The final weeks before departure were a hard slog with long to-do lists, packing boxes, cleaning and final goodbyes. And there may have been grown-up tears. On our last night at home, we did feel like this was all a bit too hard. But we knew that it would all be worth it and just had to push through the last days of moving and then a long, long flight.
And so here we are. On the first days of swiss summer, we are pushing through Jet lag with walks, chocolate and a steam boat ride on the iconic Vierwaldstaettersee (lake Lucern for the tourists). It feels strange and exhilarating at the same time to be back ‘home’ again. this time with my family. It is the first time we are all here. The last time Piers came, it was just us and baby Emilia. It is amazing to have all 5 of us here. And I feel a bit proud too, to show them where I grew up, spent my youth and early working years. I hope that they feel a little bit connected to Switzerland, that as they move around the world, this will be a place they feel they can call home. Roads will be familiar, the mountains will be a sight they will dream about, foods will bring back memories and the swiss quirks will be familiar.
As I get older, it is my hometown that I long for. It is the snowcapped mountains, the ridiculously green grass, the sound of church bells at lunch time and cow bells, mopeds and the taste of soft drinks you can only get in Switzerland. You know, the little things that you cannot explain or photograph….So, as I lie in bed in my childhood bedroom, I feel like I have stepped back in time and I wander around in my past. And this time, I am taking my family through my history.
One of my favourite things to do, aside from hiking is taking a boat ride on the lake. Yesterday, we took the steamboat to the historic origins of Switzerland, where the Helvetic Confederation was established in the early 1800. Still true to their nature, central Switzerland has always been resistant to any attempt to change. Napoleon didn’t fare well and neither did the EU, so if you want to understand the true swiss nature and its idiosyncrasies it is here you will find it. Uncharacteristically, it was a hot and humid day after weeks of uninterrupted rain. It is lush and green and just picture perfect, such a contrast to our dry lands.
Nonna Marisa is still in disbelief to have her grandkids in the house. Or maybe, it is more shock at the invasion, the noise of 3 wild country kids. Possibly both. I think it is the difference between Aussie kids and Swiss kids. Growing up in tight quarters and apartment blocks is different to having the free reign of several acres….so there is a bit of learning already.
As for Piers, well, he is taking his R&R very seriously. Thanks to our early starts, he is up on his mountain bike at 5.30am, exploring the neighbourhood hills and chapels. My mum is feeding him mountains of pasta and home made black forest cake. He looks happy..
This morning, Nonna is taking the kids to her local farmer to collect the tub of raw milk. Yep, another thing we are loving….
Until the next update, this is us.