Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wintertime, and the livin' is easy

It is true: in Switzerland one really can go from doorstep to the top of a mountain via public transportation with incredible ease.  We tested this hypothesis a couple of weekends ago with a trip to Les PlĂ©iades, a small ski resort nearby. This place is not atop a huge mountain by any means. At 1500 m it is just a big hill. But it is a gorgeous and popular place for weekenders to ascend by train, and ride down on mountain bikes following a picnic.

Flowers growing out of the stone terrace wall of a vineyard

The short 20-minute train ride was just long enough to remind us of the beauty of this region. From our speeding coach we admired the vast stretch of vineyard terraces carved into the hillsides as far as the eyes could see. What is it about vineyards that evoke images of a straw-hat-wearing, older version of myself tending vines and pondering the importance of terroir? Such a life will probably never be mine and yet this thought bubble never fails to pop up.

From Vevey we hopped on a cogwheel to ascend to the top. Somewhere in the process we broke through the cloud layer blanketing the whole region, and found ourselves in bright sunshine, summer weather and perfectly still, quiet air. The sweaters quickly came off as we wandered around the meadow in amazement and realizing we were getting sun burnt noses and cheeks. But, apparently Swiss preparedness is rubbing off on me, as I have been carrying a tube of 50 spf sun block in my purse since our trip to Zermatt. This really saved the day believe me, the sun was incredibly potent.

Not much else to say, except that we played at an awesome playground, had hot chocolate and ice cream on the deck of a chalet with a million dollar view (well, adjusting for Swiss rates probably a 9-10 million dollar view) and looked at happy cows. The whole day was so awesome, I found myself singing a new take on Porgy and Bess to the kids. And when I got to this part:

Your daddy's rich 
And your mamma's good lookin' 

I had to agree. It was THAT fine a day.

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