Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer’s Almost Gone...

A very low key summer this year... there are so many things going on and I felt the need to get away from it all. So, I packed a bag and hopped the TGV to CH, my favorite place to unwind!

Much of the time was spent doing exactly that, unwinding... cooking and sipping wine on the patio overlooking Lake Geneva, but we also celebrated the FĂȘte Nationale Suisse. The day started with the racing yacht Alinghi making its way from Lausanne to Geneva... we caught sight of it mid-way in Morges. Followed that up with the canton Vaud's celebration of music, food, wine, bonfire, fireworks on the lake and dancing! I haven't been dancing in years and teamed up with a nimble Brazilian man who kept me on my toes! Obrigada, Luiz! The following day was quiet, mostly because it was Sunday, and half the village had left town on vacation!

On Monday, we headed up the hill to a friend's house for lunch. She and her husband have a spectacular view of the lake and Mont Blanc. Lunch was delish, and it was nice to catch up! Merci à tous!

By Tuesday it was time for a road trip... the beauty of Switzerland is that it is small enough to get around and you feel like you are in a different country within an hour or two. We drove up to Neuchâtel, and did a cruise around the lake, always relaxing... Got back to port and decided to drive to Murten; a beautiful little town in canton Fribourg. It was getting late by the time we arrived, so we hit a few shops along the central Hauptgrasse street.

The first was a gun shop to purchase and have a Swiss Army knife engraved as a gift for a relative (he only charged 1 CHF for the engraving!). It was a very peculiar little shop; lots of dead things, and lots of mercenary type gear, not to mention antique armory (he had a WWI machine gun set up near the cash register!). The owner was somewhat gruff and kept an eye on every move we made. I didn't dare touch anything, and I didn't see the guard dog until we were leaving. He was sleeping in his hidden/camouflaged cage, but the door was wide open and I'm sure, had the word been given, we would not have been going anywhere fast!

Our next stop was much more relaxed and enjoyable. The glass dispensers filled with different colored oils were what caught my eye. The store is called Vom Fass and it has every flavor of oil and vinegar you can imagine. They also have a wide variety of whiskeys, cognacs and other spirits. The site lists their locations, if you have one near you, go for a tasting!

After the oils, we grabbed a beer at Grizzly's, a Canadian resto serving ribs and American style food... right next door was a butcher. We had already decided it was too early for dinner, yet too late to grab something on the way home as the stores would be closed. The butcher's shop smelled of marinades and spices and the rack of lamb was the choice of the day. If you happen to be in Murten, stop by and ask for Christian Pauli, Hauptgasse 22, Tel: +41 (0) 26 670 11 32.

We got back to home base and whipped up dinner... I have never had lamb that was so tender and flavorful. Turns out it was Australian lamb... I may need to make a trip down under! The lamb was accompanied by fresh green beans and a dressing of avocado oil and fig vinegar, both from Vom Fass.

Plans are underway for the Cow Parade in September... however, that all depends on several situations and how they work out. For now, it is back to reality...

When summer's gone, where will we be?

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