Monday, March 29, 2010

March 13-Saturday in Switzerland

Woke up bright and early to peep out my window at the Swiss houses surrounding the one I was staying in, with their pointed rooftops with slopped bottoms. For breakfast. Cereal and fresh bed with honey that was thick and delicious!!! Also, I was made a latte..we had picked up fresh milk yesterday. It was in a little room behind a barn where u pay so much money, and (using a bottle or container brought with you) you fill up the bottle with milk from a sort of tap. Directly from the dairy! I swear it tasted better…

Anyways, foamed up the milk and added a bit of ground up Cardamon!!! This is a spice they use in the middle east! Because I recognized the flavor from our meals with them J it made the coffee late extra good! No lies.

Then they helped me with a map show how to get to the town Ermatingen on the lake Bodensee! Ursula dropped me off so I would just have to follow the winding road straight. It was an easy 45 min run/walk. Most of which was down a (never ending) hill. Went through a couple towns..which can be as small as a cluster of houses with a few barns and a place to eat.

The “road” I followed is for “wanderweg” walkers/pedestrians. With little signs for walkers, bikers and such. There are little, less than single lane sized, paved roads that cut across the land, connecting these little towns with their sharply angled roofs, and highways through forests and across farmer’s fields.

March 13-Saturday!

I paused a few times, to breathe in the cool, clear air with the smell of the land mixed in it. When the path went through the trees, the world was trapped between serenity and activity. Quiet because wind barely rustled the trees, and no sounds of the outside world interrupted the air. But bustling with the occasional squirrel that darted out of sight, and the birds that sang from the foliage to one another. While the snow (that still remained in the cooler shade) slid off of boughs, or dripped from branches.

Once in Ermatingen, I stayed straight for the lake, running on a gravel road that was just a house or yard away from the edge of the water. On the other side of the lake, the rest of the town continued, and behind the builders were rounded mountains. On the lake..which I was told is referred to as “river-lake” because the lake narrows into almost a river for a part, and the widens back into a full lake.. there were fishermen in little boats, with their lines cast out for fish. And even though it was 10:30..there was still a mist that hovered over the water and land. I wandered around the town for about an hour, sometimes jogging, sometimes walking. Found the public pier, a wooden set up, with a stony slope into the water on each side for the boats to launch from. I wandered around, looking at the houses (white concrete with heavy wooden beams outlining and crisscrossing on the walls; painted a bright red). The yards and little gardens. There was a festival recently for mardi gras (I think) so in a few places, strings with strips of different colored cloth tied to them were tied across the road or in front of a house.

I found a little bakery and purchased a “chocolate esse”…those meringue treats that are made of egg whites and sugar, and in this case…chocolate as well!!! Also bought a lady bug made of swiss lindt chocolate. The meringue (spelling?) thing was delicious! Which I nibbled on while walking around the streets that slowly began to be occupied with a people. It was crunchy on the outside, hollow on the inside, with the bottom crunchy as well as soft/chewy.

Back at the house we had lunch, espresso with milk and chocolate (as dessert) then with Ursula, her daughter Nora, and their friend Erika (the other lady visiting) we made sure we all had our passports and headed to Konstanz. Now, one would obviously ask why passports would be needed to visit a town a mere 10 minutes away?’s because Konstanz is IN GERMANY!!! Woohoo!!! I didn’t get to see any awesome castles there, nor did if feel particularly different because of how close the cities sat. It’s the principle of the thing, and rather exciting that I did make it to Germany to visit! There wasn’t a massive architectural gap or anything, non-the less, did contain re-markable features. Ie: the store that held markers like a fine pointed magic marker. This would be the only “souvineer” I bought besides chocolate. Because after using a few of the several million around the house… I was a changed woman. (also returning with a couple other boxes for Heidi hehe) we had a great time walking around. And went out to a little dessert place, where I got a giant glass bowl that had a long stem. Three gelato flavors (plain, chocolate, bacio) with eggnog liquor drizzled on top, with (lots) of chocolate shavings, topped with whip cream and a wafer in the shape of heart. Divinity.

Also checked out a sweet church with a gothic fa├žade (the outside) some sweet designed doors. Underneath were the ruins of a roman century basilica.

Oh, and I was told (in fragmented English) that the road outside of the church, when one steps out and turns left…could look down a street that leads straight to Rome. (tho it may be in a direct line south, or if it was once a road..i don’t know)

That’s kind of historically awesome to think about while strolling down this street for real!!!

On the way home we picked up some hazelnut yogurt (for me! No kiwi unfortunantly) which was delicious!!!!!!!! There were chunks of hazelnuts ground up in it! And it tasted so good! Also some swiss cheese (with the holes in it) it tasted sort of similar…only infinitely better, like fresher I suppose..

Had dinner with Ursula’s son and his girlfriend. He had lived in America for awhile and spoke English well (as the whole family did) though every now and then they would break into swiss-german and I would just sit there trying to look cute and let the sounds of the words buzz meaninglessly in my ears (though did figure out dog=hound) I felt bad when after dinner, I ended up totally zonking out on their couch without saying goodbye. He seemed like a pretty great guy (as was the rest of the family). When we talked of America he had rather complimentary things to say about it, which was a very nice change from other frequent initial reactions J

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