Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I ate my packed lunch on a blanket in the park and listened to French tapes in the sunshine for three days in a row. I stripped down a few layers to my camisole and even went so crazy as to roll up the legs of my jeans, worried that the Swiss would think I was being a brash American. By one p.m., I was the most overdressed person in the park. The chick on a blanket next to me was in a bikini. Even I would not do a bikini in 70 degree weather. Can you even get a tan in 70 degree weather? Of course, today, we’re back to normal. It’s 48 and cloudy. But for those 5 days, the weather gods were smiling down on us.
“We are going for a drive all around the Brienzerzee and the Thunerzee. Get dressed.”
“What the hell is a Brienzerzee?”
“It’s a lake. A lake is a “zee” in German. Hurry up. You’re making us late.”
“Late for what?”
Well, late for nothing, really, because I had just made all of this up on the spot but I bluffed my way through and got him up and out the door. I will put a few of the pictures on here, but I will put a whole bunch more on the Facebook blog page so you can see the whole album. Just click this!
Of course, we are not allowed to drive on any freeways to get there, we are only allowed to go on tiny backroads. My rule, not Mr. Big’s. Obviously. This is how it works in a long-time-marriage, people. You have unwritten laws. If you do not follow these arbitrary laws, you will have a pouty wife. Duh. One of these laws in our marriage is that ALL THE REALLY GOOD STUFF is found on backroads. Now, before you think I am being unreasonable, the rest of the law says that, after dark, on the way home, when there is nothing left to see, Mr. Big can zoom about on the freeway to his little heart’s content. Am I not the Queen of Compromise?
At the tip of the lake, (the pinnacle of the 8), is the town of Brienze. Two kilometers before you get to Brienze is the turn-off for the “Williamsburg of Switzerland”, i.e. a living history outdoor village “museum” called Ballenburg. Alas, it was closed up as tight as a drum. Even though it was 80 degrees outside, Ballenburg did not get the memo and had yet to open for the season. We will return, though, as I am anxious to go. Supposedly, they have collected 80 authentic houses from 18 different cantons and it explains Swiss history visually through architecture and homemade, regional crafts and food. That’s my kind of museum!
Between Ballenburg and Brienze I see a sign for “Brockistube”. STOP, MR. BIG! I don’t know a lot, but I do know the words for flea markets, second-hand shops and antique stores in approximately 36 different languages. Twenty minutes and one lamp and one planter richer, we continue on to Brienze.
Y’all. My ballerina shoes were not up to the descent. My foot slipped right out from under me on the way down and I skinned my knee like a 3-year-old AND RIPPED MY NEW WHITE JEANS. Note to self: when going ANYWHERE in Switzerland and you are unfamiliar with the territory, don’t wear flats or heels. Wear something “grippy”. It’s the ALPS, Trailing Spouse! Act like you know!
“How the hell do I know, Trailing Spouse?”
Unfortunately, it was a castle, it was not for sale, nor was it open for the season as of yet. This made THING THREE that we would have to come back to tour. Schloss Honegg. So breathtaking. Sadly, owned by the canton of Bernese Oberlander and not for sale to mere mortals. Ahh, me.