Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Adventure"




I don’t recall how we started our “adventures”, but my housemate and myself try to work in one at least every quarter. No rules: sometimes we put several cities into a bowl and pick one, sometimes one or the other of us wants to visit someplace, sometimes it is because there is a great deal on train/hotel combos and sometimes the voyage is for research on my housemate’s next novel – other times simply something we want to do, which was the case this time.  We had been meaning to get up to where she started her life in Switzerland and where there is a champagne vintner (neither of us has ever been known to turn down a glass of the bubbly). Also, it was a great excuse to see how the new car ran on a more long-distance trip instead of the daily up to the post office or off to the grocery store.

Rule one: we usually have breakfast in a lovely bakery a couple of communes away from us (not only the usual breakfast fare, but also handmade chocolates, pastries, pies, cakes and one of my favorites – a frozen caramel/whip cream concoction that I will use most any excuse to purchase).


Then we set Mack (thus we have named our GPS and poor Mack, we seldom obey, change his plans all the time, but nevertheless he is useful so we still employ him) to La Neuveville , which was our evening’s destination.

Of course we veered off that plan: first stopping to do some more research on sofas and office chairs, then once we were almost there taking a side trip to Grandson.

Château de Grandson
Although we didn’t go in the castle, we did visit the small medieval church – anyone wanting to renovate an ancient site should go there and take note of the wonderful job that they did! 
Mini pansies on the window sill
Grandson's medeival church
Old town Grandson
Window Grandson




Lunchtime so after passing up a few very small cafés we settled on the one directly across from the castle… and were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the daily menu.





                                                                                     After lunch we headed for Môtiers – the main goal    of this trip – for it’s champagne: Mauler & Cie. Visited the church, walked around to see what had changed in the some 20 years since my housemate lived there, then tasted our champagne and unanimously chose the Cuvée Blue Label brut.                                         
Môtiers' church Inside, wooden ceiling
Church in Môtiers
 Môtiers is next door to Couvet, the birthplace of Absinthe and has its own distillers and a store where the old grocery was.
 
We then happily let Mack lead us to our evening’s B&B in the small town of La Neuveville. We had chosen it for its very interesting past: at one time a bank, then several times a girl’s boarding school, it has been (almost done) completely renovated – the owner is very friendly and informative.

Bieler See
La Neuveville


 Leaving the car there we walked into town (all two blocks of it), then to the lake where we enjoyed a light meal sitting outdoors facing the Lake of Biel.  Around us were several groups having fondue and the people watching was entertaining.




Slightly higher altitude. Flowers are now finally blooming- some with beetles as pretty as they.
Neuchatel's port


The next day after a good breakfast we headed towards Neuchatel, stopping to walk on the beach there, then, both parties being amenable, headed for home and all the work that awaited.

Still, these little adventures are a great way of getting away completely, of changing air (never more so than this time, it was 13°C when we left home, halfway through the first afternoon I had to turn on the air conditioning – it was 27°C!) and in general of seeing something new or the old through new eyes.

Swiss Toblerones - anti-tank line of defense.
 
On the road again.