Australia has a lot of ‘bigs’ – the big banana at Coffs Harbour, the big pineapple at Nambour. Berguen has a big sled. And while looking at this photo I realised that the ski lift in the background is the one that takes you up to the fast sled run. The one we really wanted to go on but missed. Lesson learned.
It is made with high proportions of butter and milk which gives it quite a unique texture and taste. Apparently this was done (historically) because the bread was made on a Friday to be eaten on a Sunday and the high fat content allowed it to stay fresh. There are other versions of this type of bread found in Austria and Germany (eg. Jewish Challah bread).
One must be careful of tourists running late for their bus, or of cars sliding out of control. Okay, that may be a fairly loose interpreation of the actual sign. But still possible 😉
We drove to Chur (about an hour south-east of us) on the weekend and then caught the Bernina Express to Preda to go sledding. This is the first carriage we were in on the train and we were having a jolly lovely time in there until we got kicked out. Apparently we were in the Panorama carriage. Note the lovely windows that go up to the ceiling and the pleasant surroundings. Not actually the carriage we were supposed to be in…..
This is the Landwasser Viaduct which is 65 metres high and 136 metres long. Very impressive. Its upcoming arrival is announced on the train in both German and English giving people plenty of time to get a photo. This railway has been Heritage Listed and the trip to Preda was a really lovely part of our day.
These are the type of sleds we rented. They are called carving sleds and they are responsible for the increased interest in sledding in Switzerland in the last few years. These sleds can be steered while you are lying down just by shifting your body weight from side to side and generally go much faster than the more traditional type of sled. I don’t have any photos of us zooming down the run but can tell you that we clocked 29km/hr (there is a board that tells you when you go past it).
In all honesty it wasn’t the best sled run we have been on. There were a few slow patches where there wasn’t enough drop to slide and we had to walk. But there were some fast parts and it was a bit of a novelty sledding on a run that is normally a road and is closed off to be used for sledding in winter. I think if you have never sledded before it would be good because the run felt much safer than some of the ones we have been on which had a much steeper drop.
Here we are walking back to the train that takes you back up to Preda from Berguen so that you can sled down the 6km road again.The area is very pretty and I will post some photos of Berguen tomorrow.
If you think sledding is for kids. Think again. It is called sledging here. And you don’t pull a sled up a small hill and slide down (well you can if you want to). You go up in a gondola to the top of the mountain and fly down purpose-built sledging runs. It is fast. It can be dangerous. It is the best fun. We are going here…
Have a good weekend.
You can absolutely be sure that as soon as I write here that we had a warm day with blue sky and all the snow has melted that it will snow that very night. And the next day will make it look like I was telling stories.
But there are tiny signs of Spring to be seen. The local garden centre has made a few changes.
There are now vibrant green displays out the front. And tulips are everywhere to be seen. I love Swiss florist shops and garden centres. They use a lot of forest-inspired decorations – delicate moss with whimsical glittery beads – done in a very understated way.
These are a few items I bought today at the supermarket. The Australian dollar and the Swiss franc are almost 1:1 at the moment.
A loaf of good quality bread (380g) – $2.60. Worth every cent. I love the bread here.
Milk (1 litre) – $1.65.
Carton of 6 free-eggs – $3.60.
Potatoes (Amandine) (680g) – $2.90.
Good quality ham (100g) – $3.45.
Cheese (Winzerkaese) (250g) – $4.35.
Ten years ago it was much cheaper to live in Australia but the cost of living has increased phenomenally there. I am not spending much more on groceries than I did in Australia but we are eating less meat because that is a lot more expensive here. A couple of other things that are more expensive here are petrol (currently about $1.70/litre) and health insurance (which is compulsory and I can’t even say the amount without crying). I will never complain about how much I paid for health insurance in Australia ever again. Cars are cheaper here. So is wine. Thankfully.
This is how we shipped some of our things to Switzerland. It was the genius design of my clever husband. The cardboard box has a wooden frame built inside it and is screwed onto a pallet. We were able to fit 14 boxes inside – some small and some large – but getting them in there was a challenge. The outer box was heavy so it got put on the back of the truck first. Then we had to climb up the ladder (and when I say ‘we’ you know it wasn’t actually me :)) and drop the smaller boxes in through the top. Everything was packed in bubblewrap. And the entire outer box was wrapped in industrial plastic. Not a single thing was damaged on the long trip here by sea. It took almost three months door to door and was shipped from Brisbane to Singapore to Slovenia (via the Suez Canal), and then brought here by truck.
What would I bring again? Almost everything we packed which was some of Claudia’s toys and books, some boardgames, a box of tools, some kitchenware, some clothes and shoes, a bag of craft stuff, and a few decorative items. It was great to open the boxes and see some of our own things when everything else was foreign.
I actually brought my sewing machine (and have used it) and a large crockpot. Crockpots are fantastic for the cold winter here but surprisingly they are not common at all. All of the electrical items we brought are working with just a simple European adaptor – I had read that people sometimes have problems but so far so good for us.
What do I wish we had brought? Some tupperware containers. Some of the spice mixes that I can’t find here. 12 large tins of Milo. A few friends and family.
Oh, and just for the record, we will definitely be going to Slovenia.
We furnished our entire apartment very cheaply and have a LOT of IKEA stuff. So we went to a secondhand shop on the weekend to find a few things to add a bit of soul to the mix. I found this fantastic typeset tray (which now has a small Lego Harry Potter sitting in it). There were some amazing pieces in the shop that I just had to walk away from…
The man had to work on Sunday so we had a lazy day watching a movie. There are no dvd shops in our town. You just rent directly from the tv. Too easy.