This past weekend started out great. We were invited to go over to a co-worker’s house for a BBQ on Thursday night. He and his girl friend had just returned from a 3 week vacation in the U.S., traveling through California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. We were excited to hear all about it and to find out how they liked SF and the national parks. Also, our co-worker had just passed the last part of the Swiss version of the CPA so we had reason to celebrate! Side note: Andrew and I were happy to get invited to a Swiss colleague’s home for dinner. We have been slow to befriend many Swiss people, so it was exciting to be invited over. This is the second time this has happened for us in the past few months, and it took over a year of having lived here!
This weekend we had developed a grand plan to spend the weekend backpacking from cabane to cabane in the Berner Oberland – a part of the Alps in the Swiss German region that we do not frequent often since it’s a little further away. We would have gone from Lauterbrunnen, to Griesalp and Andrew would have stayed an extra night as he had a holiday from work on Monday and hiked further on to Adelboden. We were really excited to do this. Unfortunately, mother nature had other ideas. It has been unseasonably warm and dry in Switzerland for weeks and the streak ended this Friday when a big weather system passed through with colder temperatures and LOTS of rain. The snow levels were looking very low, which implied the potential for snow on the higher mountain passes we needed to cross. Basically, things looked pretty awful up there and while we can handle some rain it did not sound enjoyable nor like we would see anything besides the ground in front of us. So, we cancelled 😦 During the weekend we checked some of the webcams at the cabanes and they were in completely in a cloud or had gotten a few inches of snow. So, we made the right choice in the end.
As a result, we spent this past weekend in Lausanne, which turned out to be relaxing and not a bad thing since we were in between two sets of visitors, and next weekend we’re headed to Munich for Oktoberfest! On Saturday we ran some errands and walked around some shops in the old town of Lausanne, stopping for lunch at an outdoor table at Coccinelle-Café. There was also a free music festival going on in Lausanne called Label Suisse, with stages set up all over the city and featuring local Swiss artists. We stopped by on Sunday to see the band LIA. It was raining but there was still a crowd catching the show.
There’s been a lot that has changed about our day-to-day life since we moved to Switzerland but one is the cost to go out to dinner and also the limited variety of restaurants. So I have been expanding my skills and trying lots of new recipes since we moved here. We have been eating such delicious French style food given where we live and our travels in France. This weekend I finally tried salmon tartare. While I may need one more go to get the recipe down, it was surprisingly easy and sooo good. Definitely a keeper for the future or a hot summer night when you don’t want to turn on the oven or stove.
Monday was a holiday in our canton of Vaud, and Andrew had off work. Since my client is in Geneva, in a different canton, the day was not available for me to take off but I traded the holiday for this upcoming Friday to be able to leave for Oktoberfest. So while I worked, Andrew went for a long hike (32 km!) through the entirety of Lavaux from Montreux to Lausanne. It was a little cloudy, which actually made for a beautiful setting with the sun peaking through the clouds onto Lake Geneva. The grapes are clearly ready for harvest soon!
From Monday to Wednesday, a friend from my business fraternity at JMU came to stay with us. Ashley was passing through while on a trip through France, Switzerland and Germany. I of course love having guests visit and it was fun to catch up with her as we hadn’t connected in a few years. On Monday night she arrived and we had dinner at the house while chatting about her travels. On Tuesday, Ashley went on her own excursion through Lavaux, first taking the La Suisse ferry along the lake coastline and then hiked up from Rivaz to have lunch at Le Deck while taking in the view. On Tuesday night, while Andrew had to stay in Neuchâtel for a work event, Ashley and I went out to dinner at Etoile Blanche. Luckily, it will likely not be the last time we see Ashley this week as we’ll all be in Munich this weekend for Oktoberfest!