WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Home again.

   Returning home from a wonderful 8 days away.  It's taking me some time to settle .  Every now and then, I get an adrenaline rush, and wish I was back in Switzerland.

Most of my followers will already know that my daughter lives in Lucern ,Switzerland.

A big thank you, to all my dear blogging friends , who left comments on my last post.
It was so rewarding to see so many great comments. You are all such good friends.  Many of you getting my destination correct.   Makes blogging, taking photos to share all the more worth while.

I hope to catch up with you all during these next coming days. I have missed you all and your wonderful blogs.
                                            Chapel Bridge and water tower.  The world's oldest bridge. It dates back to 1332. Lake Lucern , is at the end of the river Reuss.

Lucern, is a second home to me, and I never tire of walking the old town.  Sitting by the lake , watching the swans.   Visiting tuesday outdoor organic market on a tuesday.. with all their lovely delights, with the high mountain of Pilatus .. towering above the town.
     Many of you will have visited Switzerland! For those of you who haven't.
    Our family call it -"The Fairy Tale  land of Princess castles"- of chocolate delights .delicious cheese fondue -   of  mountains where  the goats and sheep are taken by the farmers to the higher pastures during the summer months.   Where the Alps and Mountains with all their wonderful fame and names.. take your breath away.. even now in spring time the mountain peaks,  still some with snow white topped table cloths.
      Moi ------ On the patio of  The Schwazerhof Hotel in Lucern.   With its beautiful views of the lake . It's where my daughter and me like to have afternoon tea, or a light lunch.

                                                                                           The wicker chairs all covered with soft goatskin. On a slightly colder day, keeps one warm.

Club sandwich... on the patio

A beautiful church in downtown Ticino.

                                  On my last day. We drove through the Gottard tunnel.. 17 miles long. Making our way to the Italian Canton of Ticino...  When we came out through the other side.. the sun was shining bright..  Even though in Switzerland.   Italian is the language spoken.   (most people speak the 3 languages)- and in the German Canton of Lucern -Zurich areas.. they speak swiss at home or with one another.  German is spoken , if one is addressed in German. Swiss is a dialect.
Here  I am sitting on the wall of Lake leman.  In the French Canton of Lausanne.  We drove about an hour up into the high hills above the lake.    The hillsides full of vines.   Paul, my S.I.L  chose this special place for us to have lunch..  so so stunning.

                                                       Traditional Swiss - open grazed sandwich.

In most of the Cantons, the gardens are so well kept.  With such a wonderful variation of flowers.    I took these in a garden near Lake leman..  So many beautiful varieties a blaze of color all over.
The Plan.
  Reason for our trip to Switzerland.
A kept  secret  from  my eldest grandaughter  Josie. 
  lots of planning on my daughter Nina's part. 
All of us were bound to secrecy for a couple of months.  so that Josie wouldn't find out.  It was  her 18th birthday.   
  Sweet  Josie, had no idea at all , that all her family would be in Lausanne to surprise her.

Josie, was so so happy.  She smiled from morning till night. 
We had of fun , great food and a wonderful birthday dinner for Josie in an uptown restaurant .

Josie and her first cocktail and sparklers.

                                                                  I am so very proud of Josie, as all the family are.  She has achieved so much.  Is an A+ student.   And is now thinking of where she will study next.  She has just grown so much before my very eyes.   How quickly time goes by.

Guess who.! ):-

Wishing you all a wonderful week.   Looking forward to catching up.
Wish I could have brought back all these lovely swiss chocolates. Absolutely mouth watering.
Wonderful memories on this trip.
Diet started yesterday.!!!  Somehow, always on a Monday.!!



  1. oh so sweet to surprise your granddaughter on her 18th birthday! i know you enjoyed every moment being with your family!

    1. Thank you Tex. Josie was so surprised .. it was a great time.

  2. What great trip and such a wonderful surprise for your granddaughter!

  3. Dear Val, Welcome home, and this is such a great post. That is wonderful to go to Switzerland to surprise Josie, and I'm sure she was absolutely thrilled. You look great: very chic in your white outfit at the hotel, and love the shot of you standing beside the statue :)
    I have never been to Switzerland, and love all your photos of it - the goatskins on the wicker chairs: comfy and beautiful. Love it all.

    1. Thank you Patricia, for your lovely comment..
      Josie was so happy .. and it was wonderful to all be together.

  4. Welcome back dear Val!!You sure had a wonderful time beeing with your family!!I can see how happy you are from your pictures!Have a happy week!!

  5. Hello and thank you Dimi,
    We indeed did have a wonderful time.. and Josie was so happy.

  6. Dear Val - so pleased that you had a special time in beautiful Switzerland with all of your lovely family.
    It will be a special birthday that Josie will always remember.
    I must return to Switzerland sometime. H and I used to go to Geneva regularly when he worked for the UN, and we used to take our boys when they were young for walking holidays in the mountains.

  7. What a beautiful trip, and so nice that you were there for Josie. She is lovely.

  8. Join the family in Switzerland sounds so perfect!!! I've been in Zurich three years ago for Christmas.It was unforgettable...

  9. How lovely for you all to be together to celebrate your granddaughter's birthday. I can just imagine you sitting on the patio of The Schwazerhof Hotel in Lucern enjoying the food and the view. Sarah x

  10. Missed you dear Val and so glad you enjoyed your trip to Lucerne. What a lovely surprise for Josie and wonderful that you all managed to keep the secret. Your photos are stunning and those cakes look mouth-wateringly delicious. Have a great weekend :-))
    Hugs, Patricia x

  11. Lovely photos, Val, and what a wonderful reason for a family gathering. It must be super to have a daughter living somewhere so beautiful. I've only ever passed through Switzerland on the way to Italy.

  12. Dear Val, I have only just seen the photos of your stay in Switzerland! How lovely! It all looks very familiar to me! It does look you had a wonderful time and also a wonderful reason to visit! Fantastic! Big hugs, Christa


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