Redcliffe Pier

Monday, November 2, 2015

LIVING IN SWITZERLAND IN 1970

(Continuing My Story)

It had been three months since we left Papua New Guinea and toured half way around the world to finally settle in Switzerland. We were living with Bill's parents and they were very good to us. Bill enjoyed showing me his beautiful country. Nearly everyday he took me on a scenic drive.  I was so lucky to see so much of Switzerland with the locals and not as a tourist.
One day we took Bill's mum and aunt for a picnic to Gurnigal in the mountains. It was a lovely drive through farmlands and fir tree forests.

 We tried to find a flat spot for the pinic table and I giggled because my brother always joked with me about living in Switzerland. Why do you want to live there you cant find a flat spot anywhere.
 Bill had an idea!*#!

 "What could it be? Where has he gone? What is he doing?"

 Ah! How romantic he went picking wild flowers for me. 

Another day we went over the Jaun Pass. The road was narrow and winding up and up to a winter ski resort where we had lunch.

 The views were stunning. Just like out of a picture book.

With the inlaws but still not able to have a fluent conversation with them. Would I ever learn to speak Swiss German?


We also travelled to many different towns to visit Bill's relatives. I met his uncle, aunt and cousins in Basel. We even climbed to the top of the cathedral.

 By far the most exciting trip we did was in a small four seater plane. One of Bill's friends had a pilot's licence and he offered to take us for a flight over the Swiss Alps to the Italian part of Switzerland. The little plane just had enough height to skim over the mighty Jungfrau Mountain and then we flew along the glacier between the shear walls of the towering mountains. I was a tad nervous but it was so exciting.

 We landed in Locarno and we found a cafe by Lake Maggiore for morning tea. Soon we were back in the plane trundling along the airstrip and taking off for Ascona another beautiful town on the lake.

We had lunch in Ascona and then it was time to fly back over the Alps. Once again we had to follow the valleys and circle inside the valley to get height to just clear the highest peak. We were so close to the snow and then suddenly we were over the top and the ground was a long, long way below us. It was better than a roller coaster ride. Wow what a day. After my feet were firmly on the ground again, Bill tells me that Hans, the pilot, had let him take the controls while we were flying along the valley. Glad I didn't know that while we were up there. Needless to say, that was the highlight of the trip for Bill.
But the exciting day didn't end there. When we landed at Belp airport  we were asked to be extras in a movie that was being shot there. We happily agreed. The film was called "George"starring Marshall Thompson and it was about a St Bernard dog.

We were having so much fun but how much longer could we last without working?

32 comments:

  1. Did you ever learn to speak Swiss/German Diane? You have such lovely memories of Switzerland, looking forward to seeing how you work out the 'working dilema' :)

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  2. Hello Diane, wonderful memories of your time in Switzerland. It is a gorgeous country. The alps are just stunning. The plane ride sounds exciting and being extras in the movie. That is cool! Great post and photos. Have a happy new week!

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  3. Learning a new language is not easy but you were younger then. Now my brain just cannot remember!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and being extras in a film must have been exciting. Have a good week t'other Diane

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  4. You give me hope for a couple of our grandkids who have opted to take temporary retirement early before settling in to regular careers! Just a break for travel and adventure! I actually approve! Why not?

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  5. The country seems so beautiful as you've captured, you should be getting a sling from the Tourist Bureau of Switzerland.

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  6. That flight sounded a bit heart in the mouth.

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  7. The mountains are so incredibly beautiful. To fly over and among them ... I can't imagine the thrill!

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  8. Wow! I can't imagine how exciting it must have been to fly over the Alps in a small plane. I have thoroughly enjoyed your time in Switzerland Diane and look forward to the next post you write about it.

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  9. Wonderful time in your lives. Beautiful scenery that we in Australia don't get to see of 'snow capped mountains'.

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  10. Oh what an exciting time you had and the photos and scenery so stunning what is your Swiss German like now days

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  11. Your memory is amazing! Did you keep a diary? I enjoyed seeing all those photos and they reminded me of the week I spent in Switzerland in 1973. It's a beautiful country. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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    1. Yes Sheila I have a diary and scrapbook to remind me of this time of my life. I don't have a very good memory but the diary is great at helping me remember.

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  12. What a marvelous experience this must have been. Thanks for sharing your flight over the Alps with us. All of your photos are marvelous.

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  13. You have such a wonderful collection of photographs from the various places you've lived during your life Diane and these are just spectacular. I felt like bursting into song!

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  14. Switzerland is so beautiful! You were indeed fortunate to see so much of it while you lived there, Diane. I am curious as to why Bill did not find a job there so you could live there--I guess a future post will reveal the secret ;) Do you wonder how different your life would have been if you did settle there for the rest of your life?

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    1. Bill did get a job before we left. I will get to that part of the story soon. There were a few reasons why we didn't stay. I don't think our lives would have been as rich as they have been here. Mostly to do with opportunities that Australia provided for us.

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  15. It sounds as an endless holiday wit lots of fun. You got a great impression of Switzerland from all kind if angles. Such sweet memories.

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  16. Just fabulous. Wonderful shots and memories - you must be enjoying writing this! That trip in the aircraft sounds like the flight of a lifetime - wow!!!

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    1. Yes, it is fun reliving these adventures.

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  17. Wow what beauty! Those views were stunning! What fun memories......I think the pic of your Bill giving you wildflower he had picked is priceless

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  18. What wonderful memories you have, Diane! I can feel the excitement coming through when you describe the trip in the little plane. What fun to fly off for breakfast in one town and lunch in another, and then climb higher and higher to get over the highest peak. Wow.

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  19. that road is a tad scary.. way up high and the first photo makes me remember the book Heidi.

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  20. I can't understand Swiss German (the pure one) when they try to speak German then it's OK. The writing is the same of course. When I stayed with my friends they spoke German with me, but Swiss German amongst them and I only from time to time I caught a word. Yes the Alpes are very beautiful and the Lago Maggiore too. What an adventure in the airplane ! I did that once along the Belgian coast, but without mountains !

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  21. I am such a sporadic blog reader, that I've had to spend some time catching up on your story. You have lived a lovely life, and it is so wonderful that you have photos and can recall all these amazing experiences!

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  22. I'd have bbeen petrified to cross the Alps in a small plane! You were very brave!

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  23. A fabulous country even if you can't find a flat spot. I'm sure those pretty wild-flowers from Bill more than made up for your rocky picnic space.

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  24. wow what an adventure. Switzerland is fantastic and that Locarno looks great. Flying over the Jungfrau must have been a great experience It is a pretty high mountain

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  25. I loved your last statement. Work does certainly take a lot of fun out of life!! I'm glad you took so many photographs - they are lovely. I've never been to Switzerland - I know I would love it xx

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  26. Fabulous post! What a dream! Love the lack of flat places for the picnic table! :-) Gorgeous scenery! I know you have amazing memories! Thanks for sharing some of your photos.

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  27. What a fantastic adventure! The scenery is stunning and you all look so happy and carefree in the photos! It must have been a wonderful time of your life!

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