Barry and the Rock Laboratory

This morning I visited the Bernese Natural History Museum to see the special exhibition about Barry : the legendary St Bernard dog. And there was lots more besides. I’ll write more in Miladysboudoir in a day or two when I get home.

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Then we took the bus to town and after a few bits of shopping we headed off to St Ursanne in the Western Jura region of Switzerland very close to the French border. There we met up with Paul at his place of work – Mont Terri Rock Laboratory.

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Barbara and Paul are doing up an old house in the village, right by the River Doubs. So we went to see how the renovations are coming along.
Then they took me to a very very old farmhouse restaurant for wine and cheese before we returned to Bern.

Another day, another country. Liechtenstein

Am just back from warm and sunny Liechtenstein. Less than an hour away by train and train and bus I just had to add another country and capital city to my list!

Schloss Vaduz from Löwen

The Vaduz Castle from the Gasthof Löwen terrace

Really, it is just an extension of Switzerland across the River Rhine. I had a drink on the terrace of the 600-year old Gasthof Löwen, took the bus up to Triesenberg and visited the Heimat Museum, taking in the “Diashow” telling the story of the local area which was interesting. But I must say once you have seen one Heimat Museum you have seen them all. Anyway, this one had a bit of additional history that I hope to post about elsewhere.

Obligatory cow bells

Obligatory Cow Bell Display

The usual weaving loom

The Standard Heimat Museum Weaving Loom

Traditional bonnet

Traditional Liechtensteiner Bonnet

Back down in Vaduz I was even tempted into the Briefmarkenmuseum by this poster outside :

Views concerning letters

It was worth the Free Entry to see the selection of engravings.

How shall I start?

How shall I begin?

The postman

The Postman : a walking stationer and letter-box

… yes, yes, a country the size of a postage stamp needs a postage stamp museum.

Philately Museum

Literary stamps

Famous Characters from Classical Literature Stamps

There was time for tea and tart near the bus station where I then boarded the slow bus back to Sargans and only just made my connecting train. I had promised Agnes that I would be back in time to greet a guest arriving between 5 and 6. And I was. Phew!

Liechtenstein book cupboard

And an Open Liechtenstein Books Cupboard : Take, Exchange, Give

In Heidiland!

It’s been a wonderful day today because after breakfast I got a lift into nearby Bad Ragaz and met my dear friend, Susanne, from Nidwalden. We spent the morning at the Tamina Gorge and the afternoon in Maienfeld. Johanna Spyri was visiting friends in Jenins near Maienfeld when she was inspired the write the world famous story of Heidi.

In the evening Susanne’s husband Ueli and their daughter, Leandra, arrived by car and Agnes and I made dinner (mainly Agnes!) and we were able to sit outside until late eating and talking. Tomorrow we are bound for St Moritz – but right now I need my beauty sleep.

Here are two pictures from the many I took today :

Tamina Gorge

The Taminaschlucht (Gorge)

Heidi House

The Heidi House above Maienfeld

(Holly)Wood is the theme in Klosters

As I’m halfway through my third week I’ve had to draw up a little list of “must-dos” and “must-sees”. Actually, I had a list before I came here, tweaked it a bit since I got here and have now made a much shorter list of “essentials”. I have my own guests coming on Friday until Sunday so will be crossing a few places off the list over the weekend. There is one place I would really like to get to and maybe it will be possible on Saturday but I am totally in the hands of my guests as I know whatever and wherever they suggest will suit me fine also.

So, today I decided to take the train to Klosters – 13 miles away and just a 25 minute journey up the Prättigau Valley. All afternoon rain threatened. It finally began to rain as I arrived ‘home’.

Klosters is really a winter village. There is not a lot to it in summer although I noticed posters for summer music events and there are lots of outdoor walking gear shops. There are also lifts up the mountains but as the peaks were hidden in cloud I decided against doing this.

Klosters is very different from its “partner-village” Davos. I could see straightaway why it’s so popular with Prince Charles and his family. All the buildings are in the chalet style so it’s low rise and all sloping roofs and geraniums. It’s very pretty.

Klosters

I skipped lunch today so that I could choose a bakery or cafe or hotel terrace and treat myself to a piece of tart with a cup of tea. I settled on the terrace of the Chesa Grischuna on the main street. The restaurant was all wood and looked cosy and inviting but unless it’s tipping down with rain or freezing cold I prefer to sit outside in summer and enjoy the view. I wasn’t the only person to enjoy the food and ambience of this historic hotel.

Tea and tart

Greta Garbo, Gene Kelly, Anthony Perkins, and many others from Hollywood Studios visited the Chesa Grischuna

During the Second World War the Chesa Grischuna was one of the preferred [hotels]of the Gls. After the war, many returned for a holiday. At that time writers, celebrities & Movie Stars also traveled to Klosters in the Chesa Grischuna. Thus, the hotel soon became known “Hollywood on the rocks”.
The guest book has immortalized many well-known names: Juliana, the Queen of Holland and her daughter Beatrix, General Guisan, movie stars like Greta Garbo (“Mata Hari, Ninotchka”), Gene Kelly (“Singin ‘in the Rain”), Rex Harrison (” My Fair Lady “), William Wyler (” Ben Hur “), Françoise Sagan (” Bonjour tristesse “), Deborah Kerr (” The King and I “), Anthony Perkins (” Psycho “), Renee Zellweger (” Bridget Jones Diary “), writers such as Irwin Shaw (” The Young Lions “), Peter Viertel (” The African Queen “) and John Irving (” The Hotel New Hampshire “).”

Nutli Hüsli

The Nutli Hüschi Museum

Some shops are closed on Wednesday afternoons but the little Nutli Hüschi folk museum is open so I headed uphill to do an inspection. It’s very small and almost everything is made of wood – including, of course, the building itself.

The Museum

The Museum

Here are some of the artefacts made of wood :

Corner of living room

Corner of the Living Room

Weaving loom upstairs

Weaving loom upstairs

Bedroom

Bedroom

Baby's cot bed

Baby’s extending cot bed

17th and 18th century cow bells

A cow bell selection (17th and 18th C) in the neighbouring barn. Note the wooden halters on the left – ouch!

School transport

And I love this photo from an album – turn of the 20th century school run

Irons

19th century Workawayers’ irons!