EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can You Say, "Moo?"

What a friendly face, don't you agree? As it so happens, this kindly bovine was the first to greet us in the hills at Quarten. Standing on the side of the road, she and her pals were doing what cows do (chewing their cuds, I'd imagine) and watching the cars roll gently by. She didn't know that the paparazzi was in town, but she gave me her most photogenic view and CLICK, she became the star of my blog. I couldn't imagine a more attractive ambassador to the Swiss Alps than her. Throughout the day we were greeted by many cows sporting bells around their necks while grazing high up on the grassy hillsides. And am I glad for that! Without them, Toberone, Lindt, and Cadbury would just not be the same!

So much has been written about the Swiss landscape that it hardly bears repeating that it is one vista after another. With it's mountains, hills, rivers, and lakes, there is hardly another place on earth that bears so much beauty in one location. A very small country considering that it is only 220 kilometers, or 137 miles from north to south. At Lake Maggiore palm trees grow at 630 feet above sea level and just 65 miles away, the 48 mountain peaks rise 13,120 feet above sea level and are capped with snow all year long.

It was at this plateau in the pre-Alps that we took our first steep drive and Uncle Fred began to worry about our five-point turn on the steep slope we shared with the grazing cows. It was just the beginning of Fred's worries, unfortunately, I don't know which he stressed over more; the Alps or the Auto Bahn. Both were treacherous.
It wasn't long before we reached Mulehorn and parked the car to stretch our legs near the Walensee where we watched as children dove into the crisp, cool waters of the Alpine lake from a three meter diving board. What fun! Nearby were sailboats and wind surfers out for what certainly had to be one of the warmest days since the beginning of Spring. From here we traveled on in our journey to Filzbach. Our dear Uncle Fred was taken by the countryside and at every turn exclaimed, "By gosh, just look at how beautiful this view is!" We were still a few miles from our destination for the evening so Steve decided, as he usually does on occasions like this, to take the "road not taken" and "explore."

There were two shots that I missed on this bit of our journey that I wish I could share with you. In Filzbach we spied a tractor that had just stopped mowing the grass on a hillside. The remarkable thing was that it was perched at the top of an incredibly steep hillside at an incline of nearly 85 degrees. Everyone in the car was plain gobsmacked! It defied gravity and how it didn't tumble end over end down the precarious precipice, we could not fathom.
The next shot I wish I had been prepared for was of an elderly man in Molls pulling an ox cart steeped with barrels of hay down a twisting, hillside. He held each handle of the cart behind him while taking baby steps down the path. Again, another gravity defying feat I wish I could have documented, for no one would have believed it.

Speaking of witnessing unbelievable sights, there is one event I did document that still has me scratching my head and asking myself, "How does he manage it?" I'm referring to my Uncle Fred's uncanny ability to strike up a conversation with a total stranger from a foreign land resulting in a friendly hug or a handshake.

Here he is with a Swiss Miss in Amden who was out with her dog raking cut grass from her field to store in her silo for the cows this coming winter. She was quite taken with his charm and willingly obliged to have her photograph taken with him. Abandoning her work just to have the privilege of posing with an American who advises her to, "Keep smiling and to just put one foot in front of the other, is Inga. Incredible!

Speaking of incredible, you wouldn't believe the spot I found for the perfect tee shot. Too bad a couple of Swiss guys who were nearby and taking a moments rest
previously claimed it for a perfect location to do their gliding. Standing dangerously close to the edge is my hubby Steve and his mum, Jaci, on the summit of the best golf tee I've ever seen.

I had to wonder....just where the woman's tee would have been placed?

It was getting on in the day and Hotel Rossli at Murg was our final destination for the day. Hotel Rossli is nestled lakeside amongst seven peaks of the Alps. It's striking splendor was our days' unexpected gift. If you are ever remotely in the vicinity, you will not want to miss this experience.

Our hotelier was waiting for our arrival where she greeted us and then invited us to help ourselves to her garden where she guided us to her cherry tree atop her garden. There we gathered ripened cherries from the tree still warm from the sun-kissed afternoon. They were the most juicy cherries we have ever tasted.

Here is a photo of Fred, Jac, and Steve under the cherry tree overlooking the Walensee tucked snugly between seven peaks of the Alps.

As the day wore down, daylight was quickly turning into evening. We were able to enjoy the last glimpse of the sun as it set between the mountain peaks, leaving a rosy hue over the lake...... Little did we know what lay ahead.

1 comment:

Expat Traveler said...

lovely - I never get tired of those types of photos!