Friday, June 08, 2007

Switzerland Journal Day Ten

Friday, May 27 2007.
The day dawned bright and clear, and while we were tempted to be slug-a-beds, we arose and dressed, mindful that breakfast was being served downstairs as part of our package. A good breakfast included as part of the hotel lodging costs was a smart bargain, both time wise and budget wise. We had no idea what might be served, but we needed coffee badly, so we rode the tiny lift downstairs in order to become "all in our places with bright shiny faces."
A elderly British couple was in the adjoining breakfast room space. We enjoyed watching the thin husband carefully monitor his toast being toasted; the breakfast consisted of a wide variety of breads, cheeses, fruits, juices and yogurts. His heavy set wife left him to his own cooking skills as she sat enjoying her cuppa. Just right...she was on vacation too you know!
We sat at a tiny little table for two next to the window overlooking the garden. The previous night's rain made the sunlight sparkle magically on the flowers, and freshened the air with delightful leafy scents.
I had also been converted to the season's colors; an orange top purchased at H&M in St. Gallen made me feel just right next to the orange blossoms on our table. I hadn't had my coffee yet; so I was having a hard time focusing! Only a few huge cups of coffee later, (coffee was brought to the table in silver coffee pots-watch out the handle, it was hot!), orange juice, the freshest and most flaky croissants ever along with newly baked loaves of bread sliced and toasted, a variety of jams, cheese and, of course, Swiss yogurt we had shifted into "Park".
Chatting over breakfast, I admired the sheer curtains covered by a merry floral print drape in a deep coral red, with what looked like crewel work, but proved to be merely a print. Much easier to have a print than to keep crewel work dust free in an open window environment. (A bit of the fabric may be seen peeking out behind Bernie in the photo above. I also should say I like the simplicity of the drum lamp shades over the table. A chandelier would have been way too fussy...even though I am usually a big fan of chandeliers!)
The breakfast and the breakfast room were perfect. We seriously did not want to leave.
I guess that is why hotels have to have check out times.
We abided by the rules, and leaving our luggage in the baggage room for later pick up, we headed out to explore Lausanne.
Take a good look at the bodice on this dress. Isn't the criss-cross design interesting? The wide shoulder straps are a dream come true for bra-inclined ladies, and the wide hem and hem accent on a modest length appealed to me. The dress color would have washed me out to invisible, but I could imagine easily imagine it on a red head, or on a dark haired brunette.
Bernie was hiking along briskly up the hill towards Notra Dame, our sight seeing destination, but I was inclined to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. This might be the closest I ever get to shopping in Paris!
If at all possible, enlarge the picture at the left and check out the shoulder trim detail on the model with the dark skirt. The other white skirt is cute, provided you have hips like a snake. A very skinny snake. The hem detail on the white skirt reminded me of the Edwardian white summer dress made from lawn, with high necklines just like this dress. Even the sleeve detail echoed the Edwardian dress styles. Hmmm, something to think about. Where can you buy fine lawn nowaday anyway?
I see the white lawn Edwardian antique dresses on Ebay all the time, and if I could manage a 23 inch waist via corseting and brain removal, and a 40 inch bust (which the Edwardians provided with the help of a chest wire frame bustle-like apparatus; I won't be needing that at least!) I would purchase one of the Ebay dresses and then would stand around all summer in the dress, with a croquet mallet in hand as a prop. Anyone care to join me in a game?
I digress. Sorry.
Further up the hill I found a chocolate shop (now there's a surprise!), but what was actually surprising was the playful assortment of marzipan treats. The pink things were lady's legs, with black heels and a red bow garter at the thigh. Ohh la la! We are in the French region of Switzerland! Fie on chocolate shaped as bugs!
Next door to this shop was an amazingly fragrant shop with mounds of handmade soap and lotions. I'm sure everyone has seen the soaps that are loaf shaped and brightly colored, and sold by the slice. The french speaking shop girls smiled brightly at me as I touched and sniffed the assorted colors and mixtures; some were gels; I couldn't tell if they were for wash up or moisturizing. The entire town circle (like a town square, only smaller) was perfumed by that one shop. Bernie stepped inside about two steps and beat a hasty retreat, too much fragrance for him, and as it was, the fragrance clung to our clothes for the rest of our walk.
The fragrant town square. The soap shop was in the brown faced shop area. Check the lady with the raspberry pink hair!
Another "I don't know" sculpture above the water fountain in the middle of the little town square.
Another puzzle to look up later. The colors seem awful bright, Disneyland has nothing on this town!
Charming! When does the Disney parade begin?
One of the downsides of growing up in Southern California is that you are able to go to Disneyland a lot.
And Disneyland is designed based on England and France and their classic look, only done a touch better. When I first saw Victoria Station in England I was disappointed, Disney had copied it and dressed it up with such displays of flowers and colors that the real thing seemed drab by comparison. New Orleans suffered the same comparison, and we actually chose not to take the Glacial Express all the way to Zurmatt and the Matterhorn simply because after seeing the Disney Matterhorn from the freeway for years on trips through Anaheim, the real deal was bound to just make us feel like we were back home.

I had left my camera battery recharger behind in either Milan or Heidelberg, and was leaving most of the photography to Bernie until I could figure out a way to charge up my battery. He likes taking architectural shots as much as I like taking fashion pictures, so here is some of the trip through Bernie's perspective.
We're walking UP hill...this isn't just a weird camera angle.
(Could be improved with a window box. Bet a non-poetic soul lives behind this this attic apartment window.)
We reached the top of the hill, and the Notra Dame Cathedral. Inside the Gothic building it was dark, cool, and beautiful stained glass windows were like jewels set upon black velvet.

Imagine...this was begun in 1175 and completed in 1275. That's a long time to be building something!

I always like rose windows, the round stained glass work that almost all churches with stain glass windows have.
Bernie is still getting used to his new camera, and hasn't quite mastered the macro setting. He read the Psalm reading for that day as was found in the open Bible on the alter. I know just enough French to roughly know what the passage is saying.
I think this window shows the symbols of the various cantons of Switzerland, but I am not positive about that.
Bernie and I each walked around separately, looking at the windows, statues, and sitting quietly for a time.

Outside the carvings around the church door made me want a guide book. Who are all these little figures suppose to represent, or honor?
The church has not yet been "cleaned", the old patina is still on it, and I am undecided if I prefer cleaned or sooty/aged

Around the church door were these carvings representing the Four Gospels. Now I should know why Luke is portrayed as a cow, and an angelic cow at that.
Mathew was portrayed as a man, a young man. Funny, I always pictured him as being old.
Seriously, I used to know why these symbols were used for Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. I'll look it up later and get back to you, unless one of my readers feels like doing a little research and can beat me to it.
Across from the Cathedral there was a museum. Our Swiss rail pass got us in for free, so we took a look around.
This was an "aha!"...the brightly painted statue in the village square was a replacement, a recent replacement actually, for this much older wood carving. I still don't know what it is about. I'll update if I find out.
The cathedral is considered Switzerland's finest Gothic cathedral, and is 500 meter above sea level. In one of the museum's room was a model of Lausanne, and you could push a button to have the hospital and other civic sites light up in the layout. It serves to give a bird's eye view of the Cathedral and the town in earlier years.
(Still in the museum)

Inside the museum displays covered from when the dinosaurs roamed the area and up to the beginning of the 21st century... more information than I was interested in. One room had musical instruments on display, and a station where you could push a button to hear what the instruments sounded like. Some instruments were novel to me...and I appreciated that they also had pictures of the instruments being played when possible. I had left my clip on sunglasses on the listening station table, and had to run back inside.
Bernie amused himself by photographing the pigeons enjoying the public fountain. At least it was easy to get a drink in Switzerland, and judging from the low fountains, the critters are able to get a drink as well. Just beyond the fountain was a wall, and from there you could look down on the city and over Lake Geneva.

On the walk back down the hill we considered eating at this restaurant, but we were still too full from breakfast.
Since it was lunchtime, the shops were closed. One shop had this dog on a chair right inside the shop's front door. I don't think it would have been a good idea to try to enter the shop while the shop owner was gone.
We retrieved our luggage from the hotel and hoofed it back down to the train station. We were heading to the Interlochen area of Switzerland next, somewhat in the lower central area of Switzerland. I liked the pattern on this fellow traveler skirt, she was dressed like a model, but I think she needed a slip, don't you?
In order to get to our next destination, Murren, we needed to take a train to Interlocken, then a cable tram up the mountain, and then another smaller train into town itself. There were no cars or roadways into Murren and we were looking forward to our stay in the Swiss mountains.

The ride up the cable tram was AMAZING. A fellow American travel who had been there awhile called it right: Cameras UP!
There was lightening and rain; a summer thunderstorm that did little to break the heat.
I could not believe this was where we were going to be staying! The dark black square to the left is the train station, directly across the street from our hotel, the Eiger Guest House. Thankfully the trains are electric, and totally silent. If you explore the link, you can see where we now were, and the restaurant where we ate breakfast and dinner most nights. (And even be nosy about how much it cost us to stay there!)
THIS was the view from the balcony of our room!!!!!The Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau.
It was a simple room. A desk, a wardrobe cabinet, beds, nightstands. I didn't had a balcony with an amazing view!
Bernie flacked out looking out the door to the balcony.
Where are we again? Murren! 1650 m above sea level, population 450, Walser German speaking Murren.
It was quite warm, despite the snow covered mountains surrounding us. We took a quick walk through the main area, and needed to take a drink from the public water trough.
What a view! And at last, it is cool outside.

One, two, three waterfalls...wait, four....
Postcard views galore!

Cowbells! We read that if you see the cowbells hung on the houses, it is because the cows have yet to be taken up into the mountains for the summer. The bells cost around $2000 each, so that is a chunk o' change hanging decoratively there over the window.
It's late spring and the firewood has either been replenished or they had a really mild winter. All over beside the roads in Switzerland there were fire wood neatly stacked and for the taking? Never did find out.
I am totally satified with Murren!

We just kept looking around.
One garden had rocks painted with dots to look like mushrooms. Cute!
A polka dotted cat. I had a nice cuddle with the girl, she was a lover.
It took only a few minutes to realize that I wanted to stay here FOREVER! and suggested that we cancel one of our two night reservations in Zurich. That was done, absolutely! Who needs to see a city when you can be in an invironment like this? We had dinner in the restaurant downstairs, and then sat on our balcony enjoying the view until sunset, which came very late that night. We slept with the window open, and through the night air came the only sound we could hear,the sound of the many waterfalls falling from the surrounding mountain tops.


Julie said...

AWWWW... I don't want to leave either.... beautiful,
So enjoyed my travels today...
PS. I was disappointed though, that the pictures of the four gospel writers did not allow me to see them...even when I right clicked on 'show picture'

Kate said...

Yes, I had the same picture problem too. Oh well, still so MUCH to enjoy! Love those French influenced fashions with the peekaboo Stickerei. And who wears a slip anymore - even tho' I think they are too, too sexy.

As for Disney, the Fantasyland castle was based on the Neuswannstein castle in Germany. Sherman's seen it but he hasn't taken me yet. On my list with - of course - Muerren - perhaps in the winter. Oh la la la!
Thanks for the vicarious trip.
Kate Q:-)

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Julie-I tried reposting the pictures. It is very strange, all the pictures always look fine on my computer, yet computers on other servers will be showing pictures as missing. I have to check all my posts on someone elses computer.
Are you up to do the research on the symbols? (smile)

Julie said...

Hi Jill...some of the pictures show up now but there are still a few that don't. (not a problem except that I get very curious when something is 'blocked' from view! smile)

I did do some research on the symbols... I knew they were patterned after the beasts in Ezekiel's vision.. but I dug a little deaper and found a couple of web sites that have quite a bit of information.,M1

Lovella ♥ said...

This could possibly be my favorite day thus far. How amazing. I've never seen scenery like that "even" in Canada. It looks absolutely restful and peaceful. The idea of true silence is almost non existent anymore.
About the fellow traveller with the see through skirt. Apprarently she didn't do the picture test before she venture out. I doubt she cared though, most don't.
I really have enjoyed seeing the bits of fashion sprinkled throughout the posts.
Loved the orange shirt. I just laughed to see that you had succumbed to the "orange" trend. I wondered if you moved the flowers in the best postion for the picture.

Julie said...

Jill...all photos are now viewable... thank you!
PS. thanks for recognizing my plant - and yes the puppy is doing super well- has doubled his weight in the last month!
And the baby fawns..we haven't seen them this year -we blame the developement going on. But the last two years we had the fawns born in our back yard, twins both years..and saw them often..very, very, cute..I posted a photo of one of them on my blog.

Julie said...

Jill, I couldn't wait to get out of church this morning to pass on a tid-bit of info to you!!
Our pastor's wife reported that this past week a stretch limo rolled down their street to pick up one of the grad occupants' date. The young man stepped out of the limo decked out in bright ORANGE - his tux, his shirt , his shoes!!
Think he just came back from Europe!!??

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

It is so weird how orange is everywhere. Bernie went to the store called Pier One, which has home decorations and came back with about seven pictures of orange displays. We watched Ocean 13, and the whole movie is orange, and two other movies that we rented people were in orange. Very Interesting!

Becky said...

I think I could love Muerren as much as I fell in love with Vernazza in Italy. I am being drawn more and more to the simpler way of life, with the smaller villages, and slower pace. Thanks for sharing the pictures ~ they are wonderfully expressive of the various moods of each town.
As far as the colour orange goes, my son Riley has been wearing orange t-shirts for a few years now and thinks they are his trademark. Still not too popular of a fashion colour but can be found easier than ever before. I do like it on you!

Anonymous said...

wow looks like this was your favorite day. I love the mountain too. -Jeff-