A Swiss Adventure
Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit a country so beautiful that it took my breath away……and my heart.
From the moment I looked out of the window on the plane as we soared above clouds that were veiling the exceptional beauty of the landscape below, I knew that I was going to be awestruck by Switzerland. I wasn’t disappointed.
These last two weeks, I think I have lived and re-lived the exhilarating feeling of seeing those huge fluffy billows of white, shimmering with the golden promise of a brilliant sunset as the pilot announced our descent into Geneva.
After my initial panic that I was turning into an incompetent buffoon as I went the wrong way out of the airport and almost missed my train to Nyon, I took my seat and breathed a sigh of relief as the train pulled away. Within moments I was enchanted by the stunning countryside that was whizzing past in a frenzy of green, red and yellow. There were big picture frame style windows on the train and I understood why. Who would want to miss such a spectacular view? Well, everyone else so it seemed, who had their eyes focused on the floor, in books or on the gawping tourist from the UK who was no doubt visibly excited about the weekend lying ahead.
My reason for flying to Switzerland was to visit my sister who moved out there earlier this year.
Now, anyone who is close to their siblings will know how very hard it would be to live in different countries and that terrible, stomach twisting, tear jerking feeling of homesickness that can engulf you when you suddenly miss them for the most seemingly insignificant of reasons. So for me, when my youngest sister moved to Switzerland earlier this year, I felt like a piece of my soul had moved with her. In a way, I like to think that it did. There are three siblings in my family – all girls. We are incredibly close and always have been. We have a connection that I find almost impossible to describe. We always seem to know what the other is thinking, feeling, about to say or about to do. We finish each other’s sentences when telling the same story; we laugh at things nobody else finds funny, let alone understands and it is no surprise when we turn up in exactly the same outfits somewhere. So that hopefully sets the scene that supports the reason why I was so ridiculously excited to see her again.
As the train pulled into the station, I felt like I was going home.
After a great night out with plenty of good wine, delicious food and non stop conversation, I went to bed, only to wake up at the crack of dawn to the chimes of the village clock. Now this could be really irritating at 5.30am (yes, it chimes every half hour, not just on the hour) but because nothing could hamper my spirits, I sprang out of bed, showered and took a walk into the village with my sister.
The village in which she lives is beautiful. It is the quintessential Swiss village with cobbled streets, patisseries, cheese shops, rows of pretty old houses decorated with a riot of flowers and shrubs and of course, the lake.
We found ourselves at the edge of the lake, looking out at the dramatic majesty of the mountains, their silhouettes beginning to take shape beneath a dazzling sunrise.
I think that despite the champagne, oysters, fine wine, raclette, fabulous bike rides, fun shopping sprees and French market visits, the thing I loved doing most of all was looking out at that lake in a comfortable silence with my sister.
It’s the stuff that writing inspiration is made from. In fact, I was so taken with it that on the Sunday morning, I got up bright and early for a little run around the village – my prize being the lake.
As hoped, I was alone when I arrived and the sun was just beginning to show itself as a striking orb above the mountain line. Hopping across the small jetty of rocks, I looked at the glittering shaft of silvery gold sunshine that was reflected against the perfectly still water and felt the urge to feel its coolness against my skin. I stood for some time, breathing in the fresh, pure air and contemplating how wonderful it would be to swim in that lake before I finally decided to wash my face in it. I have to say that feeling the startlingly chilly splash against my cheeks and tasting the droplets of pure water against my lips was a wonderfully spiritual moment for me.
Although I miss my sister a great deal, I’m so pleased that she lives somewhere so spiritual and beautiful. As a writer, I’ve fallen in love with Switzerland and I have no doubt that one of my future novels will be set against the enchanting backdrop of this beautiful country. In the meantime, I will enjoy plenty more visits to see her and the many wonderful new memories my whole family will have whenever we are in Switzerland.