Monday, March 30, 2009

No one was more disappointed than I when it turned out that my time at home last week would be so short. The mini Swiss trip I had planned several months earlier sneaked right up on me. Stealth vacation. Not even time for a blog post.

This past week I ventured for the first time into the lands of French-speaking Switzerland near Lausanne. It was surprisingly not at all like Ticino, its own little bustling world of local products, international organizations, and Swiss orderliness. I can only marvel at the variety of cultures and languages packed into this tiny country.

One of my favorite stops was the lovely Gruyères, the peaceful medieval town for which Gruyère cheese is named, in which I set a new personal record for Lactaid pills consumed. 

The turreted castle there was straight out of a fairybook – so evocative that, had I been there alone, I'm fairly certain I would have danced through the hallways and/or cried out of nostalgia. It didn't take much effort to imagine men flinging arrows through the keyhole windows, ladies strolling in the French garden, servants tending fires in the gigantic fireplaces, myself in a pinchy corset reading in the window seat under the stained glass....

My reveries were eventually interrupted by the snickers of my travelling companions, who happened to catch me gazing wistfully at a door handle, trying to capture with my camera the idea, the feeling that someone lived here, used this place, this very doorknob, so long ago, and whose favorite question for the rest of the day became "Do you want a picture of that?" 

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