Well yesterday was another one of those days that reminded me just how bad we were at planning this move. We are going to Zermatt the last weekend of the month. This way Julie gets to have a nice week off before she starts 6 weeks of pure heck in getting all of the annual filing done for her company. We are not going to be camping, but we will hiking every day that it is NOT raining. Julie was talking about cooking and eating while we were hiking. Unfortunately, all our backpacking equipment is in the locker back in WI. 🙁
Between George and Kaylee, I spent over a dozen years in Boy Scouts and Venturing. I had all of my backpacking stuff in a ruck and literally had it laying out with all the stuff we shipped over here. When Julie first brought up the idea of moving here. I dreamed about taking time each year and backpacking through the Alps. I quickly realized that this was going to be a solo adventure, as there was NO WAY Julie was going to be doing that kind of hiking with me. I still got everything ready to go, but the night before the movers came I decided that this dream would never happen; so I took all my gear to storage. I simply figured that since storage was going to be at a premium, and I would never use the sleeping gear I would not need anything else. I should have just brought over the pocket rocket stove, and the lightweight cooking gear. Instead I spent an hour or so this morning buying another stove, a pot, lid, and frying pan. All so that we can have some good picnic lunches gazing at the Matterhorn! Oh well, it is only money, and we now will have fondu on the mountain side.
Friday night we had dinner with our friends Sarah and Francois. Those of you from Mitchell might remember Sarah (Ewald). She and Rhonda were inseparable in our younger days. It does remind me of what a small world we live; when Julie started talking about the move I realized that there was someone we knew living in the area. Anyway, we did a dinner cruise on the lake. What a great way to spend an evening, and it was actually one of the cheaper restaurants we have visited. We did a “Hot Stone” dinner. You order your food raw, and it is brought out to you along with a very very hot hunk of granite. You simply cut your food, and cook it on the stone. The food is very tasty, and it allows you to visit with your dinner companions in between bites. This is one of the activities, that we will do with visitors. Especially when the weather is almost perfect.
Saturday I spent the day putting up window and door screens. There is not air conditioning here, so we keep a lot of windows and doors open. We have also learned to adjust the window shutters during the day. In the morning, we close the shutters on the east side of the house, and then in the afternoon close the shutters on the west side. That really does a good job of regulating the temperature inside the house. For some reason, screens have never been a standard window accessory; so I bought a bunch of outdoor double sided tape, and some screen. With the size of the spiders around here, I would have thought every window and door would have a screen, but I guess Swiss people are not bothered by spiders. I also found a magnetic door screen. You attach the screen to the frame of the door with double sided tape, and then the middle of the screen is a opening held closed by magnets, but you can easily go in and out through the screen. The magnets are not super strong, so when the wind is strong, the screen tends to blow open, but when the wind is strong you do not have the same problem with bugs anyway! Julie wanted me to put more screens on windows, but there are only a couple of windows I could work on. Technically we are on the ground floor, but that is only true at the front of the apartment building, along the sides and back of the building we are the 2nd floor of the building. Since each window has two openings, I had to leave one screen less, so I could climb in and out from the ledge. Oh well, between the few windows and the doors I put the screens on, we are now able to get a very nice cross breeze going through the apartment. Kaylee’s cat was not quite sure what to think about the screens. It took her a couple of hours before she realized she can go in and out just by pushing at the opening.
Today (Sunday) we took a drive to the town of Glarus. Yes, Wisconsin, people, this is the namesake for New Glarus. I did not see any spotted cows, however. Glarus is a small city. The city itself first appears in history in the 1100’s, but there was probably some kind of settlement there for a few hundred years before that. The area was part of a land grant to the catholic diocese of Zürich in 878. The other historical fact about the town is that it was destroyed by fire in May of 1861. The town is in a very narrow valley between two mountain ranges. The valley acts as a giant funnel for the wind, and a fire started on one of the mountain sides, and the wind helped the fire spread uncontrolled through the town. The town does not have the old time charm of a lot of Swiss towns, but it is a nice place just the same. We will have to go back early some morning, and do some hiking around the mountain peaks.
Next week Julie and I both go in for our 2nd COIVD vaccination. This works out well for Julie. The vaccination will be in full affect when we go to Zermatt, and when we return she will also go back to the office every day. At least that is the plan right now. The government on Friday announced that unless something changes. Restrictions will once again loosen on the 28th of June. On this day, people from outside the EU area will be allowed to visit as tourists again. Assuming you have a vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, you will not be allowed entrance. Here is where it is kind of a leaky faucet, though. Other European countries, I believe, are allowing people to enter without a vaccine. So if you come into those countries, you can still enter Switzerland by rail, or auto, and there will not be anyone at the border. However, if you get caught without a vaccine, I assume, they will kick you out pretty quickly. So US people, get your vaccine passport, and come visit!
Other restrictions being lifted this month concern mask wearing and venue size. My understanding is that masks will not be needed outside at all. Right now, we have to wear a mask at train and bus stations, as well as outdoor dining areas (You can take the mask off at your table.). There have not been any hints as to when indoor mask wearing will go away. Julie and I were talking last night, that we will probably continue to carry masks with us even though we may not wear them. Riding on the trains in the winter, sounds like you are in a typhoid ward of a hospital. So I can see myself wearing a mask on the train even when it is no longer required. Venue sizes will increase to 3,000 and 5,000 but you will have to show your Covid passport for entrance.
I hope you all have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon.
Enjoy the pictures: