My passion filled life
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life.
My passion filled life
And now....Finally, Italy. We have been on the train for almost 1.5 hours, leaving the mountains in the north, and about to enter Milano.
The terrain has changed. The trees, lakes and rivers are beautiful, and much like my imagination said they would be. The houses we have seen along the way, so much different than the homes on the Swiss side of the mountain...definitely what we'd call a Mediterranean look to them.
I am tired from the late nights and early mornings, but soo excited and happy that this dream is realized. After the last few days of hiking and walking with Cecil, I am glad that we are doing it now, as i wonder how much longer his lungs will allow him to enjoy this sort of travelling. He's struggled a couple of times with his breathing and his knees are causing him greif. For my own part, all I can say is thank goodness I lost the weight that I have. The walking has been slow with my dizzy glasses, but easy in terms of how I feel physically. What a treat to just enjoy seeing so much without the side effects that the extra 70 pounds had. LIFE is GOOD.
Our journey to experience the Matterhorn required our driving for about 1.5 hours up more, steep windy hills to Tasch, where we caught the train that takes you up the mountain.
The town is a strong reminder of Banff, with lots of expensive clothing and accessory stores, and dozens of villas and chalets for skiers to rent.
We walked up to the trolley lift, and continued our journey up the mountain, changing lifts 3 times to reach the top. The weather at the top was fantastic! Sunny, warm, although I was glad we'd purchased our souvenir sweaters the day before, as they were exactly what we needed when we landed on the snow covered top!
After spending time looking at the view from all directions, and having our host provide totally wrong information to another tourist who was looking for the new 'diamond' cabin, we headed to the Ice Palace, where we walked through the ice tunnels to view the carvings,and magic of this creation carved out of the glacier's ice. Cec and I tried the ice slide...he did better than I...must be that my behind is too hot to slide properly on the mats provided, but it was good for a laugh.
We videoed another message for the kids, because even though travel is one of my top passions and priority...so is my family...children, grandchildren, siblings and all. We eventually headed on our way down to the first change level for lunch.
We chose a quiet, small restaurant under construction, where we had a starter of cold smoked meats, followed by 'rotsi', a traditional swiss meal of potatoes, cheese, ham and egg in a cassarole type dish. It was here Cec and I both realized what our student from last year had tried to prepare the night she made us dinner when were were so befuddled by her creation. I felt bad, as I saw that it was something she was trying to recreate for us, even though the base was definitely not the same.
We relaxed on the outdoor lawn furniture in the warm sun, sipping our wine and beer, watching for butterflies and soaking in life. What a great day.
We eventually headed down the mountain, into the town where the French/German language division happens, and found a small winery that was open to sample wines and enjoy options. They served not only really great wine, but one of the nicest cheeses I have every tasted. After 4 options, we settled on a case of the second, a 'Petite Arvine', something our host had ordered for me the day before, that I loved, but can't say I've tried before. I must remember to watch for it when I go home and wine shop.
We returned home about 7 to relax, enjoy our wine and watch Jack Reacher together. I can't say enough about our time with our amazing Swiss host, he planned everything, and made sure we saw as much as we could in the short time were were allotted with him. What a great experience, and what wonderful memories! It made us glad for every opportunity we had offered his daughter the proceeding year, as it came back to us in the gift of this time here. I even had the chance to find and photograph the black swiss 'fighting' cows...who even knew they existed.
Winding our way back around Lake Geneva, humming 'Smoke on the Water' all the way, we eventually ended up in France, at a small town called St. Gingolph for a dinner of perch and fries.
The fries were the best I think I have ever eaten! Fresh, tiny and cooked perfectly as the waitress dished out portions from a large heated tray on our table. The starting salad was fantastic. Like all the salads we'd had since arriving, presentation is everything, with each vegetable laid out separately on your dish, in an effort to please the eye as much as the pallet .
Two bottles of wine later, we made our way home, heading to bed to prepare for the next busy day. It may have only been for one dinner, but I am now able to say of the places I've been blessed to experience, France is among them! Who would have thought!
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