Thursday, September 2, 2010

Swiss Arrival

Being in a foreign country can be like being in a land of magic. You tend to look at everything new with awe and wonder. If only we could be more like this in our everyday.

I’ve just looked at the outside thermometer and it is showing 2 degrees centigrade as the rising sun has just peeked over the alps to the left of me. Im sitting on the balcony of our Chalet Edelweiss, hearing the somewhat unflattering sounds of construction in this otherwise tranquil setting.

What a wonderful office to be working in, looking into the valley, seeing the old traditional Swiss Chalets and gazing upwards at the beautiful mountain range called the Dents du Midi (another somewhat unromantic name, translating to Teeth of the South!).

So, a recap of my Swiss Sojourne so far…

  • Pretending that I understood everything the customs officer was saying to me after seeing I have a german passport…
  • Arriving in Zurich and realising my mobile is not working. So attempting to call the family on a credit card payphone (which I haven’t used in years; when was the last time you used a payphone?!) to let them know I’ve arrived and that I would be catching the next train (then checking my bank statement to realise that the 3 minute conversation cost me $34AUD).
  • Catching the 9.43am train instead of the 9.13 train and having to make up my connections as I went – so it ended up that I had to lug all my baggage on 4 different trains to get to Aigle train station where the family picked me up.
  • What a wonderful thing European train rides are. And what picturesque country side Switzerland has. My train experience gave me:
    • The gorgeous sight of vineyards by the lakeside
    • Stretches of glorious green grass and lakeside abodes with Swiss flags on the embankments
    • Christmas trees planted everywhere with impressive buildings on hilltops
    • Red flowers in flowerpots on every balcony and window
    • Everyone on a bike looking like they are competing in the Tour de France
    • A man in a suit fishing by the lake. They sure dress differently en Suisse for a fishing trip!
    • Swiss Cows
    • Speaking in numerous languages in my head, preparing myself to ask the conductor a question in either French or German if he didn’t speak English
    • Eavesdropping on conversations around me, piecing together a probably more riveting conversation than is actually going on
  • Driving straight from the train station to do some food shopping. I’d forgotten how fantastic the cheese range here is. There is so much more than just Cheddar in the refrigerated departments!
  • Then finally arriving at our true home, Chalet Edelweiss and knowing the my30 year old towel linen bed was waiting for me…

Awww, what a pleasure it is to be here!

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