30 January 2010


a very scattered post about the end of my holiday vacation. let’s see if i even remember… ah, that’s right, after christmas with m, i hopped on a train to paris, and then a train to la suisse. it wasn’t very exciting – but that was perfect for me. i was tired. and recuperating in the swiss countryside was exactly what i needed.

s13out of all the countries i’ve visited, switzerland is the most beautiful for me, just because it’s so postcard perfect. the telephone lines are unobtrusive, there are happy animals everywhere, the hills just go on forever with a billion shades of green…

s01in the summer, you see cows everywhere. in the winter, there isn’t a trace of them… because they’re indoors keeping warm. but you do get to see a ton of sheep who can take on the cold.

s02i stayed with my cousin. and as great friends are… family is great because you don’t have to explain your odd quirks. for example, i love “drinking” my cereal out of a tall glass rather than a bowl. i know i could do it elsewhere and people wouldn’t care, but it’s so much easier when its family!

s03dramatic sunsets. a garden. a mailbox. all things i love about the swiss countryside.

s04not to mention there’s a croatian mother’s cooking that i got to happily eat <3. romanesco cauliflower, stuffed peppers, and of course raclette! (not all on the same night)

s05favorite: the animal park in goldau. you are given a box of deer food upon entry… and then as you walk, deer and other animals follow you in hopes of eating. isn’t in genius? they have to feed the animals anyway, but this way they earn money (selling food) and save money (not having to pay someone to feed them since the visitors do it).

s06but i don’t mind, since the money is going to a good cause: caring for all the bears, wolves, ducks, birds, and other animals native to switzerland.

s07i re-made the pear and speculoos tart. except here in switzerland, it’s called karamellgebäck. same exact stuff (even the brand), just a new name!

s08i spent one day in baden. a relaxed, explore-on-my-own-day, so nothing happened. except that i left with a cookbook. but that will be saved for another day.

s09it’s not by me if there aren’t any blurry lights!

s10because switzerland has so many valleys and hills, the temperature can change from one place to the next even if they are just a few minutes apart. i had a lot of fun watching the thermometer in my cousin’s car because it would go from –1 C to 5 C within 10 minutes.

for example, this photo. it snowed. but only on the left side! the other side didn’t get any snow. so i think that’s another thing i love: you never know what kind of swiss landscape to expect because there are just so many variations.

s11“chinese fondue” (ie, dipping raw meat in hot soup to cook it). bruschetta. radish cream and pecans. ice cream with a  hot berry sauce.

s12when you go up into the mountains to go sledging, you’re greeted with yet another view. mountains and fog. now i know why things like monasteries and temples are up high. you can’t help but just reflect and mediate when you see something this gorgeous.

s14perhaps this is a common combination…. but curry + chicken + pineapples + cherries. for me, it was a first. and it was delicious. and i can’t wait to discover other things that taste good with curry. my other favorite: chocolate-coconut-curry bar from theo chocolate. unfortunately, that’s in america so i have to wait.

s16the swiss have their version of the macaron, but they like to call it a luxemburgerli. it’s slightly different in that they’re narrower and taller than the french versions. texture wise, they are much airier. but they are definitely still macarons. just different.

s18and definitely still adorable.

s17the swiss also celebrate january 6th, but instead of a galette, they have a dreikönigskuchen – literally, three king’s cake. but it’s really a brioche. made up of about 7 baby brioche rolls and topped with almonds. and of course, a little figure hidden in one of the rolls.

after that, it was back to france! that vacation ended a while ago on jan 3rd.

it’s now jan 31st. and guess what? vacation is next week…! so, round three will be coming up!

i think i need a vacation from vacation. but here’s a hint of what’s to come: ghent-normandy-paris-turkey. oh la la!


x said...

gorgeous pictures as always! would love to get over to switzerland someday.

ps i enjoy eating cereal out of a tall mug!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm so happy to hear that you love my country! Your pictures make me see Switzerland through other eyes. Very refreshing!



Lizounette said...

J'adore la raclette, mais aussi tous tes photos ici! Est-ce que tu les as pris avec le 28mm f/2.8? Super belle histoire!

Lizounette said...

those animals are just too sweet! they are beautifully captured.

cathy said...

@x: glad i'm not the only one! plus it's always a challenge to finish the cereal before the milk, or else you get cereal stuck at the bottom.

@rosa: :) i'm glad you like that i like your country! switzerland is amazing. and i miss it very much.

@lizounette: oui, le 28mm f/2.8 est mon bébé toujours quand je voyage! ;) and as for the animals, it was so wonderful becauase you could go straight up to them - they weren't scared at all! so i had lots of fun. except the bears and wolves of course, those were kept away at a distance.

fanny said...

GORGEOUS pictures Cathy. I now feel like I've been to Swizterland with you. Thanks!

x fanny