When a friend calls you up to say,
"Hey Kelly, do you want to go to an Alpine cow festival this weekend?"
the appropriate response is a smile and a firm
A Swiss tradition, the Alpine Descent of the Cows takes place every September. After spending the summer grazing in the mountains, they return home amidst pomp and circumstance to await the winter. Decorated with flowers, flags, and really large, loud bells, they march through town as the crowd looks on.
While we stood around in the rain awaiting the cows' arrival, we were enticed by the sizzle and aroma of the grill coming from one of the food tents. We decided to investigate.
Bread drenched in melted cheese, sizzling bratwurst, large chunks of spice cake, apple wine, bowls (not sure why bowls and not mugs) of Swiss coffee...
After the cows went home, we headed back into Luzern, a fabulous city about 30 minutes southwest of Zug. We stepped off the train only to enter into another celebration. We couldn't figure out why everyone was gathered on platform 14 with free coffee and pastries. There was even a small band complete with bow ties and cummerbunds.
Eventually we discovered that the Swiss take their trains as seriously as they take their cows. Turns out that they were unveiling a new train, and they literally laid out the red carpet for it.
The rest of the day was spent with friends and fun in Luzern. It was late afternoon by this point, and since stores close at 4:00 on Saturdays (grrr) I was only able to explore one store before they all closed. But we did get to enjoy a cup of coffee in a great little cafe, I successfully ordered a glass of wine in verrry slow German (and understood what he asked me about it...woohoo!), and had a great time with friends!
Despite the rain, Luzern was awesome.
I got a lovely surprise the other morning.
I opened the door to my balcony and was greeted by a cool, crisp, fall-like breeze. In fleece pants and socks it was chilly. I can't describe the smile that crept onto my face. I adore fall. Changing leaves, apple picking, vineyards, Halloween, cool weather, bonfires...oh how I love fall.
Since it was the weekend, all previous to-do list errands were immediately abandoned. I maneuvered my nearly-too-big-to-fit-through-the-door comfy chair onto the balcony, grabbed a blanket, a cup of coffee, my journal, and a book, and headed out to enjoy the breeze. I can only think of a few ways to better spend a Sunday morning.
The crazy thing about Switzerland is that although it felt like October right up until lunchtime, by the time 2:00 rolled around, a friend and I were out at the lake in bathing suits like it was July. And we certainly weren't the only ones.
After a few hours of basking in the sun, we headed off to a beautiful area called Cham to meet up with a few other friends for a game of Ultimate Frisbee.
I am happy to report that I helped to score a few points. However, true to my frisbee- (and softball-) throwing abilities, the one time that my team trusted me to "kick off" to the other team, the frisbee swung so far right that it nearly decapitated some innocent bystanders. I let the others handle it after that.
By this time the cool chill of morning was only a distant memory and it was quite hot, so we headed into the lake for a swim. Despite being attacked by lake weeds that slowed me down (insert Harry Potter reference here), the water felt delightful.
After a fantastic afternoon, I came home to a house that's still not entirely put together, where random household items line the rooms due to lack of storage space and giant, bright white walls scream out for color and decoration. My to-do list never gets any shorter, and I desperately need to go to the grocery store.
But life is short, so they say. I can find a storage solution for my shoes some other time.
For now, I'll enjoy the sunshine.
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.