Having house-guests in Switzerland is like receiving your first pair of glasses when you have been near sighted. Suddenly when you see your own world through someone else’s eyes, you realize how glorious the view.
“In Switzerland, every mile is beautiful!” my sister said and I appreciate my home anew.
As the lens focuses, the scene sharpens becoming more dramatic and spectacular. Each time a new visitor arrived, they marveled the sight from my backyard of golden fields, shimmering blue lake and white-tipped peek of Mont-Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.
We live on what’s called the Gold Coast, the strip of land between Geneva and Montreux, where the land gently slopes downward from the Jura mountains on one side of the lake and upward toward the Alps on the other. On the north side of the lake, tiny red roofed villages that line the foothills of the Jura.
When my sister and brother-in-law were here, it rained so hard for 3 days they couldn’t make out the outline of any mountains. But at dusk when the sun broke through the clouds, the Alps bathed in a pink hue magically appeared with Lake Geneva glistening in the foreground.
If it makes you feel better, there are some inconveniences. Air traffic hums overhead, drills hammer, tractors clamor and cars rumble past on the autoroutes (super highways), which traces the shores of the lake. Switzerland is also one of the most expensive places in the world to live with Zurich and Geneva topping the cost list. Every spare inch of land, if not reserved for farming, is being built up. Housing shortages inflate real estate prices. At the end of our block the abandoned motel, an eyesore for the past decade, is finally being torn down, but even here asbestos poisoned the walls.
The idyllic view of a pristine, tidy Heidi-land is deceptive. Enveloped by mountains ranges, pollutants and fine particles from traffic remained locked in a fog overhead during winter, leading to increase in asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Yet who am I to complain?
When the clouds dissipate, we are surrounded by a panoramic view of craggy, ashen Alps rising up from behind a purple-blue lake dotted with sailboats, and surrounded by golden fields of rapeseed and honey colored wheat. White-blossomed apple, pear, and cherry trees bear succulent fruits, and rows of gnarled old vines produce sublime wine. Burnt sienna roofed, wooden shuttered village shops line streets clean enough to eat off of that wind through the countryside.
Surely Switzerland if not the most beautiful country, rates in the top ten.
What do you think?
All I can say is, thank God you put in the stuff about noise and smog, or I’d be in a jealous funk all day. What a beautiful place to live!
Yes it is beautiful. I had to include the bit about fog, smog and pollution otherwise I figured readers would think I was blogging from the heavens.
Gorgeous ! Makes a wonderful book cover! for your upcoming book? 🙂
Absolutely Clara! Thanks for stopping by.
You have got to have one of the best views in the Geneva area. It may not quite be Heidi-land but that does actually exist – up in Appenzell. They actually filmed the movie there. I’ve been lucky enough to visit there once in the summer. I kept waiting for Heidi and the old man to pop out of one of the wooden huts. We took my parents there for New Year’s one year and we partied hardy with the locals. It was the most memorable New Year of my life.
But indeed the cost of living can be exorbitant!
Great photos Pat! They really bring your vivid tales alive, although I have so many wonderful memories of cycling along those vine paths below your house in an effort to keep fit. The views from my village house in the UK will never match the ones I had in Gingins – Switzerland sure is at the top of my list of beautiful countries. This, despite the fact that I had a freak allergy-induced asthma attack one night when living in La Ferme! (medic said it was the rapeseed and pollutants). I also remember the incessant ‘hum’ of the autoroute!!! Hugs, Rach xx
Of course when you lived here you were so busy running the department, you barely had time to notice the view. Where will your next adventure take you and the girls?
Well, at least you have some amazingly beautiful scenery to look out at as you are confined to home. Thanks for sharing. We lived thru a Desecho. Only lost power for 20 hours. Eager for news from you, as appropriate.
Love … T O P
Absolutely…hope that things are working again out East and that you are doing as well as possible. Love back at ya…TOP
Pat, I just talked to Sue today and I am looking forward to seeing her pictures and hearing her stories from Switzerland. I too, remember it as a very beautiful place. Enjoy your time at Summit Lake which is also a very beautiful place and a place that is very dear to my heart also. Enjoy the lake & your family!
I am spoiled by the 2 best views in the world, Switzerland and Summit Lake.
Sis, thank you again for helping Cliff and I to have such a wonderful visit in June. It was such a relaxing time and the sights were truly breathtaking. Little did I know you would be quoting me and sharing some of my photos:) I am already looking forward to our next visit
and taking in more of the beauty that surrounds you.
Just last night with family and friends we were all talking about our favorite places to visit and you guessed it Switzerland definitely was a top pick for Kelly & I. We loved our time with you & your family! What amazing views! Hope to see u this summer! Enjoy your time up north, yet another beautiful place! Miss you!
Mary, When are you coming back over? Has Ed ever been to Switzerland? Our little “chalet” is waiting for visitors.
Absolutely breathtaking, Pat! When I saw the title of your post, I got excited about another tour through Switzerland and you didn’t disappoint. Even the smog and noise don’t deter from the beauty of those majestic mountains. Thanks for sharing!
I keep hoping you will be traveling to see your heritage in Italy and stop by Switzerland on your way.
I loved this post, thank you! I live in the “land of sand,” the vast stretches of sand and space in the Antelope Valley. Here, our life is dominated by aviation, and our beauty is clean air, blue sky and freedom. But the surroundings are bleak, and isolated. I love your descriptions, and the opportunity to imagine.
Thanks Joanne…stayed tuned because I will be taking readers on trip through the Alps all July.