Monday, June 10, 2013

Swiss wrap-up

After another day in the mountains, we went back to Charlene and Walti's house in Chur. Technically, we never really left the mountains. Chur is a biggish city farther from the snow but I certainly could not describe it as flat or anywhere near sea level. This year, as we discovered, that city played host to a battle of the Swiss marching bands. We thought we saw some sort of a parade and stopped our trip across town in order to watch the end of it. Groups from all around Switzerland competed by turns, and they marched along a city block closed for the afternoon from traffic. Since a judge followed each band and then returned to follow the next, we had to do a lot of waiting between shows but the bands we saw all did a good job.

Walti had been busy at least all day preparing the house and cooking a spectacular and delicious send-off dinner. We really enjoyed dining in their yard and reviewing the week. Yesterday morning we extended the review as Charlene and I exchanged photos. She didn't take as many photos as we did, but her compositions impressed me and I'm very glad to have them.

Yesterday we returned for another day in Basel, where we received a warm welcome back at the Hotel Basel. They had already gotten out the big bag of stuff we'd left behind to bring to Minsk and put a tea kettle into or room. Amusingly, they call the tea kettle a "water cooker," and since Alla had asked for one last time they assumed correctly that we'd want one this time too, along with big cups and a selection of teas. We really like that hotel.

Apparently it rained all day in Chur, but we enjoyed beautiful sunny weather in Basel. We took a tram to the Foundation Beyeler, where we saw some contemporary art in a beautiful building. We weren't convinced about the value received given their unusually high admission fee, but I guess it demonstrates the value the Swiss place on art.

I wrote this post on the plane while returning to Minsk. We won’t see any more mountains for a while.

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