Thursday, December 29, 2011

Real tweeters

There are hundreds - no, probably thousands - of walkers (using the adorably-termed 'racquettes'), skiers and snowboarders currently enjoying themselves in the alpine region right now.

The tracks left by snow boarders looked like a string of Maggi Two Minute Noodles. The bars and restaurants at 'The Top of Europe' - by the Jungfrau railway - are chockers with human beings drinking beer,  sipping coffees and eating all manners of wurst sausages and sloppily-fried rostis. Sunglasses are huge sellers when folk like Sapphire realise that the dazzle from the sun reflected in the ice will render them blind, so the racks of shades outnumber even the St Bernard key rings, carved wooden cows and miniature pocket knives.

Amongst all this bustle there are just as many birds around; all happily flying, tweeting and strolling along with little fear of wayward skiers, kids on sleds or three wheeler vans carrying luggage up the hillsides.  They gather in their hundreds on the roof of the chalets, in the pine trees, on top of power lines, church steeples, train carriages and cable cars.

They clearly thrive in the bitter cold and snow and the icicles hanging precariously off gutters, river banks and shop fronts are no deterrent. If you've been to a spot, they've been there before you.

So it was no surprise to see that even they get some facilities built for them at the top of Europe:

This is a wonderfully eccentric place to be living in.


Jackie K said...

Even though I hate the snow, reading this makes me wish I was there. It sounds and looks gorgeous. And as a bird lover (and "tweeter"), I love the bird photos!
Sun and snow - yes. Remember my first ski trip wearing Vaseline on my face as a moisturiser, and got badly burnt. Fun times!

Andrew said...

The ultimate highrise.

Elisabeth said...

And you took these amazing photos, Kath, despite all your falls. wonderful. The beauty of life in the extremes.

Marshall Stacks said...

oh gorgeous! and great photos.

thanks and love

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Great pictures - and great scenery too.

Switzerland really is a beautiful country, isn't it?




River said...

I love those sweet little bird houses! How nice to see birds cared for this way.

diane b said...

You make me homesick for my second home. The Bernese Alps are the most beautiful parts of Switzerland. Bill is from Thun and we lived there for a while. I enjoyed eating Rösti and G'schnäzlets on the Jungfrau. I remember flying over it in a single engine airplane once .That was a heart stopper. Enjoy your time there.(How long will that be?)

nuttynoton said...

just catching up on your posts, hilarious and heart warming. Sounds like you had a brilliant time and the scenery looks great, hopefully the bruises will soon disappear. I have never tried skiing, my attempts at water skiing left me floundering and that was a softer landing.

Happy New Year if I do not lurk before then, am at the pub tomorrow evening with friends so looking forward to that

Kath Lockett said...

Jackie you'll be pleased to know that we slathered on some Factor 50 and wore UV goggles.

Yep, Andrew but they're free to break their lease at any time and don't have any annoying neighbours.

Thanks Elisabeth. 'The beauty of life in the extremes' is a terrific way of putting it.

Thanks Marshall :)

PlasMan - Switzerland is stunning - so many 'cliched' pieces of scenery that is actually real. The alps are seen from pretty well any spot in the country.

River, that's what I thought to - a really sweet thing to do when the folk up there would have a lot of responsibilities already.

Diane_b unfortunately it was only four days, but we're seriously thinking about going back again. And again. And again..... Thun is also on our list of places to visit.

Have fun at the pub, nutty and Happy New 2012 to you and your loved ones.

Same goes for you all :)

Louise said...

Such a fabulous post Kath. I love your 2 minute noodle image! The little bird house is so cute

Achelois said...

wow just wow. Brilliant post & photos.

The Elephant's Child said...

Joining with everyone else. Gorgeous post. Thank you so much.

Wally The Walrus said...

We saw the birds too, at 10,000 feet where the air is thin and its jolly cold. They don't seem to care at all.

Makes me optimistic in the face of the ever-present gloom laden pronouncements of the end-of-the-world.

Snowy stuff is a fine visit, and interesting to play about in for a while but (like you and surfing) I have no desire at all the get tired, grumpy, aching muscles, cold and wet by faffing around on skis. That's what perfectly good heated rooms are for, and why cars were invented.

Jayne said...

LOL That is the perfect penthouse for the real tweeters ;)
Love the photos, yes they are like Maggie noodles!

Chestnut Mare said...

You are obviously starting to really settle in & enjoy the place - great to see.

Hope Sapphire is well now too. XXX

JahTeh said...

Happy New Year's Eve to you and the family. I will be thinking of you as I treat myself to the 9 selection box from San Churro which I didn't have at Christmas. In fact I was given the worst box of truffles ever, so bad it took a week to eat them.
The dear little girl who took forever to load the 9 yummies reminded me of Sapphire, blonde hair with an Alice band.

Baino said...

I'm really late catching up but just read your last few posts. It looks lovely, just lovely. Hope Saph is on he mend. You're not missing much here if Sydney's anything to go by. Rather ordinary weather these days. Love he bird prints in the snow and Switzerland is so anally tidy and clean! You must be at a loss in your hunt for rubbish.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Louise. And as fairly regular two minute noodle eaters, we've found that they're fairly hard to find here....

'Wow' feedback has made my day, Achelois!

Thank you, E-Child!

I understand where you're coming from, Wally and there was no shortage of out-and-proud non-skiers in Wengen. There's just a tiny bit of me that wants to 'master' skiing in Switzerland. Swimming in Australia = check. Drinking cider and eating chips in England = check. Skiing in Switzerland = ummmmmm.....

The birdie house was so well kept, Jayne - no peeling paint or dodgy wood for these guys.

I guess it's been seven months now, Chestnut Mare. I was saying to my Dad on the phone that this is our LIFE now - it's not just a long holiday but LC has a serious and stressful job; Sapphire is in school and everything we own bar some photos and ornaments is HERE. And yet I'm one of 10% of the population who speaks English, still sometimes turn on the windscreen wipers when I turn corners in the car and chuckle at phrases like Douche and Ausfart!

JahTeh, I *love* San Churro's seasonal truffles and Sapphire has often commented that she and I should open a chocolate shop together. I then retort that we'd need a treadmill installed directly behind the counter so that I could eat and run it off at the same time!

Sapphire is most definitely on the mend, Baino but now has caught a cold due to having a struggling immune system. "I'm bored with myself," she sniffed last night (from snot not pity). I do admire her though for finding things to occupy herself with and her buddies are only a call and Minecraft session away.

As for rubbish, I've actually seen some here this week. I think the SCRASA blokes are on half-shifts or have lots of time off over the Silly Season, so there have been lots of wayward tissues, beer cans and - somewhat oddly - loads and loads of iced tea mini boxes.

Wally The Walrus said...

Iced tea seems to be a big thing in Europe. It's made an appearance here too. God knows why its so popular, I think its awful.

Christine said...

Just glorious!!! I love the little bird houses...such a lovely human touch.