I know the main reason most of you visit this blog is for quilty/fabric/sewing inspiration, not travelouges. So bear with me today. I thought I would share a few pictures from our trip to Switzerland last week. I think Switzerland is pretty easy on the eyes, so I figured there might be a few who wouldn’t mind sitting through some trip pictures. There’s still a little stitching involved as well.
The real reason (excuse) for our trip was that my husband was invited to come consult and train employees at a company conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Since his trip was paid for, we figured it was an opportunity not to be missed, so we scraped together a plane ticket for me to tag along. (I know. I’m such a good sport to not make him go alone.) Neither of us had ever been to Geneva before. While my husband was in his meetings, I kept myself thoroughly entertained exploring the old city.
Here’s a sampling of some of the shop windows I passed. Lots of chocolatiers and specialized patisseries (pastry shops) as well as antique, book and children’s shops. Also some incredible scherenschnitte (intricate paper cutting).
As I was walking through the old, medieval part of the city, I just happened to see a little stitchery shop called Mercerie Catherine. The inside was cozy and stuffed to the gills with patterns and samples (mostly cross-stitch and embroidery) as well as beautiful lace, ribbon, threads, and woven cloth for stitching. Of course I especially loved the swiss-themed patterns and pictures. I’m a total sucker for red and white – I feel inspired to finally make a red and white quilt this Christmas.
I thought it would be fun to buy a little bit of ribbon and trim as a memento so I picked the Swiss cows and flags as well as the ‘Poulets’ (chickens). I got a meter of each and when the owner told me the price I about died at how expensive it was for three little meters of trim! Yikes! By then it was already cut and my French was not good enough to get myself out of it, so I now need to think of something extra special for my expensive little trims! I love to collect Christmas ornaments from other countries, and didn’t find any on this trip, so I think I’ll use some of my trim to make my own commemorative Swiss ornaments. That might help assuage my sticker shock.
When my husband wasn’t working we took a drive around the north side of Lake Geneva, stopping in the little towns along the way to Lausanne. It was beautiful, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed that it was such an overcast day which meant limited views of the lake itself or the alps on the other side of the lake. (I’ve since been told, this is typical, so I don’t take it as personally anymore.)
Lausanne was another charming old city. While there we passed a Bernina vendor- one of my very favorite Swiss exports. (Felt appropriate since I love my Swiss-engineered Bernina!) Just beyond Lausane were incredible vineyards built on terraced hillsides. I’ve never seen anything like it – I can only imagine how spectacular they look on sunny days with the lake as a backdrop.
On our final afternoon in Switzerland, we decided to try driving to see some Alps. We didn’t have time to visit central Switzerland on this trips, but we were close to the French alps to the south – only an hour away in Chamonix, France. My husband is a mountain lover especially and liked the idea of riding the tram to see Mont Blanc. We were so happy the skies were clear so that we finally got to see the spectacular alpine views. The tram ride was exciting (if not a little stomach lurching at moments) and the views from the top were incredible. There was a way-station carved out of and built in the rock of the mountain. It felt like being inside the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland, only it was the real thing! And no, that’s not us doing the mountain climbing in the picture on the right.
I have a few more pictures to share from Paris, but there’s enough that I’ll save the traveloguing for another post. I still can’t believe we were actually there. Now that we’re back in the normal routine it all seams like a dream. I feel so lucky (and a little spoiled) to have been able to go, but I’ve learned from missed chances in the past, to grab opportunities when they come, because you never know when they’ll come again!