Summer is in full swing here in Central Switzerland. It feels like our first real summer since moving here two years ago. People are back to pre-pandemic life and the lake is buzzing with tourists and locals. Compared to last summer, the weather is heiss. Hot, hot, hot!
We are fortunate to enjoy a bit of cooler air in the evenings with temperatures that are generally a couple of degrees lower than many of our neighbouring cities and countries. My father-in-law in Lyon, France, reports temps topping 39 degrees Celsius, while we are sweltering at only 30-32. Fortunately Raymond has air conditioning in his apartment, although like most French people he uses it sparingly. But at least he can keep cool through the worst hours of the day.
I took the boys out for a walk this morning just after six a.m., when it was still cool enough for them to enjoy sniffing around. They are coming up to 10 years old and, like many seniors, suffer from health problems. Even younger, Frenchies do not do well in the heat so we are careful to keep them as cool as possible.
Not a lot happens in our postcard of a Swiss town. But a couple of Sundays ago a fait divers* saw Brunnen in the news. As we relaxed by the lake, variously known as the Vierwaldstättersee, the Lake of 4 Cantons or Lake Uri, a helicopter cut across the sky to a mountain top and hovered there before taking what looked like a suspicious plunge towards the other side of the lake. In the meantime, we heard the ‘pam pom’ of sirens. Nothing so unusual in that as choppers often bring people who are injured or ill to waiting ambulances.
It turned out that while we were lounging around on our beach towels, a car had gone off the road that runs alongside a rocky cliff on the road to Brunnen and plunged 50 metres into the lake. For several days it remained introuvable, until a week later it was found by a camera boat at nearly 200 metres depth. Needless to say there were no survivors. The wreckage was impressive.
*Fait divers: ‘Brief news stories, as those typically found in some French newspapers, that are sensational, lurid, etc.’
We were treated to some spectacular fireworks off our terrace on August 1st, the Swiss national holiday. I was spoiled, as it also happens to be my birthday. Especially as it was accompanied for the first time by a visit from our grandson. Which called for champagne. And cake!
We are soaking up as much of ‘Sommer’ here in Brunnen as we can. Sadly, it will be our last. I mentioned in an earlier post that we will be moving next year, but I’ve been waiting to have the official date in writing before sharing more. As with most construction projects these days, there have been delays due to the pandemic and supply shortages related to the war in Ukraine. Our builder has assured us we will have the schedule in writing by mid-month but I’m not holding my breath. Best guess is we’ll be moving by early March. Hard to believe as this is what it looks like now:
I will be sad to leave our current location but there are a few things I won’t regret. Our beautiful view here is offset by the noise from a road just below. And my inability to speak the local lingo is definitely not fun (I’d finally started to get a little momentum going last year but when we decided we’d be moving, my motivation to learn German went AWOL).
Our new home will be located in a small town above Lake Geneva in the Lavaux wine-growing region above Vevey, just a short drive from Montreux with its famous ‘smoke on the water’ jazz festival. Also known as the Vaud Riviera, it is famous for its terraced vineyards, which have been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Best of all, we will be close to family on both the Swiss and French sides of the lake.