Green and fresh.
09.04.2011 70 °F
I am in Switzerland! And boy is it a far cry from Paris. To this point on my trip, I have been admiring the work and ingenuity of humanity in Oxford, London, Lille and Paris, but here I find an entirely different kind of beauty. A beauty fresh and green and one for which people cannot take credit.
The train I took here on Wednesday (1 of 3), traversed the entire length of Switzerland, west to east, and took me past breath-taking views of mountains, lakes, farmland, green hills, quaint towns (see the pictures on Facebook). When I arrived in Berneck with my aunt and uncle, after 9 hours of travel, we immediately went for a 2-hour hike up behind their house. This is a beautiful place to live. Animals and forest and streams and views of Austria and Germany. And on our way down, we were serenaded for quite a long time by a beautiful alpine horn (think, "Rii-co-laaa"). One of my favorite moments of my trip so far. The air is fresh, the company is wonderful and the world is relaxed and at peace. Thursday, Cindy and I drove to Germany for coffee and pastries and picnic lunch by Lake Constance. They have the best "milk coffee" here with steamed/frothy milk and coffee. Mmm. Friday, we rode our bikes to Austria for more coffee and pastries and to see "the Green Border" where many Jews escaped Austria into Switzerland during World War II. And today we hiked up in the Swiss Alps to Seealpsee and then on to Ebenalp. It was a great hike and a beautiful day to do it.
My mind has been exercised by taking in all of the new sights and environments since leaving the States, and my body is now happy to take a turn at hard work. I am glad I'm not carrying my backpack up these mountains or on the bike but am so glad to be feeling alive and strong physically as well as intellectually. Tomorrow is another day with plans for both a bike ride and a hike, so I better get some sleep.
I hope that you have all, each, had moments of revelation in the past two weeks. I know that in the midst of routine and predictable days it is hard to find newness, but I do hope you feel the warmth of the sun on your soul and the cool, gentle breeze of the world on your face from time to time. I hope you rise with hope for the day before you, and if you don't, I hope you hope that tomorrow you will. I know, I can say that because I am here, away from the drudge of real daily life, but take it for what it is worth. And try not to be a cynic.
All the best.