Friday, October 17, 2014

Switzerland: Chocolate, Cheese, Churches, and Châteaux

Puccini chocolates, Amsterdam 
Those four words cover many of the highlights of my trip to Europe with Winkie; luscious chocolate, piquant cheese, massive churches, and spired castles seemed to be just around every corner. In Holland, every morning began with large wedges of cheese served with toothsome bread; every evening finished with wine and a small bit of exquisite chocolate.

It was not much different when we got to Switzerland. There, a fresh loaf of crusty bread was always on the table, and cheese, "double" cream, and chocolate were never far away.

I really like the European way of life. Sigh.

The differences between Holland/Belgium and Switzerland/France were as subtle as eating Gouda (pronounced khow-da in Holland) instead of Gruyère cheese in Switzerland. I have no idea why I took no pictures of cheese while I was there. Maybe it was just so pervasive that I stopped noticing it? Maybe I was just too busy stuffing my pie hole? In any case, you'll just have to take my word for it. Sorry.

But I did bring home a whole lot of cheese, so I do have a picture for you.

Gruyère d'alpage - cheese made from cheese made in the Gruyère region of alpine-fed cows' milk. 
The slicer-server is something they used routinely in Holland, and which I love. When the cheese is warm enough, the slicer just whisks off a nice, thin slice.

The other notable difference was in the architecture in the older parts of the cities. Holland's iconic tall, skinny houses gave place to broader, lower buildings with shallower-sloping roofs, and well adorned with dormer windows, shutters, and window boxes or gardens full of flowers.

I just want to move in.
Don't you love the clay and slate rooftops?

Rooftops of Nyon and Lake Geneva, on a foggy morning.
Everywhere I looked: pretty things, little surprises.

I swear, it took me forever to get anywhere.

I'm not kidding. These last four pictures were taken in a 4-block walk from our parking lot to the ferry depot. And, believe me, I took many, many more.

Nevertheless, we made it to the ferry dock in time. We boarded and crossed Lake Geneva to visit Yvoire, France. (This time, I brought my passport with me.)

Winkie and Pat
Managed to get a picture of Winkie -- she loathes being photographed.

Yvoire is a medieval town built on the steep shores of Lake Geneva. It is well worth a visit, but wear really comfortable shoes. And take your Arnica (or Ibuprofen) before you head out.

Isn't that just too charming to walk past? The entire little village is like this. Everywhere you look.

[SCREECH! Had to stop writing the post here when I realized that half of my photos from this day were missing! I'd already used a special software to recover files, and thought I'd got everything. I was wrong. Unfortunately, the process is extremely slow. Like, hours. The rest of my story from Yvoire will continue on another day.]


  1. It looks so beautiful! I love all the pretty and interesting details.
    but all that chocolate - oh my gosh - I could not live there. I wouldn't be able to stop eating.

    1. Astonishingly enough, my sister actually lost weight when they moved there -- and she LOVES chocolate. There is far, far less fast food, which must make a difference.


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