Monday, August 20, 2012

Sumptuous Switzerland

We got back from Switzerland Friday night. What a wonderful trip! 

Shortly after we arrived, Florian's parents took us on a three-day tour through the Italian part of Switzerland and into Italy. We took a boat on Lago Maggiore 

and explored the little flower-festooned towns around it, with their architecture of brightly painted stucco and crumbling stone. 

The water was delightful for swimming

and during our day on the beach, a little family of duckies even came close for a visit.

Driving across the country, there was no shortage of stunning views across glacier-topped mountains, sunny places to picnic, 

and even a very friendly dog who tried to raid our picnic basket.  

Now the Swiss way of driving is not as calm and easygoing as you might expect in a neutral country known for its high standard of living, rich food, and healthy balance between work and leisure.

With Florian's mom behind the wheel as we wound through narrow, precarious mountain roads that frequently went down to one lane as they reached a blind corner around the edge of an ancient farmhouse, 

suffice it to say that I may have missed a few really picturesque scenes because my eyes were closed.

Back in Puplinge, the little town where Florian's parents live outside Geneva, Florian and I had a chance to go on a hike up the side of the cliffs you can see from the back of his house. 

Normally a hike feels incomplete without dogs, but this is one hike where I was actually glad not to have any little packages of spastic risk-taking behavior teetering on the edge of the very steep stone steps on the edge of the precipice leading up to the summit.


At the top of the climb, we visited the tiny, sleepy town of Monnetier where Florian's father grew up. More stone buildings and the ubiquitous hollyhocks and red geraniums.


We even got to visit Florian's grandparents' gravesite.

Notwithstanding the extraordinary scenery and diversions, I definitely reached a point where I longed for the feel of a furry chest under my fingers or a blast of hot breath on my cheek.

Fortunately, the next-door neighbors have a wonderful dog named Bingo who didn't mind one bit that we took advantage of him to satisfy our own emotional needs. 

He let us take him for walks, deluge him with cuddles and kisses, and sneak him bits of bread and gruyere from the table.

Bingo, coupled with regular goat and pig-oriented outings (more about them in a future post), kept us from the depths of missing our own animals.

Who were very glad to see us, though they did great here with my friend Francine and the occasional little dog she brought to keep them company. 

Its good to be back!


  1. Sounds heavenly! So glad you had a wonderful visit and the pups did well. Can't wait to hear more.

  2. What a wonderful trip!! I am sure everyone is glad to have you home though too!!

  3. What beautiful pictures, welcome back Kirsten. I missed you!!

  4. Gorgeous! Switzerland is amazingly beautiful. I can't wait to hear more about your trip.

  5. Hi Kirsten, oh so cool. That was a great snippet of your trip. I think that it was "kind of funny" imagining you with your eyes closed as Florian's mother drove. I hate to admit it but I probably would have been pretty nervous and anxious too. Oh well, all-in-all you're both safe and back home.

  6. OH!! What a beautiful trip you had!! I totally understand needing a "dog fix" when away for too long!!

  7. Those mountain views are to die for. I love places where the work life balance is good. Glad to have you back! X

    P.S. I've been meaning to tell you for a while. Your words/sentences are cut off by your pictures. Don't know whether you're aware of it?

    1. Sigh...I know, not sure how to fix it. The posts generally show up fine in edit view and on my browser, but not on other browsers. I'll try switching to a different post format! Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Sounds like a lovely time - and those panoramas! Enjoy your rest now at home, keeping those memories alive while you revel with your own dogs.

  9. Unbelievably beautiful. I am jealous and want an exotic vacation...

  10. Welcome back! Such beautiful photos! It looks like you had a fantastic trip! How wonderful for Florian to have grown up in such an incredibly stunning area.

    I completely understand the dog-fix thing. I am glad Bingo obliged. What a pretty pup! I can imagine, though, how excited both you and your pups were when you arrived home. :->

    Can't wait to read the further adventures of your trip.

    K and Suka

  11. What a wonderful trip. i love Switzerland. I loved hiking up to a small town, stopping in a small cafe, and continuing to hike up and up. Yes, it's a good way to live.

    Hope to see some nice hiking pictures soon with your dogs. :)


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