Archives for July, 2012

66 Tips to Swiss Bliss

Switzerland is good for the soul, of this I am certain. I left Switzerland feeling happily exhausted, my limbs sore from climbing, my tummy content and full, my face deeply tanned and my soul elevated. Something about all that clean air and clean water and rippled mountain landscapes. (Also, have I mentioned the food?) I’ve…

Bungy Jumping in Switzerland

You will never catch me bungy jumping (or BASE jumping). Indeed, the only kind of jumping I ever do is on and off of trains, buses or parked airplanes . . . however, IF I was ever going to bungy jump, I’d do it in Ticino. The Verzasca Dam is a staggering piece of engineering…

Ti Amo Ticino

I traveled on Swiss public transportation for one full month and the only time I was late was when we dipped into Italy. Yes, I’m blaming Italy for making the Swiss late. My Swiss post bus from Tirano to Lugano left right on time and the driver timed each of our pit stops with a…

Golden Ticket

Confession: I traveled the entire past month on a single ticket. That’s the huge secret behind my grand journey around Switzerland. I traveled here, there and everywhere — I crossed whole lakes and rode cable cars to the uttermost peaks in the Bernese Alps, hopped trains to the remotest Swiss villages and rode trams and…

My Favorite Swiss Flower

No, it’s not edelweiss. I mean, edelweiss is pretty and all, and it’s about as Swiss as you can get—it’s the penultimate alpine flower: “small and white, clean and bright” dah-dee-dah, dah-dee, dah-dah. Yeah. While the Sound of Music anthem has forced us to praise a flower that most of us have never seen, I…

The Windows & Walls of Engadin

My love for Engadin is no secret. It’s a pretty special place all around and traveling through the region I found the food, people, nature, tradition and architecture all so wonderfully different and particular. Most of all, I loved the very unique villages, some of them less than a mile apart but each so individual.…

Morning Mountain Swim

I live out of a bag the size of a microwave. Every night I unpack my life and every morning, I shove it all back in, half-hoping that I’m not forgetting something important—which I always do. I check my pocket for my passport and then forget the rest: the adapter in the wall socket, the…

Engadin Nut Tart

Pastry is my favorite word in Europe — — so, leave it to me to discover the one sugary baked thing that “defines” the region I am visiting. National flags, anthems, costumes, and coats of arms are all very nice, but if you can symbolize your regional pride in an edible manner, you have my…

Learning Romansh

In 7th grade I almost failed Latin. It was the declensions that got me—also, as a 12-year old, learning a dead language was as abstract as the idea of traveling the world. That all changed the first time I came to Europe, visited a Roman ruin, and discovered that I could read the weathered inscriptions…

Ode to a Swiss Cow

Your kind face makes me stop, Your eyelashes so arresting That from my bike, I hop. Rip clumps of grass in offering.   You inquire with a wiggly nose With careful lips you chomp On lavender and wild rose Then take a perfumed dump.   The slanted fields of Switzerland Demand a steady foot. How…