23 June 2013

(updated) on Lake Geneva - Lausanne, Morges, Vevey, Montreaux

Pictures of Switzerland usually show a land of brilliant white snow covered mountains, green pastures and sparkling blue lakes. Having spent all of one week there, I'm not sure if this spring was representative, but we got a lot of mist and subtle grey instead. Apparently there are mountains on the other side of the lake. I'm not really complaining, it was lovely.


It's a weird country, so different from what I'm used to. So much money, so many resources, so much public infrastructure, but fairly modest lifestyles for most. Yes, there are a fair number of luxury cars, but it seems most people would rather pay their taxes and use public transport most of the time.

The Swiss are famously risk averse. They really don't ever jaywalk, everyone drives carefully, and never after more than one drink. And yet everyone smokes. I mean everyone. Young and old, all the time, chain smoking non-stop. You'd think they'd have figured out that that was the one thing that would make them sick and dead surer than ignoring a red pedestrian light with no cars in sight. Go figure.


The local market. Morelles from Turkey, Chaneterelles from Portugal, Shitakes from France. Local Spring asparagus was around, but three times the price of bigger bundles from southern hemisphere Peru. It's no wonder the seasons don't bother to come on time anymore.

Cheese at least definitely from Switzerland.

The tulip festival was supposed to have started a week before, but the long cold spring put paid to that. Only the beginnings of leaves and no buds. This small patch of crocus was the only sign of colour.

But everywhere on this trip the magnolias were out, huge fragrant flower buds ignoring the late winter.


The lovely Rosie.

The huge fork in the lake outside the food museum.

In Switzerland you do not need to lock your bicycle.


There was of course local produce around. Ramp and radicchio.

Barba di Frate and mâche.

Rosie loved Switzerland. I liked it. A lot. But down a little side street, an Italian mechanic's workshop got my heart beating a little faster. It was time to head over the border.

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