Lazy, hazy days of summer…sort of.

We have had a few days recently to feel as though we were on holiday, touring through the Swiss countryside like tourists do. Only we aren’t on holidays. Not yet. You see, those days we were touring Barcelona and Florence earlier this year, while you were cursing us and thinking “must be nice”, those days of holiday were in exchange for now. While you’re breathing a sigh of relief because you made it through another school year, we’re still trucking along.

Two more weeks to go… Shhhhhh, we’re trying really, really hard to not point out this fact to the kids. As a 12 year old, I wouldn’t have taken that news well either.

While it doesn’t feel like summer, based on the day-to-day routine, it sure as heck does, based of the thermometer. 32 degrees these days. Intolerable if you ask me.  But no one is asking, no one needs to. It’s a well known fact now. I’m too warm. ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME.

Except for a few blissful days while Aunt Janey was here to visit us. She brought along perfect weather – cool even. It was heaven. And we made the most of it, packing in a lot of miles in a few busy days.

There is truly a business opportunity here. Offering guided tours of Switzerland with enough family dysfunction to make you feel really good about yourself. No one wants to spend time with people who seem perfect; that leaves you feeling like an under-achiever, insignificant, frumpy even. No one needs friends or family who make them feel that way. What we offer, on the flip side is a “wow factor” that encompasses the good, the bad and the ugly.

“Wow, look at that view.”

“Wow, that cheese plate is amazing.”

“Wow, is that normal?”

“Wow, that can’t be good.”

We’re givers that way. Sharing all of ourselves. Warts and all, as they say. (For the record, I’m quite certain we did not send Aunt Janey away with any warts. Not on purpose, anyway.)

Here’s a glimpse of some of the memories we did send her away with.

 

img_1875
She’s here! Aunt Janey’s first Swiss cappucino. (More like a cafe au lait, the Swiss like their coffee with a lot of milk.)
img_1872
Looking remarkably fresh after an all-night flight.
img_1879
Rewarded, after a brisk walking tour of Winterthur, with a glass of white overlooking the city.
img_1899
Quick stop for a photo at the neighbourhood vineyard. 
img_1900
A seemingly peaceful photo. What you can’t see is that the train station was intolerably loud with the arrival of union workers ready to demonstrate. 
img_1902
A pretty day in Zurich. The colourful people in the centre of the shot were part of the exceptionally loud demonstration. Much louder and rowdier than the orderly Swiss norm.
img_1913
Thankfully, our tour does not involve the Krapp bus.
img_1918
We happened upon the Style Ride, described as “a joyful and relaxed cycling tour for style lovers”. It was perfection.
img_1914
We encountered the ride at the Viadukt, a haven for hipsters and their offspring. We blended in perfectly.

 

img_1915
Possibly the perfect bike.
img_1916
So many pretty bikes.
IMG_4845-1170x731
This is not my photo – but it captures the perfection of this ride. 
STYLERIDESWITZERLAND2018-Visual-AMH
Likewise, not my photo. I sure wish it was. 
img_1922
What’s a hipster neighbourhood without a surf park? Notice the big screen playing the FIFA World Cup in the background. Surfing and soccer, all the time. 
img_1924
The love of soccer starts young.

 

img_1933
Day 3 of touring we stumbled upon a medieval festival in Einsiedeln.
img_1931
Jousting, weaving, sparring and Lords and Ladies aplenty. 
img_1947
A trip back in time. To think our kids whine when they lose wifi.
img_1950
There is a sizable community who really embrace the period costumes. Good for them.
img_1943
Always good to practice your axe-throwing skills. (Because you never know when your little sister will be better than you. Snap.)
img_1952
The monastery at Einsiedeln.
img_1940
Spotting your mark.
img_1942
Good form Babe.
img_1927
The pristine kloister stables.
img_1930
A view to the countryside.
img_1955.jpg
It’s true that Aunt Janey is petite. This may be a slight exaggeration.
img_1958-1
Next stop, the town of Schwyz. Notice it was cool enough to wear pants. It was heaven. Pants are my favourite.
img_1964-1
Swiss pride in Schwyz.
img_1968-1
Pretty Swiss scene.
img_1966
Twisty, turny streets, all with a pretty view.
img_1971-1
Aunt Janey, happy to be in the Swiss countryside.

The soundtrack of Schwyz.

img_1974
A lovely manor house in Schwyz.
img_1976
All cows should wear bells.
img_1977
A classic old Swiss farm house.
img_1978
And the mountain view beyond.
img_1985
It was a good time to view the window boxes.
img_1994
Learning about all the peaks in the view.
img_1990
What’s on the horizon for us? Good question.
img_1979
Feeding the birds in Brunnen.
img_2005
The sun finally came out in Zug.
img_1989
Too pretty to be real – but they were.
img_2015-1
Same with these – real beauty.
img_1967-1
Even these, plucky little guys, showing off their beauty too. 
img_1986
A whole new kind of beauty. I think this one wants to be mine. 
img_2002
A pretty little courtyard in Stein Am Rhein.
img_2004
The view of the Rhein.
img_1988
More pretty flowers.
img_1998
There’s really no excuse to not be an exceptional gardener here. 
img_2008
Like entering the world of Daigon Alley.
img_1999
The storybook village of Stein Am Rhein.
img_2012
A perfect spot for a coffee and a gipfeli (the strange Swiss-German word for croissant)
img_1997
The clock-tower at Stein Am Rhein.
img_2021
Very helpful advertising campaign seen in Appenzell 
img_2016
The rose vines here are amazing.
img_2007
Ready for the next leg of the adventure. What awaits beyond the next door?

Thank you for joining us on your European adventure Aunt Janey. We sure loved having you with us.

We are taking requests for personalized tours. Your days will be filled with spectacular Swiss scenes and culinary delights, seasoned with family dysfunction and punctuated with some German expletives, just to keep things real. We are nothing, if not real.

Despite the beauty of our surroundings, nothing compares to home and we are missing our Canadian friends and family this Canada Day. Happy Canada Day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s