The morning after Quentin’s birthday party... we were surprisingly spry! We all set out on a walk, but this was not your typical walk around the neighborhood. The fairytale began when we entered a woodland path that opened up to beautiful pastures with grazing cows. We spotted a newborn calf finding its legs, and we, of course, had to stop and coo. Lining the path were bushes of wild blackberries which also had us stopping and munching.
Thinking we were walking without any particular direction, we were delighted to stumble upon a quaint, old, Swiss village with -you guessed it- even more farm animals, all wearing bells which jingled throughout the town. Somehow domesticated animals in the U.S. just aren’t as magical? As if our little walk turned adventure couldn’t get any more prodigious, we happened upon an ancient tower and castle on the border of the charming hamlet. Ya know, just casual Swiss things. We entered the castle’s courtyard through a beautiful stone passageway.
The modest castle, Château de Pleujouse, has been repurposed and now serves the surrounding community as a gastronomy (a restaurant that highlights the flavors of a particular region where the chef chooses and crafts meals with artful intent). We had the unique pleasure of being treated to dinner here a couple days later, and were able to taste some gourmet flavors of the region. Even Rachel’s cousins had a hard time reading the menu (fancy French mumbo jumbo), and so our meal there was a delicious mystery coupled with very fabulous Swiss wine.
The day of our late morning walk, we wanted to access the top of the tower, which was locked. The obliging and friendly chef of the restaurant came to the rescue with a set of massive keys (think Pirates of the Carribbean). We walked to the top of the tower, which was built in 1035 (yes really), and a sweeping view of the valley opened up before us. These ancient structures and their ability to stand the test of time never ceases to amaze. Rachel remarked that it was such an incredible thing that our hosts’ ancestors had built this place nearly a thousand years before and here they all stood. Lauren had to remind Rachel that these were also her ancestors. Pretty surreal.
We said our au revoirs to the chef and made our way home. We passed donkeys (cue Shrek) and ate plums. All this within a thirty minute walk from the house. What a way of life.
On a related note, it is entirely possible that we may have eaten all the cheese in Switzerland. We have been treated to Tête de Moine (a delightful cheese snack that is thinly shaved into a wondrous cheese flower), Raclette (a massive wheel of cheese that is warmed by a device conceived solely for this purpose, which is then sublimely scraped off over potatoes. Yes, we have goosebumps too), and a cauldron full of cheese fondue (no explanation necessary, I hope...), and a dozen other local cheeses we can’t name but will remember forever. If you couldn’t guess, we love cheese. This website is a cheese blog now. We have decided that upon our return to the states we will need to invest in some of the contraptions required to indulge in these fine cheeses, but worry that an entire wheel of raclette might break the bank. Here is the link to our new cheese GoFundMe…
All jokes aside, Switzerland was truly a dream. Rachel’s cousins were so generous and were dedicated to providing us with the most authentic and phenomenal Swiss experience (with cheese as an integral part of our stay).
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