weekend wander – or more like a week and a half in october

Hi there,

It has been two weeks since my friends from California came and then left again, leaving me missing them and sick with some sort of euro-superbug for which I was made susceptible by too many late nights. These are ladies of great energy and enthusiasm. In the animal world they would be parrots and squirrels. I, on the other hand, am a manatee or something that likes to sleep in its den for a huge part of the year. I just can’t keep up. But it was fun to try. And this all constitutes one big wander. We calculated that averaged out we did about 4-7 hours of walking per day. Some days were more like 10 or 12.

During their trip we explored Zugerland and surrounds, Lucerne, Zurich, went hiking in Schwyz, to Konstanz in Germany and then finally to Paris. Of course they were charmed by greenness and cleanness of it all (coming from droughty California). And the chocolate-box loveliness of Lucerne. I was especially gratified that they loved the hike… getting the same thrill out of it as I did all those years ago from my first alpine walk here. You know, it really DOES make a girl feel like Maria singing on the mountain tops in Sound of music. Honestly it does.

View on hike
View on hike

And then, of course, comes the benefit of being a small country in the middle of a bunch of other wonderful countries. Konstanz was a novelty to me as well, though it is only an 1.5 hour drive from here. Its medieval old town is so lovely and intact, having been spared wartime bomblng due to its proximity to Switzerland and its clever decision to leave the lights on, confusing the bombers. My highlight there was taking the kids to a playground near the Cathedral only to find half of it was dug up – not for construction but because of considerable roman findings underneath! Nothing captures big and little kids imaginations like an archeological dig!! Except maybe a paleontological dig, of course. Dinosaur bones rule around here.

Roman ruins dig at Konstanz playground
Roman ruins dig at Konstanz playground

And then, Paris. Oh, to see paris with such good friends. The cafes. The architecture. The art. The dirtiness of it all.  Special highlights were seeing more that a lifetime’s worth of boobs at the Moulin Rouge, and my especial favourite – post impressionist paintings at the D’Orsay Museum. Seeing Van Gogh and Gaugin paintings up close is nothing like seeing them in a book!

So if you read this, thanks for the great time girls! You well and truly “broke me” but it was worth it. I miss and love you and can’t wait for our next shared adventure. Now on to real life and trying to figure out something new to paint. I am sure it will not be hard. Autumn inspiration is aplenty around here. Till next time – HD.

Cafe time in Paris
Cafe time in Paris
Nightime Paris from the 2nd platform of the Eiffel Tower. I did not take picture - I was standing terrified and shaking near  the elevator
Nightime Paris from the 2nd platform of the Eiffel Tower. I did not take picture – I was standing terrified and shaking near the elevator wishing I was somewhere else. Thank goodness tickets to the top were sold out.
Vicky making friends with the locals
Vicky making friends with the locals on our hike
Typical local autumn loveliness. I am hoping it will lure them back.

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