Home again, again

Yesterday my visit to Switzerland came to an end and it was time to return home. I had such a busy social time I didn’t take many pictures – especially on the iPad which was the only way to upload each day. So yesterday’s photo is very boring.

Zurich Main Station

Zurich Main Station from the Upper Level of the Train

My journey began in the early afternoon. I left Tillierstrasse and took the bus to the station in Bern. You MUST buy a ticket before you board the train in Switzerland these days but there are plenty of ticket machines at the station. With my heavy case I chose a train direct from Bern to Zurich Airport. Paul had given me a voucher for use in the Dining Car so I was happy to travel in style and eat a Riz Casimir and Sweet Chai tea. It would have cost an English arm-and-a-leg but hey, with the voucher my contribution, plus unnecessary tip (a few euro cent coins), was minimal.

From the Airport Railway Station to Checkin and Bag Drop is just a few steps. Soon unencumbered by a suitcase I was able to move around the beautiful shopping and eating area airside. It was time for my dessert when I saw the ice cream in the Lindt shop – I chose delicious hazelnut flavour with an extra spoonful of the chopped nuts.

The flight to London is just one hour twenty minutes but on arrival at Terminal 5 I discovered my flight to Leeds was delayed by half an hour. Just time for a cup of tea at EAT. And I didn’t even raise an eyebrow at the price of teabag in hot water in a cardboard cup … after all I had just spent a few days in eye-wateringly expensive Switzerland.

I still haven’t been put off though – I’m sure I will go back!

Herr Mauchli

Barbara’s cat Herr Mauchli

Free Day in Bern

Everyone’s at work today so I have had a free day. Took a walk to the city centre crossing the Kirchenfeld Bridge.

IMG_0480.JPG

View from the Bridge

This evening I’m making curry. Most of the ingredients I brought from home but I bought the fresh meat today from Migros.

Sunday Lunch in the Alps

Before Susanne and Ueli drove home this afternoon they decided we should have a walk and lunch together at a nearby place recommended by a friend of Susanne’s who originates from this area.

Gasthaus Fädara

The Gasthaus Fädara

It’s just a twenty minute drive up hill and through the village of Seewis to the car park for Fadära. A further twenty minutes on foot and you arrive at the restaurant to make a reservation and just to finally work up an appetite you can walk a for further twenty minutes (and back) to a viewing point called Fadära Stein (stone or, in this case, cliff).

View 1

View from The Fädara Stein – looking up the Rhine Valley (northeast)

View 2

View down the Rhine (south) towards Chur

Fädara terrace

Restaurant Terrace

Sunny and warm on the restaurant terrace – a group of ladies in their traditional costumes were dining together in the cosy Alpine restaurant.

Costumed lady

Susanne and I shared this typical dish of the region. It’s a bit like small dumplings in a pesto and cream sauce with, of course, the ubiquitous cheese, plus hazelnuts. Needless to say it disappeared very quickly along with glass of, also local, riesling.

Pizokels

Hausgemachter Bündner Pizokels

On our way back to the car Ueli saw a ribbon fluttering in the meadow and rescued one of those postcards where you send it back to the organiser to tell them where you found it. I discovered when I got home that it came over the border from Austria – in fact not so very far away! It had been released into the air by wedding guests the day before.

Postcard

Please return this postcard to the newly-weds and tell them where you found it!

How to make a Swiss Bircher Muesli

It is now my job to make the Bircher Muesli each evening ready for breakfast the next day. On previous visits to Switzerland I don’t think I ever had this dish for breakfast. In the past I have had it as a supper dish – but I could have misremembered. Anyway it is a very popular dish with our present guests who are from Germany.

Muesli 1

On Monday evening Agnes and I made the Muesli dish together. On Tuesday she entrusted me to make the whole thing. For this all measurements are approximate – a handful of this, a squeeze of that, any available fruit either grated or chopped, pour in some milk, some cream, some yogurt and taste, adding more sugar if needed.

Muesli 2

The oats go in first

Muesli 3

Muesli 4

I think it was a success!

On the Prättigau Höheweg

When the jobs were done today we went for a hike from nearby St Antonien. It’s a small village – quite popular with tourists and visitors as it has several restaurants, hotels and a tourist information centre.

hike map

I should explain that Agnes looks after a sick person on three nights and the temperature must be static at 25C. So after so much air conditioning over 3 days and with no new guests arriving she was eager get out on a “Wanderweg” – hiking path. The other Workawayer, Luciano from Sicily, drove us to St Antonien and accompanied us on our excursion.

footpath sign

From the parking area we took a narrow path (not shown on the map) parallel with the Prätigauer Höheweg.

a cow blocks the way

We passed cows going up to the mountain pastures (Transhumance – just like we learned in school all those years ago), meadows full of wild flowers including gentian, crossed rushing streams, admired the mountain views, had lunch at a mountain restaurant and walked around a lake before heading back down via the Höheweg.

Wild flower meadows

Wildflower meadows

gentian

Gentians

a mountain view

Looking back on our path to PartnunSee

Lunch stop

The Lunch Stop at The Berghaus Sulzfluh

Alpler magrone

Älplermagrone lunch dish – now you see you it …

Empty dish

Now you don’t !

Partnunsee

Partnunsee (Lake)