This week I traveled across the beautiful country of Switzerland, from Brunnen on the shore of the Vierwaldstättersee near Lucerne to the French speaking area of Valais near Sion .
We took a car train through a deep tunnel in the mountains to the valley. Also known as Wallis in German, Valais is a serious wine growing region with a patchwork of vineyards etching the south-facing sides of the valley and flatter terraces of the north side. It was in the middle of the Autumn harvest, and the carpet of vineyards provided a lush green for the eyes and sheer pleasure for the palette.
After a much appreciated day “at home” at my friend’s home built with straw walls for insulation, I met another friend who was working in the French speaking area. Marie had a friend visiting from Der Wolf in Belgium, and together we went to the medieval castle on the hilltop in Sion. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch al fresco at Restaurant L’Enclos de Valère. Upon returning to Sierre, I took the bus back to where I was staying halfway up the hill from Sierre and near the resort area of Montana.
Later that evening, Hans, Helena and I attended a performance by world-famous opera diva Cecilia Bartoli in a small church in Gstaad. It was a two-hour ride by car to get there, but well worth the intimate venue and Cecilia’s delivery of beautiful baroque music by Vivaldi and others. It was performed by I Barocchisti, an orchestra specializing in this type of music, using original instruments from that period. Both Cecilia Bartoli and I Barocchisti performed in Iphigenie en Tauride, an opera I saw recently in Salzburg.