The glass blower

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On our way south for a holiday we stopped at Lake Luzern at Hergiswil.

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This incredible tree was in the park where we stopped.  I asked Urs to stand in front of it to give a sense of scale.  It was huge.

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There was an entrance and inside the branches of the tree spread out around the trunk like a cave.

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Magical….DSC_0517-001

We also stopped at Glasi.  This is a museum and glass factory where you can see all the pieces they sell being hand-made.  These guys have people watching them work all day – visitors can stand on a balcony to see how it is all done.

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Claudia had a go at making a glass bauble.  Blow slowly and gently he said in Swiss.

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It was fascinating to watch.  Oh and the bauble looks beautiful.

Summer to Autumn

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The leaves are falling.  Colourful leaves that seem to get even more beautiful every day.  Green becomes orange and red and pink.

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It is quite cold now.  This morning when I ventured out for a walk I was thinking about winter boots and a warmer coat.

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Oh and the fog.  It is definitely fog season.  The other day it felt very much like snow wasn’t far away…. We can only hope.  A snowy landscape is a such a pretty one.

Rain rain go away

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It is rainy and foggy here.  I have spent all week outside washing huge walls of windows and metal blinds because soon it will be too cold to be out there.  Today I am craving sunshine and blue skies that go on forever.  Kookaburras laughing.  Koalas sleeping and occasionally waking up to grab a few gum leaves.  A swim in our pool.  Washing hanging outside on the clothesline and smelling like the sun.  Birds that wake you up at sunrise.  The weather is making me a little homesick again.  But on Saturday we are off on a week-long holiday to Lauterbrunnen (where I hear there may be snow).  And I am really looking forward to some time in the alps!!  In the meantime I look out the window at this gorgeous maple whose leaves have turned the most beautiful colours…. and pretend I can’t see the endless rain.

What is the most popular chip flavour in Switzerland?

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Paprika.  Yes, paprika.  And these are the best ones.  Zweifel.  They have become my favourite too just in time for me to go back to Australia where we don’t have this flavour….

(This was written especially for my friend Kym who was lonely without one of my fabulous and very interesting posts to read…… 🙂  mwah xxxxx)

Double digits means…..

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……. double cake!!  Happy 10th birthday Claudie xxxxxx

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She picked a himbeertorte (raspberry cake) and schwarzwaldtorte (black forest cake) – although I suspect the second one was for our benefit because she doesn’t like dark chocolate.  Claudie is sweet like that.

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How did ten years go by so quickly??

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She is beautiful inside and out.  Kind, smart, funny, adventurous, a little shy at times, a lot courageous at times.  We love this girl xxxxxxxxx

 

 

Foggy, colourful days

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Autumn is a dreamy season of foggy, dark mornings……

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Incredible colours…..

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And the start of trees shedding their leaves ready for winter.

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There are dewy webs everywhere and a stillness in the air.  The busyness of summer has passed and again it is quiet in our neighbourhood.  I feel so lucky to have been here for four seasons and to see how not only the landscape changes but also the activity of the people who live here.   The temperature now is a lot like winter at home in Brisbane.

 

 

Elvis is made of pumpkin

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Yesterday Anita, Claudie and I went to Seegraben to a pumpkin festival.  And there he was in all his glory….. the King.

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Seegraben is just down the road from Zurich and is a beautiful spot on Lake Pfaeffikon.

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The pumpkin festival is an annual event that runs for a few months.  A German artist created these pumpkin sculptures which were huge and quite impressive.

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There was an incredible array of colours and shapes…

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These ones were absolutely bizzare.

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Some were huge….

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Claudia is tall so it gives you some idea just how big these are.  These ones were used in the recent pumpkin regatta – people actually get in these and paddle up the lake in a crazy pumpkin race!

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The apples on the trees lining the labyrinths are used to make Shorley (which is a really nice sparkling apple drink).

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They also have a wish tree in the middle of one of the mazes.  People can tie a piece of cloth to the tree and make a wish.

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The kids were kept well entertained with hay bale climbing/jumping/burrowing…. pumpkin carving, swinging in large hammocks, tree climbing, pumpkin throwing……  Kids are the same everywhere.

 

The birthday lunch

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The Whites stayed in a B&B in the nearby village of Lutisburg.  They had a fantastic view from their attic apartment.  Beneath the viaduct is a river and in summer it was a hive of activity as it is the closest thing to a beach around here.  We left from here for Sue’s birthday lunch on a gorgeous sun-filled day.

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Sue’s request for her birthday was to go somewhere with a nice view.  We searched high and low for the perfect spot and took them to a restaurant that looked out to the mountains in one direction and across to Lake Constance in the other.

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Ahhhh the best laid plans…. we arrived at the top of the hill where the restaurant is located and were immediately surrounded by a blanket of fog.  Oh well, we had a really delicious lunch 🙂 and enjoyed the day despite the weather’s failure to co-operate!

With the Whites at Wallensee

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The Whites arrived in Switzerland to fairly dismal weather but thankfully the sun came out for a few of the days they spent with us.  We headed down to Wallensee (south of where we live) for a picnic on the weekend and a little countryside touring.

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‘See’ is the German word for lake.  It has to be said that all the lakes in Switzerland are really beautiful.  The picnic area here is accessed by a one lane road.  There is a somewhat complicated sign at the entrance (if you don’t read German) that tells you to wait until a certain time to drive so that you don’t crash into someone coming the other way.  There are also the hikers to avoid….

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We saw a bit of activity that day – divers, waterskiers, sailboats, canoeists.  The water was chilly even with the sun out.

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But what a lovely spot to enjoy some time with your family.

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Afterwards we drove up the hill to Amden to take in the view of the lake from higher ground.

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And at this point Sue started to worry about their ability to negotiate the steep winding roads of the Swiss mountain areas…. It takes a bit of getting used to 🙂 (especially in winter).