Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Remembering Switzerland

I love Switzerland... and I admit, this is the emphatic and impassioned declaration of one who was in Switzerland for barely 26 hours. Twenty-six stunning, inspired, lovely hours. In 2009 we packed five bags, and began a European adventure with our four children that took us from London to Barcelona, and points between. It was an amazing trip, one that I, in my mind, revisit often. Maybe it was the trip of a lifetime, but we hope it was simply a first visit, an introduction. We want to return.

We picked up a rental car when we left Paris, and made our way to Brussels, then on to Amsterdam, and our dear Rabbit Hill. We visited the ancestral home. We were in Germany. Triberg. Zip! We were moving fast!

I know. I know... I am retracing steps, here. Covering old ground. I can't help it. It may be one of the best souvenirs of our trip of a lifetime that I still love looking through photos, recalling our reactions and impressions, enjoying the memories of our experiences. The pleasures and enjoyment are still fresh. As I re-read some of these old posts from our time in Switzerland, I recall how strong my emotions were. I felt so keenly taken in by the beauty and charm. I felt apologetic, too, because of my idealism, and naiveté. We could afford this splurge by keeping our stay very short, a little luck, and lots of thrift! Geoff and I still talk in shock about the dinner we just managed to bring to the children... the most expensive, yet small, pizza ever. Geoff and I inhaled the sights and fresh air for our dinner!

I love it when setbacks, minor bumps, or even significant missteps become the highlights, the amusing points of an expedition. Getting lost, unexpected discoveries, making do, feeling surprised... that's the good stuff for the lasting memories, for the stories you tell again and again. Whoever enjoyed a story where everything went smoothly from start to finish, and nothing daring happened? Other than being a bit out of our budget, this particular leg of our trip happened to be extremely idyllic and smooth... a welcome delight when doing laundry in bathroom sinks, getting by on five carry-on suitcases for six people, and navigating the Autobahn in and out of Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, in the middle of the night! Yeah! It was awesome.

So. Switzerland.

Why Switzerland? Why now?


At the time, Alex called it my Trinity of Joy: Chickens, goats, and rabbits, together! I was completely smitten, it's true. I knew chickens. I knew rabbits. And I agreed the goats were adorbs, but the moment was another among many, enjoyed, then filed away in my heart. The idea of goats did not come up again until the summer of 2011, when my cousin planted a Nigerian Dwarf Goat seed in my head. And now... now that we are constructing our chicken run, I am struck and amused by the comical-blessed-Trinity of Joy we are creating! I feel luckier than a Swiss chicken!

Come with me, to Brienz, Switzerland. To Ballenberg! It is a place that makes me quake with giddy happiness.


judy in ky said...

Pigs! Next you need some pigs!
Seriously, those photos are beautiful. No wonder you love Switzerland. I loved the carousel that looks like it's just set down in the mountains, and the horses with macrame on their heads.

ArtyZen said...

I've so enjoyed this whirlwind visit with you - can't stop too long in Switzerland as it's notoriously expensive - but so unbelievably pretty. I can see why you fell so in love with it. Your family looks very much at home in those ....well, slightly bizarre surroundings!! If you know what I mean (I know you know what I mean!)
Love the photos.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

They get really, really big!!!
It was charm and warmth,
in every direction. I still feel
so lucky about that trip.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I felt like a child there... almost kicking the dirt cause I couldn't have all I wanted!
But you're right... if you can get there, it's gotta be a whirlwind!
Totally bizarre! Totally us. YOU DO know us!

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos of Switzerland. Thank you!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you! I was amazed... what a beautiful country, and so full of new experiences for us. We really enjoyed our visit. Have you been?