Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

30 January 2010

switzerland

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!

13 January 2010

camels and snow

cameli’m lucky enough to have gotten snow because it apparently hasn’t snowed like this since 2002. but i think deep down i knew it would snow because it’s something i wished for really hard in france. in texas, as much as i try to hope, the probability of getting more than 1 inch of snow is always impossible. but here in evreux, i had a chance… a slight chance… so i wished with all my heart, and voila! lots of snow.

but i never thought there would be camels and other circus animals grazing on this field. ever. and especially when its covered in snow!

camels + snow = my new favorite combination.

france never fails to surprise me, which is why i’m nowhere ready to leave yet…