Thursday, May 15, 2008

Switzerland

I know you all missed me greatly. Well, Mr. Heart and I went with the immediate Heart family to la Suisse where Sister Heart has been studying abroad for the past semester. Mr. Heart brought his trusty new camera and I must say most of these photos are due to his growing photographic enthusiasm. Except for the ones of my dad. This is one I took.


He's pointing at Bern, which was our middle-most stop. We found this stupendous park at the top of a funicular ride. We climbed a tower that looked kind of like Saruman's Isengard tower from Lord of the Rings, but have the best 360 view. Bern is also where we took our one and only food photo:


Yup, that's me with a large, Bernese pretzel. I should be a hand model. The pretzel was not at all what I expected. It was quite sticky and bready, not at all like American soft pretzels. While in Bern, we also had a crepe with cheese and herbs. I cannot convey to you the difference swiss cheeses make to something as simple as a crepe with cheese. What they call "Swiss Cheese" in the states is a mockery. Honestly. I hate "swiss cheese" but fell in love with the gruyere, emmental, etc. that I sampled in various dishes while abroad.

As this was the only food photo, I will show you some of the other places we ventured and require you to imagine the wonderful food we consumed there.


As we took trains all across the French part of Switzerland, we encountered these hillsides covered in terraced vineyards. This is a mere snippet. It was pretty incredible to look up out of the train and see these almost sheer mountainsides covered in short stone walls and growing grape vines. On one of our train rides, we made a tasty (but somewhat messy) picnic of strawberries, brie, baguette, and salami.


Mr. Heart is a fan of taking photos of flora and he does an amazing job. These were in the Geneva Botanical Gardens, my sister's favorite hang out while she studied in the city. Before venturing over to the gardens, we grabbed paninis by the water front. I had one avec tomate, mozzerella, et lardons (which we discovered through a series of hilarious occurrences, is pieces of thick bacon). It's pronounced lardohn, but Sister Heart and I like saying "lard ons" because it sounds funny and vaguely obscene. The panini was delicious. We sat in a tree and looked at this:


Also in Geneva, while picking out chocolates to bring to friends and family back home, Mr. Heart bought me a couple of truffles of my choosing. I selected a caramel, an almond cream, and a hazelnut. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. You know how they say chocolate can be an aphrodisiac? Whoever figure that out must have been eating Swiss chocolate. It was that good. Mr. Heart and I were walking the streets of Geneva, so that could have gotten awkward very fast. Fortunately for us, I had limited myself to merely three chocolates.


This beautiful castle is in Chillon, which is a short bus/train ride away from Montreux where we had delicious pizza and ice cream and got caught in the only rainstorm of our trip. The brand of ice cream is called Movenpick! I kind of found that hilarious. I had 'Caramelina' which was caramel ice cream with caramel chunks in it. Wow. I now have 18764 cavities. My dentist can buy a yacht. We got ice cream again when we were in Geneva and I got Stracciatella, which I love (it's like chocolate chip, but better).


This photo blows my mind because it almost perfectly conveys the amazingly gorgeous view from the top of Jungfrau. It was quite the climb up there... by train and by cog railway. But the view was worth it, as you can tell. We were all kind of light headed from the altitude.

One thing I wish I had taken a picture of (though it would not have done it justice), was the amazing fondue we had in Laussane. It was absolutely delicious. What I said earlier about swiss cheese applies here more than anything else. I usually hate strong 'traditional' swiss fondues as they are prepared in the states. But this didn't have that strong sweet swissy taste embodied by american swiss cheeses. It was pungent, kind of nutty, flavorful, and just all around delicious. We were scraping the bowl and went through two baskets of bread. Any we had a wonderful bottle of a local Swiss white wine, called Villette.
Obviously, this just scratches the surface of our vacation, but I thought I'd give you all a taste! Bon appetite!

1 comment:

kelley said...

lovely/yum. also, do i see a theme with your posts here recently? better than sex cake... aphrodisiac chocolate. oh la la! spring must be in the air... hahaha