Holunderblueten sirup

DSC_0793My mother-in-law made us this sirup (cordial) from the flowers we collected in the forest a couple of weekends ago.

DSC_0794The name translates to Elderberry flower cordial.  It has a delicate flavour that I can’t really liken to anything else I have ever tasted.  It is very subtle and delicious.

DSC_0751The Elderberry flowers.  So pretty.

Strange things we do on our travels

DSC_0072-001I think I have mentioned before that something I always do when we are travelling is take a photo of the sign as we arrive in a town/village/city to make photo sorting a lot easier.  That is purely practical.

The shoe shots are for no real reason.  I can’t remember why but we started taking them even before Claudia was born.  It is a weird ritual we do and we have them from all over the world.  I really love the one we took in Hong Kong at Disneyland.  Disneyland does great pavements….  The one above was taken in Cinque Terre.  Happy days.

What has changed in 6 months?

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  1. I have to start exercising.  I was doing a lot of walking when we first got here but Miss Independent has been flying to school on a scooter for the last few months and it has caught up with me…….  I blame the cold weather.  And the comfort food.
  2. A lady I met on the street back in the days when I walked Claudia to school invited me out for coffee.  Ooh my first friend.
  3. All the winter clothes have finally been packed away after three false starts.  I would pack them away and then it would get cold again.  And again.  And again.
  4. I am able to recommend a few good restaurants in our town, the best days to shop, places to go, which buses to catch, shortcuts to take, and can converse with people in my limited and dodgy Swinglish.  (Although yesterday I think I was getting told off at the supermarket about something but I had no idea what it was and the lady at the checkout eventually gave up).
  5. I have a bicycle.  Yay transport!!  And I am going for a ride everyday (see point 1).
  6. I got pulled over by the police today for (unknowingly) riding in the wrong spot 🙂  Apparently I am on a roll this week for not following the correct procedures…..
  7. We are planning a trip off the continent….
  8. Time feels like it has sped up suddenly.
  9. Fresh picked Swiss strawberries.  Does anything taste better?
  10. No horrible cockroaches here.  But lots of bees.  Probably because there are so many flowers in bloom.  I have had to chase a few out of the apartment.

Summer days

IMGP0451This is what most of the residents of Wil have been doing in the afternoons.  A lot of school kids have Wednesday afternoon free and they all go home for lunch and then head straight to the local pool.  Many of the kids in Claudia’s class go to the pool every afternoon.  There are diving boards and a water slide but no lifeguards.

The sign tells you the temperature of the water.  The air temp has been hotter than that.

I am used to having sunshine most of the year round at home so it is interesting to see how much people in colder climates embrace the few summer months.  They are like gold and people don’t waste a minute of it.  Everyone is outside till quite late.  The sun has not really fully set until well after 9pm and it is light very early so the days are long.  In our apartment building there are barbecues cooking at lunchtime and in the evening.  It feels special and probably more so because we had such a ridiculously long winter here this year.

Waldschenke

DSC_0742One of the really nice things about life in Switzerland is going to a restaurant in a forest.  You can’t drive there you have to park outside and walk, or ride a bike, or a scooter….

DSC_0740Some people arrived on horses and one group came on a carriage.  It was pretty nice to watch.

DSC_0739Most people sat outside and enjoyed the view from tables beneath a canopy of trees.

DSC_0731We enjoyed some time with Urs’ parents.

DSC_0766There are a lot of walking paths you can take.  Some lead out to farms where there are many apple trees growing.

DSC_0751Others led back into the forest.  We went this way because we were looking for this…..

DSC_0760These flowers are picked and boiled with water and sugar to make syrup.  Syrup is quite different to its sugary Australian equivalent cordial.  The flavours seem to be more natural.

Rheinfall

DSC_0674About 40 minutes from our house is the spectacular Rheinfall.  The River Rhine pounds through here.  In the photo above you can see a small island in the middle of the falls.  There is a dock at the base of the island and when the water volume is a little less you can take a boat to there and climb the steps to the top.  It must be incredible from up there.

DSC_0724There are many boats that can take you on a tour to get a little closer to the falls.

DSC_0664We weren’t expecting to get quite so close but the spray from the water was welcome on such a warm day.

DSC_0634There is a restaurant on the edge of the river looking directly at the falls.  I’m pretty sure it would be a great spot for lunch 🙂

DSC_0586The love lock tradition has begun here on the crossing over the river with a few locks here and there.

DSC_0638The water is crystal clear (are there any rivers/lakes in Switzerland that aren’t???) so you can see everything below.  There is an abundance of fish in the river.  It was fascinating to see some of them trying to swim against the pounding water.

DSC_0715What a gorgeous day.

Shopping in the mall

DSC_0571It is very hard to sit at the computer when the sun is shining…….  hence the lack of blog posts and the fact that we are a little behind on our photo-a-day project :)))

DSC_0558This is the shopping mall in our town.  It is bordered at one end by the old town (you can see a clock tower at the rear of the picture) and at the other by the train/bus station.

DSC_0562We often walk to town and you really can get most things you need here.  There are two or three supermarkets, lots of clothes shops, banks, dentists, optometrists, restaurants etc, and of course a chocolate shop!  Now that summer is here tables have been moved outside, stalls have popped up everywhere, and there are a lot of people strolling around.  I see there is a festival coming next month… might be nice for our visitors ‘popping in’ from Australia 🙂

Back to the tower

DSC_0443The last time we walked up to here was at the very end of winter.  There was still a small amount of snow on the ground.  Now it is summer I was keen to see how different our town looks.  It is so green and lush everywhere.

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DSC_0463The farmers have had trouble drying the grass to make hay bales this year because we have had so much rain.

DSC_0475The tower cost 560,00 CHF to build.  That is more than half a million Australian dollars.  300,00 CHF was sponsored by people and businesses in Wil.  Each of the sponsors have a plaque attached to the tower.

DSC_0490It is almost 40 metres high and beautifully made.

 

Summer at last

DSC_0442For the first time in six months I have stepped outside in a short sleeved shirt.  Hello summer!!  The weekend was gorgeous.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and way too nice to be inside.  (Today of course is another story…..)

DSC_0440We did what the Swiss do on the weekend.  We went walking.  There are so many nice walks around here.  And so many beautiful cows.  There really is something special about Swiss cows.

DSC_0444Claudia had a school excursion on Friday.  Actually I think half of the Swiss school kids had a school excursion because the weather was so nice.  Her teacher met us at the train station with a bag full of kindling.  They went to a forest and cooked sausages on an open fire.  They waded in the river.  They looked at the plants they had been learning about in class.  The class came home looking a little tired but happy.

DSC_0504The flowers in our local area are really incredible at the moment.

DSC_0511So much colour everywhere…..

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This black ‘top’ was a dress a couple of months ago…

Day 9 photo

Todays prompt was “from down below”…

DSC_0476Jen:  The Wiler Turm (the tower has an incredible view of our town from the top).

IMGP0391Claudia:  I stepped outside and looked up and saw the high road.