Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Hills Are Alive...

I’m going to Switzerland  today. I want to get a little skiing in before the snow melts off the Alps.

That was SO MUCH FUN TO SAY! How did I do? Perhaps I should say it like this….”My Blackberry showed a few free days this week, so I rearranged the rest of my schedule and now have some time blocked off and can work in my annual spring ski trip to the Alps”

Or maybe, “I’m frightfully tired of Cotes du Rhone and Camembert, it’s time for a little fondue and beer and men in tight ski pants.”

I’ll keep practicing.

The fact is, my Swiss friend Vreni invited me to stay with her for 10 days and do a little skiing or shopping or whatever strikes our fancy. I met Vreni in my language class last semester and in spite of a minor communication problem (namely, she speaks German, I speak English, we attempt French together and she’s way, way, way ahead of me), we seem to be kindred spirits. I’m excited for some “girl time”.

And the other fact is, there’s nothing at all on my calendar and rearranging it was effortless! So it doesn’t really matter how I say it, I’M GOING TO SWITZERLAND! And just being able to say that is …sort of astonishing, don’t you think?

So this afternoon I will board the train, with my borrowed ski pants, socks and Alpine fleece, and 6 hours later, I’ll be in the land of tidiness, Swiss francs (not euros), 4 national languages, indescribable natural beauty, and smoke filled restaurants. And from my friend’s home in the west near Bales, we will drive only 2 ½ hours southeast to the little town of Arosa for our mini ski vacation. This town sits near the Austrian and Italian border so the people there could be speaking German, French, Italian, or Romansh. Perhaps I’ll get by if I just re-learn my Sound of Music routine!

One of the most amazing things about living here in the south of France is my proximity to so many different cultures, countries and languages. At home it takes me 1-½ hours to get to the airport, 2 hours to drive to the weekend cabin…22 hours to visit my cousins in Virginia. Here it takes me 4 hours to drive to Geneva, 3 hours to Barcelona, and 3 hours to get Italy. I can go to Morocco for the weekend for 47 Euros roundtrip (I haven’t yet, but I will!) Last spring, when my sister and I were in Chamonix, we could ski from the mountaintop to our choice of 3 different countries.

I wonder when I will stop finding this so…exotic?

I have been in Switzerland twice…once on a wonderful vacation with my sister and once for a massage workshop. Twice in one year! And I’ve been to Spain twice in that same year. Maybe this will get old after a few years, but I hope not. I hope that I will always find this exciting and new and completely beyond everything I had ever imagined.

This will probably be my last trip until the summer visitors begin to arrive. When they are here, I will most likely concentrate again on my corner of France, where I still have so much to see. But in my back pocket I keep plans for trips to Scandinavia, Germany, Turkey and Croatia and I want to revisit England, Scotland, Ireland, and Greece. And all of this is do-able! Okay, it takes money, but aside from that small detail, it’s definitely obtainable.

One day I’m going to see the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls and The World’s Largest Collection of the The World’s Smallest Version of the World’s Largest Things. But for now, I’ll concentrate on this side of the Atlantic.

Man, I’ve got to find me a job!



  1. Oh how fabulous. I adore Suisse and have been there many many times. I was lucky that my parents had good friends who lived in Lugano and frequent trips were made there.

    enjoy yourself Delana and don't come back with anything broken (unless it is your bank balance)

  2. Much more exotic than the world's largest rubber band ball... although I did see that they made the world's largest Swiss Army Knife with 85 tools. It's only $1,200!! Maybe you can see that! HAVE FUN, and we expect a story in two weeks about the trip!

  3. Thanks FF. I found temporary insurance so I'm hitting the mountain if the clouds clear tomorrow.
    Eileen I swear to god I saw that knife...or something pretty close to it...for sale at the gas station onthe way here! And you'll hear from me before two weeks, I'm sure.

  4. this reminds me that I've been chiding myself for being too much of a homebody since arriving in France... I mean, crap, the whole of europe is at my tippytoes and I've been kind of rooted in the Dordogne...yeah, that whole dinero thing has been an influence but I'm planning a very different off-season this year. hope switzerland is a delight ... we'll have to try and meet up sometime...


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