Rorbas, Switzerland – December 20-24

Rorbas, Switzerland – December 20-24

Customs was short. I walked up to the guy behind the window, gave him my passport, and nodded when he said, “Holidays?” Then I walked out to the exit and looked for Desiree, Jamie, and Marcel. I saw Jamie and Desiree first through the window and when I walked through the doorway saw Marcel. Desiree was my sister’s and my au pair when I was 6 and I was going to spend Christmas with her and family. On the way home we stopped at the store to grab breakfast. Once home, I devoured my yogurt, bread + nutella, jam, honey (each on a different piece), and juice. This was waiting for me downstairs on my bed:

“Welcome to Switzerland” – Look at all that chocolate! How thoughtful. I have been trying to eat a piece a day. Luckily, this is not difficult as Swiss chocolate is nothing less than the best.

And guess who helped me unpack?

Silly Sally! An 8 month old feral tiger cat with an attitude like Luci’s from home.

We hung out for a bit and when afternoon rolled around drove to Marcel’s sister’s house to go for a walk with her family. It felt good to stretch my legs.

It was just as cold as Moscow and there was still snow on the ground here too.

The whole gang. From the left: Desiree, Jasmine, Fabio, Patricia, Marcel, Jamie, Rolf.

Jamie didn’t do much walking but instead got pulled almost the whole way by Patricia. Lucky she has such a nice cousin.

Crossing the river on a tiny bridge.

There’s that great Swiss countryside I was looking forward to.

Then we went back to Jasmine and Rolf’s house to have coffee, water for me, and pudding. We stayed for dinner, which was delicious. I gotta say, Swiss food is much better than Russian food. Desiree had to keep me awake at dinner as I kept nodding off. Then we went home and I slept early. And slept for 11 hours straight. And 11 hours the next night too. But before that next night we went over to one of Marcel’s friend’s garages to check out his bikes. These are a bit heavier than the ones my dad collects. A one man custom motorcycle line by Roger. These are all Harley’s with completely custom design, all manual work done by Roger, the man in black.

I’m not even that big of a motorcycle fan and I could tell these were beautiful. The amount of detail Roger puts into these is incredible. This one has been in use for over a year. It looked to me as if it had just been put together, cleaner than clean.

He even had some oldies, along with a cool sidecar.

Roger, the man behind the craft. Each motorcycle is unique. He never builds the same motorcycle twice. The orange one is his, the yellow one is a work in progress for his girlfriend. He takes after Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. There were a couple posters hanging up. I think he’s doing pretty good. And he even rocks the pompadour when he dresses in formal wear.

That back wheel on the orange bike is pretty sleek.

The next day I got up and went for a run. Wow, I had no idea how bad of shape I was in. The little elevation change really shocked me. But I got to see some farmland. I kept feeling like I was in the Shire running up to Bag End. This country is beautiful. When I got back we went to an outdoor ice rink with two of Jamie’s friends and their families. Each girl started out with these ice skating helping things until another friend showed up and didn’t use one. Then suddenly each of the other girls didn’t need it either and they began to ice skate without the helping “training wheels.” It was kinda funny. It was my first time ice skating outdoors, and my first time ice skating in a decade (I really hate that I can say something like that).

Jamie ice skating.

It took me about 40 seconds to figure out what I was doing. Then I remembered and I was fine.

Afterward we went to the grocery store again and drove around to places for a little. Jamie sung along to her cd so I included a short excerpt here:

we went over to Marcel’s parent’s home and hung out for a bit. I played Swiss card game with Swiss deck of cards and then we all went out to a great Italian restaurant. This is when Erwin, Marcel’s dad, gave me my nickname: Giuseppe. From then on, that’s all he would call me. I liked it, so I played along. He’s got a good sense of humor.

In the morning Desiree, Jamie, and I took a walk up to the nearby castle. And it was Christmas Eve day!

Cool tree huh?

The castle on top of the hill overlooking Rorbas. It was more like a chateau but it was no less cool.

Jamie took us to a part of the woods where her kindergarten class goes every other Thursday and makes soup and learns about nature. This is their couch and firepit.

So much serene scenery everywhere.

I even got to see a horse and carriage in the distance. It’s not in the photo though. Man, cycling here would be a blast. The hills look sweet and the scenery never ceases to amaze.

Reminds me of a scene out of “The Illusionist.” The fog stayed all day and I loved it. Desiree did not though.

Meat fondue with Marcel’s family. Jamie is very photogenic once she gets over her shyness.

My plate somewhat toward the beginning of the meal. Everything was delicious. At first I was frustrated by how it took a long time to cook each piece of meat, and then I had to wait again to cook another piece. But later I liked it as it made me eat slower and I could eat less. That didn’t stop me from over filling myself and then consuming almost a pound of chocolate afterward.

I think there were like three of these platters. It never seemed to end. After trying to keep up with Marcel I finally gave up and said no more. Oh, piece of trivia, “Swiss chickens don’t have salmonella.”

Everyone was having a good time, even Telma, the French Shepherd of the house. She was delighted to receive the bone when we finished dinner.

From the left: Erwin: Marcel’s dad who calls me Giuseppe, Marcel, and Rolf: Marcel’s brother in law.

From the left: Jasmine (Marcel’s sister), Desiree, and Heidi (Marcel’s mother).

We all had a good time and I received many packages of chocolate from under the tree. People were way too kind to me and I was glad to enjoy such good company for Christmas Eve. Desiree and I talked for a while about when she was at our house back when I was 6. She kept re-igniting old memories. It was a great Christmas Eve. And they even let me walk home afterward in the silence of a Swiss night. It wasn’t very far. They live closer together than Dorothy lives to my house. I hope all of your Christmas Eve’s are just as fun. It might help to listen to this great song that always comes on KFOG when we drive home from the Tom’s late Christmas Eve. It’s called, “I Believe in Father Christmas” by ELP:

Merry Christmas and good night! ~Giuseppe

4 Responsesto “Rorbas, Switzerland – December 20-24”

  1. danielle v says:

    hey love the pic of you ice skating

    great blog im totally addicted to reading it

  2. Blair says:

    Great updates. Happy new year. Where are you off to next and when do you come back to CA? The snow in Sun Valley is good. I have to get you back up here before winter is over.


  3. LebCa says:

    Thanks. I was worried at first I wouldn’t remember how to do it. But it came back! I’m kind of addicted to writing it, but I have been too busy traveling now to get a post in. I hope I can get one done tonight.

  4. LebCa says:

    I’m in Prague now, just came from Berlin for New Years. I’m jealous of the snow in Idaho. The snow in Berlin was constantly falling but there were no mountains. It would be fun to get out there and do some boarding before the winter ends. I return to CA on the 9th of Jan.

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