“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”…Ansel Adams
I could not help myself, with the light and those mountain peaks, just a few had to become black and whites.
It is true, I would not mind living in Kandersteg for a year just to chronicle what the light can do to those peaks. Won’t happen so I am left with my two week sampling…
Down at the corner from where we stayed was this wonderful chalet owned by an elderly couple who would greet us as we walked past. Besides the window boxes do not miss the sled on the side of the house and the biggest basket I had ever seen…
We arrived at our meeting place with our guides to take us up to high elevation to see where the cows are taken for the summer and to watch the cheese making process. Unfortunately, the bus had been cancelled because the road was too treacherous. Under these conditions how do you make lemonade? We hopped back on the train and rode it to Bern. The buildings in Bern have arches along their first level (called rohr which is slang for pipe). Strolling through the covered arches is rohern or to go piping. So, we went piping in Bern and had a great time!
Kandersteg is a village of 1,236 people and about 30 restaurants. There is an International Scout Center in town and the town is geared toward tourists. Situated in the Kander River Valley, three cable cars rise up into the mountains from the floor.
Sometimes the weather is like this…
We flew into Zurich and caught the train (the clever Swiss have their train station located one floor below the airport and since our luggage had been sent through to Kandersteg it was a simple procedure) to Bern.
Once in Bern we transferred to another train. Here was our only almost mistake. It starts as one train but then divides on the route. We were in the wrong section to get to our destination. The conductor helped us get to the correct car and we never made the mistake again.
I first met TM when he was staying at his parent’s house in Southern California after returning from two years in the Peace Corps in India and while he was waiting to go to law school at Berkeley. I thought he was intriguing because he read the LeMonde newspaper in French and it turned out that during his junior year in college he had gone to the University of Fribourg in Switzerland where he spoke the language for the year and learned it pretty well. In that first year, he taught me about raclette, gherkins and Fendant wine. (I wasn’t completely backward, I did already know about fondue and Kirsch!) Forty three years later our friends from Pennsylvania, Jan and Dick Crooker invited us to visit them in Italy while they exchanged houses which would put them in Stresa on Lake Maggiore. It would be around the time of our 4oth wedding anniversary, so I thought it would be a perfect time to extend the trip into Switzerland. We will be off to Zurich and then take a train to Kandersteg, Switzerland for two weeks of day trips (we have a rail pass for that whole time) and then to Lugano, Switzerland for three nights. Then we will travel south to Stresa, Italy for four nights with one night in Milan before flying home. That is the itinerary. I need to explain the green tags, however.
The Swiss rail system is so gifted that they give you a tag to put on your suitcase at your home airport. This tag sends your luggage straight through to the train station closest to your apartment. No picking up your bag at the baggage in the airport before your two-hour train ride. You just have to pack every thing you need for the first day in your carry-on. Such efficiency…like clockwork…and I bet the train is going to be on time, too. Our apartment has wifi so hopefully blogging will be efficient and like clockwork, too. See you on the other side!