Ollie and Sophi visit Switzerland!

Posted by on Apr 1, 2012 in Blog, Etc | No Comments

UPDATE: I have been officially accepted to Maker Faire Bay Area! I will be exhibiting the Texting Trapper, which is the cell phone signal detection circuit I’ve been blogging about. SOOOO excited!

The posts will return to all things geek early April.
I’m traveling in Switzerland with my husband and partner Ollie. We’re visiting his family for about 10 days.
We arrive on Friday in Zurich : first, shopping in the Airport mall for birthday presents, wine and such. We rent a car from Budget and get ripped off for GPS ($30 USD/day!) which is a crappy TomTom with old maps.

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that the reason my phone’s GPS does not work is because it’s a Google Maps GPS. Google Maps works by storing the map in the Cloud, while TomTom works by storing the map locally. If there is no Cloud access due to a mismatch in phone communication technologies, you can download an app to turn the phone into a local GPS.

Immediately after leaving the airport we make a quick stop, a Sales meeting for one of my day jobs at a laser company. After this, we drive around for awhile looking for a hotel…Switzerland is very expensive! We settle on a cheaper one, next door to IKEA. We find out later that all the relatives are laughing at us because we chose a hotel famous for having a secret underground parking lot for men and their hookers.

Breakfast Saturday morning at the IKEA hotel is typical for Switzerland. Bread, an assortment of cheeses, an assortment of meats, muesli, yogurt, coffee. Very nice.

Saturday is our Grosi’s (Grandmother) 90th birthday. There is a dinner party at Gasthaus Bären, which is a restaurant with a whole bunch of extra forks and spoons and glasses. In the USA this is called a 5-star. I am so jetlagged I fall asleep at the table after dessert. The elders outlast me by a couple of hours.

After Sunday breakfast, a repeat of Saturday’s menu, I’ve eaten so much cheese I’m over it.

We spend Sunday in Burgdorf. We go to the museum of Frank Gertsch and see a guest exhibition from Cornelia Schleime. She is talented and her history of being a feminist rebel impresses me.

Die Herrin, 2002, Cornelia Schleime

After this, we visit another gallery, this time in an old meat slaughterhouse. The artist died in 2011, his name is Bernhard Luginbühl. His art is insane. There are Rube Goldberg-like pieces with switches on them to make balls roll around and clanky metal move from one side to the other. Plus cow heads!

Sunday dinner, another birthday, a cousin, 22: Fondue! I begin to fantasize about broccoli, but am distracted by cheesecake for dessert.

Sunday night we stay with relatives, artists. Sylvia makes Tiefdruck, prints made from steamrollering patterns. Ueli (a name I only hear in Switzerland) is a Marketing exec who works for Baumann, a large and creative Swiss textiles company. Ueli is also a painter and is showing in Liepzig, Germany in a few weeks.

Breakfast Monday morning: I cannot eat. Coffee.
By lunchtime I am hungry and crabby. We stop at a little mountain store on the way to a hike. They have an amazing assortment of breads and cheeses. Hm. Why is everyone here so thin when all there is to eat is cheese and chocolate?

The hike is beautiful, the mountains amazing. Dinner: more bread and cheese. With wine. YEAH!

Tuesday morning we head to Stuttgart, Germany. We stay in a cheap hotel that is located next to a car painting place…they spray, we shut the windows and go to the Porsche museum.
The Porsche museum is completely lush, with drool-worthy cars and some interesting architecture.

Porsche museum designed by Architects Delugan Meissl Associated

We eat lunch in the museum restaurant looking out into the building. I could cry because it is so pretty and I am here in this amazing place, eating smoked fish and drinking such good wine.

We return to Switzerland on Thursday night to stay with one of Ollie’s cousins. We wander around Luzern, a beautiful city. We visit the place where she works, a showroom of stylish furniture. I posted some furniture photos on Google+
Friday we hike up Mt. Pilatus, it is great to hike again since all of this cheese and bread is chubbifying. Mt. Pilatus…WOW!


We spend Saturday night in Burgdorf, a family party and then go to a “Private Club” with some of the guests. The Private Club is private because you can smoke inside (like in the 80s) and we are all happy with wine.

Thanks for reading “My Summer Vacation” – 🙂

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