The combination of the change in seasons and my pregnancy (slash cheese) related girth has meant a significant decrease in activity in the Purler household. A four day long weekend came and went with no travel plans; I confess I got my teenage surlies on as I thought of all the European exploring we could be doing. It didn’t help that three of the four days were sodden, making our indoor Luzern exile seem even more challenging. We attempted a hike in a nearby national park rumoured to have spectacular leaf coverage, but our arrival coincided with a massive, freezing downpour resulting in a car picnic, the only redeeming feature of which was our Aussie addition of cheese and vegemite scrolls.
On our one not-so-miserable day, we decided to hit the road for a day trip to anywhere that the googles advised was not raining and as such we found ourselves en route to Brienz. Tim was hoping for some Autumnal vistas, I was hoping for some relief from cabin fever, and Addie was hoping – as always – for Kuchen.Brienz is a lovely wee town which showcases a lake and the Alps bordering Interlaken, but it was the Ballenberg museum that held our fancy. A large, open air museum, Ballenberg has collected over 110 buildings from over Switzerland to preserve them and give insight into traditional Swiss life over the years.Because all our research was done through mother’s group hearsay and last minute car googling, we only realised once we arrived that we’d rocked up on the last open day of the year, as the site closes for winter. Thanking our fortunes, we chose a small section to explore; the site is huge and given my current waddling situation seeing it all was not possible. We opted for a loop that covered Central Swiss buildings and had a range of demonstrations (such as cheese making, bread baking and weaving) as well as houses in which we were allowed to interact with the collection.
On our wanderings around the countryside we’ve seen many older style Swiss dwellings, some likely occupied and some not. It was fascinating to explore the interiors: low roofs, dark pre-electicity multifunctional rooms, and frequently the living space held close proximity to where the livestock was kept. The section we explored was laid out like a village: apothecary, village gardens, townhouses and then, on the outskirts, farmhouses.
Due to our lack of planning, my dream of cooking sausages in one of the numerous fire pits around the country this summer was not realised; instead we picnicked under the Autumn leaves (and at least one of our dreams came true – our little miss knocked into her cake like a champ).
We wandered around for the afternoon, noseying through houses, playing with toys and making ridiculous animal noises to keep our girl entertained (bunnies totally say ‘hop hop’, no?).
Our curiosity on old-school Swiss living sated, we called it a day and made our way home, intending to return in better climes (and with Swiss snags to cook up…and possibly more research into rabbit noises).
There’s only a month to go – I hope – until the little guy arrives, and three more business trips away for Motsy during which I sincerely hope there is no baby related action. Until then it’s code go-slow here: more nesting (poor Tim was forced to clean and reorganise all our storage over the weekend because of course newborns require a neat hallway cupboard), trashy novel reading, and enjoying the changing view from our apartment as winter takes hold.
Lovely post. I loved Ballenberg but it’s so long since I’ve been. On the list now for spring. Wishing you all the best over the next few weeks!
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We’re definitely going to head back once it reopens in Spring – so much to see there and such a lovely site. And thanks for the well wishes for the final countdown!
Hooray for Cake! I think auntie and niece will have a fun time together this Christmas! 🙂
What’s your recipe you use for vegemite cheese scrolls? I think I need to make some.. yum!