I’m in a little town in Goltweg in Switzerland. I went with my hostess on a long walk in the countryside and then to a Schloss (Castle) Kyburg.
We began our walk along trails that took us through the green countryside, fall leaves on the ground, tree limbs like arms reaching out into the space and past a looking hippy haven.
It’s a coop farm that has a tent and a painted bus, a-la the 70s. Brigit explained that it was one man’s idea to purchase the property and then sell shares. The residents share in the work. I saw a huge amount of wood all chopped up and sitting like a long wall. Boy would that have been nice in our Colorado home when we depended on wood to warm our house.
Then we came to cows grazing and a horse wearing a royal purple blanket. We saw some cute little children caring leaves strung up on a line. Each child carried their treasure of autumn leaves.
At one point I looked up toward the hills and saw a castle.
“What is that? It looks like a castle?”
“It is. We’re going there.”
“What? That far?”
“Yes, it just looks far, but we’ll soon walk along the river bank and then we’ll climb up to the castle.”
Then we walked on a path along the river bank. The water was sparkling clean, and, according to Brigit you could drink from it.
We got up to the stairs that would take us to the castle. Wow! That took a long time, as the steps were high and my knees had to work hard.
“Are we almost there?”
“See, that’s where we want to go. Just rest whenever you want to.”
I walked as far as I could go before I had to admit to needing a rest. But rest I did. It must have been 2,000 steps.
We finally got to the top and saw that the museum inside the 1500s castle was closed, so we walked a little bit around the tiny village and found a restaurant. We went in and had apple strudel with a delicious white sauce.
The man who waited on us wore the formal white coat. I believe he lives upstairs as the restaurant is an old home, turned into a restaurant.
The original tile oven was still there against the wall with a curtain on top of it. I have read that when people baked inside ovens like this one, the tile was warm and allowed children to sleep on top of the oven.
One huge advantage in Switzerland is the public transportation and because I was tired enough not to want to walk all the way back, Brigit looked up the bus schedule on her phone and we waited ten minutes for it. We took that bus to the Winterhurt Seen station and then to Winterhurt, where we did a little bit of business in the commercial area, and then took a train back to the bus station, and took the bus back to her home.
Brigit is a fabulous, creative cook, and she made polenta, a pumpkin stew and a Chinese cabbage salad. I ate too much, as usual. Homemade food is a treat these days.
Now for the difficult part: Brigit has traveled extensively and has strong opinions, most of them bring out how wonderful and perfect Switzerland is, and how bad other countries are, especially the U.S. I learned from her opinion that people in the U.S. don’t know how to read maps, they are ignorant in many subjects – namely math, they don’t take an interest in what’s going on in the country politics, they depend on those in power, high school education is many years behind Swiss schools, U.S. citizens are not very bright in general, U.S. people don’t know anything about the world in general, the people in the states drink a lot and often get drunk, and the list went on and on the entire weekend. U.S. people blame others for their own mistakes.
She blamed the media for how Swiss teen agers now ‘binge drink’.
I finally nailed her about generalities, so I didn’t let her get by with it. I can handle a little bit of criticism and can even agree with some of it, but enough is enough.
I’ll be in the little country of Liechtenstein tomorrow. It will be a challenge getting to the hotel I arranged through the internet, but I’ll do it, just wait and see.
This American is one determined woman.