First of all, and put very simply, I had a fantastic time in Switzerland. I would like to thank all of you who wished me well. Your thoughts were with me and things couldn't have worked out better. There were no problems with flights and the greatest moment of all was being met by Rebekka and Philippe at Zurich Airport. They really are the best friends anyone could wish for.
For those who don't know, I met Rebekka in Hokitika, New Zealand and we just hit it off brilliantly straight away. We did some travelling together and became firm friends. Soon after we returned to Europe from our respective journeys we met up again in Switzerland. This gave me the change to meet and get to know Philippe and also the rest of Rebekka's family. Her sister, Sarah, came and stayed with me while she was studying English in London and Rebekka and Philippe came to Somerset in the spring of 2006. Later that year I returned to Switzerland for a writing break. It had been too long a gap until last week, but, just as we all knew, nothing had changed.
On top of all the great things we did, for most of the week the weather was high summer rather than spring, with temperatures in the mid-twenties and stunning sunshine celebrating everything we did.
We did so much during the week and I hope my photos go some way to doing it all justice.
My first photos were taken at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (where I had a wait of a few hours before getting my onward flight to Zurich.)
|Aircraft on the apron at Schiphol|
|The Birthday Bear proving he was there too|
|This is the lawn outside Rebekka and Philippe's flat, gorgeous spring flowers and little alpine gems.|
|On Monday, during a 'lazy day', Rebekka and I did a walk around a nearby hill which gives great views of the surrounding countryside. I love the way the sun has caught the windows in this picture. |
|One of my favourite pictures, a gorgeous meadow with a backdrop to die for.|
|A road to nowhere|
|On Tuesday we started off by going to Bern. A brief two-minute walk from the railway station found us in a square with a market taking place. I casually asked Rebekka what the building in front of us was. She thought for a moment, said she didn't know, then followed that with, 'Actually, it could be the most important building in Switzerland.' It was indeed the parliament building. |
|Swiss tourist tat, but it's a better quality of tat.|
|Still always makes me laugh.|
|A staircase to nowhere, for no reason|
|I loved these arcades in the old part of the city.|
|And I loved the rooves too.|
|Where else should a young bear be but at a bear park.|
|And this is the lakeside at Zurich, where we called in on the way home to meet up with the wonderful naurwen , for a chat and a spot of brilliant vegetarian food at the Hiltl (the oldest veggie restaurant in Europe) After such a long time it was really good to finally meet up. |