Le Trois Vallées , Bozel. It is a scorcher of a day, windows down and blower on, ipod blaring but not through the customs control of the French border. As usual I am over zealous with the accelerator on the winding roads, thinking I could take on Jenson Button but it is a thrill to whip round the hairpins and hear the engine roar (not a Porche or high performance car but a sports engine nonetheless). I arrive in record time, straight to the pub for some well earned beers and a bit of French chit chat with the locals, swiftly followed by a delicious home cooked meal, copious glasses of wine and lots of smelly French cheese – heaven.
Thursday 27 May 2010
A slow start, think it must have been the Cointreau? Blame it on my hosts, weather looking a bit stroppy – rain – don’t do rain. Persisted with shorts wearing in the hope that the sun would eventually shine but alas although the rain abated, the air was cool so the shorts were swapped for trousers. We drove up into the mountains above us and then hiked to the snowline (little bit of a lie because there was only a patch of snow and the rest was green up until about 2,500 metres.)
The bouquetin were already becoming inquisitive and although not as close as we would have liked they were still a fun spot.
Fab walk although our adventurous spirit almost made us late for tea. We thought we could navigate over the river and up to the top of the gorge and across but there was no way over. This added about half an hour onto our walk but it was great to be amongst the peaks once again and we knew that 91 year old Bob was buying cakes for our tea and what a well earned tea it would be!
Cake was followed by beers in the local with the locals of which there were many, I’m sure we don’t have this many people sipping beer on the terrace at sundown in Verbier – I must check when I get back.
More food, wine and cheese consumption, we are going to have to think of something very active for tomorrow.
Friday 28 May 2010
Another slow start but can’t blame it on liquor consumption this time, just life catching up with me. Backpacks ready and off we went to do some Via Ferrata. Above a lake and looking down a stunning valley we clung to rocks and clipped and unclipped. It was such a great experience for one terrifying moment I was clinging on for dear life in a trapeze like fashion – my friend sending encouraging words from behind her camera. I felt a little like Indiana Jones and amused her by humming the theme tune as I went from one crazy piece of via ferrata to another.
We were rewarded for our efforts with a picnic in the woods brought to us by some sympathetic friends. Pooped and ready for a snooze, no such luck, meeting more friends for sundowners and then out to dinner with the local French ski instructors and shop owners. Dinner was interesting and a big laugh. Everyone was French apart from my two friends who speak French fluently! I speak French but not when everyone is having three different conversations so I sat back and sipped my wine and waited until someone asked me some direct questions then I could understand. The dinner was delicious, our French hostess was a great cook and our French host offered up his finest homemade Genepi and Prunella (which I think is made from plums and can only be described as a type of Willamine on fire! It tasted as if it was at least 100% proof? ) that’ll put hairs on your chest!
Saturday 29 May 2010
The slowest start yet, not helped by the late return from our dinner party. 91 year old Bob was not impressed that nobody had emerged to serve him breakfast and as he’d lost his shoes he was unable to buy croissant and was feeling very agitated. Surprisingly I was first to rise so I rushed out in order to placate this wonderful man who despite his grizzles has every right as his age to hope that by now someone would be waiting on him hand and foot. He was very grateful for my efforts and we had a lovely breakfast which seemed to fast fade into a lunch at the local bar with more friends. This wasn’t doing any good for my waistline so it was suggested in the heat of the day that a game of tennis was the only way forward.
The tennis courts are situated near a lake in the crook of the mountains – a beautiful place to be hitting the ball. It was a huge effort but well worth it as I’m sure I lost at least two pounds in the heat, even 91 year old Bob had a go and had some power behind his racket which he should be proud of.
And so ended a lovely few days and fast exit back to Verbier along the winding roads.
Sunday 30 May 2010
Today has brought low cloud and rain, can’t complain though because for most people I’ve already had their summer holiday and mine is only just beginning. I wonder what tomorrow has in store for us.
Till next time, Freddie from Verbier