If you love eating, you can surely be a good cook, but to be an excellent one, you should have good critics at home. For that I owe to my husband and my children.

I dedicate this blog to the young ladies - "the starters".

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Trip To Europe

Walking through the cobbled streets of Heidelberg in Germany....

Heidelberg is an old city with a majestic castle, an old stone bridge,
and a university centre on the banks of river Neckar.
We spotted many youngsters,
sitting relaxed and reading,
some just enjoying the sun.
I noticed wild rose plants on the road side throughout the journey.
Rose plants were full of berries like fruits.
Had we come early sept, we could have
seen the roses in full bloom.
Swiss cow bells, corns and pumpkin in my hand...

Cow bells - is a souvenir to be brought from Switzerland.
Wherever we turn we can hear the sound of the cowbells.
One day in Engelberg as we returned from sight seeing,
in the bushes nearby, we heard this sweet sound of the cowbells..
it was dark out there, still the cows were grazing...
They can't just stop eating, as winter is round the corner.
A Good shepherd in the Interlaken.

The Shepherd calling his sheep with his bucket full of bread.
As he called them and threw the bread ,all came running down
With the rattling sound of the bells.
Only one sheep walked slowly.
The Shepard caught hold of it , cleaned its hooves and applied
Reappearance of a Biblical scene !
The Minster of Bern

A beautiful Gothic style Cathderal in the old city of Bern.
No words are enough to describe its grandeur.
We were running out of time as we clicked some photos and
lucky enough to get good pictures.

The main portal represents Last Judgement - the wicked standing naked
and the righteous standing in white - and
Justice standing in the centre.
Saints and virgins are standing around the justice.
Below this, we see the beautiful arch angel - Michael holding a sword.

Under the Apple Tree in Black forest - Germany.

Apples ready to be plated as - apple strudels

Driving down the Alpine slopes of Switzerland on a chilly morning.

Golden rays of the sun, crowning the hill tops....truly Crowning Glory.
A scene fit for a Christmas card.
Arc De Triomphe at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle Paris

To take a photo standing in front of the Arc, we had to do a bit of running.
After the tour through Champs Elyesees of the rich and famous,
we crossed the busy avenues to reach the centre of place Charles de Gaulle.
The Arch reminded me of our India Gate in New Delhi.
Twelve avenues converge in the circle of Arc De Triomphe.
An aerial view of the Place will give the look of a twelve spiked star.
Napoleon Bonaparte visualised and started the work but
was not lucky enough to see the finished Arc De Triomphe.

Saving for the winter days!

Throughout the mountain slopes in Engelberg, we could see
huge bundles neatly stacked and kept.
we later came to know that,the grass was cut and is
stored for the cattle in winter. This gives the mountain
slopes a well cut look also.
Our trip to europe was a fantastic experience.
Banklialp was the hotel we stayed in Engelberg in Switzerland.
Second day early morning, when we came outside the
Hotel, the out door tables were not cleared. On a table we noticed
a plate of half eaten strawberry ice-cream slab.
Left in the open the whole night, still it did not melt.
This hotel is in the foot-hills of Alps. Mt.Titilus was just nearby.
View of the Alps and the green valley was beautiful and unwinding.
Engelberg by night
Opposite to Banklialp, across the road, there is a
restaurant which served us Indian Punjabi dinner.
It was arranged by our tour manager Ashish. The food was good especially
non veg curry made of Swiss chicken was very soft and tasty.
It was nice to walk around after dinner.We saw this chapel
a bakery, many restaurants and a police station.
Did not spot any police any where, but one feels
safe and comfortable in Switzerland.
Farmers Market in the old city- Bern

In Bern, on our way to the old clock tower by bus, I noticed a farmers market
in a lane. Our tour manager gave us lot of time to cycle through
the streets and roam about.First we went to a pharmacy to
buy eye drops and then we hurried to the farmers market.
It was real fun. There were many, selling vegetables, olives
dry fruits,flowers, sausages, and lots of cheese.
I bought cheese from Cristopher who explained
each variety, and gave us to taste. I found people very friendly
and courteous. As large number of Indians visit
Switzerland , they are happy to communicate with
the limited English they know.
Wherever we travel we make sure to visit the
local market, which will give a natural feel
and flavour of the place.
My husband cycled through the cobbled streets of Bern. It was a busy street
with lots of tourists and trams running in between and fountains
With drinking water .
Lots of high end shops and restaurants on both sides of the street.
Our guide pointed us to the Einstine Haus on the first
floor of a building where Dr.Albert Einstine stayed with his wife.
Tasting Macaroons at the Bachmann

In Lucerne it was - souvenir shopping . But, for me I wanted to taste
macaroons... for which we got into many pattiserri but failed .At
last, in Bachmann we got it . It is just opposite to Bucherer
Though it was expensive to Indian standards
we bought all flavours and finished it on our way back.
A visit to the farm - Chalet Pilatus

Visiting Holstein cattle farm of Mr Peter - Chalet Pilatus in Neuenkirch
near Lucern was a memorable experience.
The cows in the lush green meadow looked picture perfect.
Large area was fenced and electrified. So they never trespassed
on to the road. They came near to us but was very
careful not to touch the fence.I fed them grass.
For the first time I saw apple trees and pear trees.
In the farm house, we had Dj party with Jaggi,and a fine punjabi dinner.
All thirty three of us danced and enjoyed.
Sight-seeing in the city of Eiffel Tower

From top of the Eiffel Tower the old city of Paris looked grand.
Amidst the crowd we saw a young couple proposing...
Paris city tour-driving through champs élysées, window shopping
and of course buying bordeaux wine, at times I felt like
walking through Connaught place in Delhi.
Cruise in the Seine river was very refreshing.
View of Eiffel Tower
and Notre-dam Cathedral was great.
People in Paris were friendly and ladies
in their high heels and coats
and leather bags looked just out of a fashion show.
Among this pomp and show, signs of poverty was also visible.
Grandeur of the past were seen every where.
Lots of museums, monuments, beautiful statues on every corner.
We were told that the country side of France is
More beautiful and clean.

Sitting by the Rhine fall in Switzerland .
The weather was sunny so we could take
off our woollens.
Alpine Chalets

After visiting black forest region,
On our way to Switzerland the view was breath taking.
Chalets .... wooden houses with flower beds full of
geraniums and petunias , windows with white curtains and well cut meadows,
brooks flowing.
As we reach Engelberg in Switzerland the view is un believable.
All credit to the Swiss government and people for
Keeping their country so beautiful and clean-- just as God given.
Black forest - The place of cuckoo clocks and cakes

While in Germany - Frankfurt to Black forest,
everyone was eager to taste the original
Black forest cake.
It is not as sweet or buttery, as we make in India,
it was creamy, soft and tasty ..just melts in the mouth....
Black Forest region - we can describe as small woods
with pine trees on mountain slopes.
In winter, as the leaves fall and it starts snowing....
snow covering the mountain tops, black trees stripped off leaves
Will look like chocolate curls on cream....yummy.
Swiss Alpine Horn

In chalet Pilatus, to our surprise, we were received by
the Swiss flag bearers and a Alphorn blower.
Swaying the flags and blowing the horn, they performed
their National Anthem.
Thereafter we all took our turn to blow the horn.
I could not make any sound, after all I have never blown
even a balloon...
Alphorns are made of solid pine or spruce wood.
Alpine people used these horns in old days, as signal instrument
from mountain tops instead of church bells ?
I liked the smooth cream like colour and the painting at the wide end of
the horn and the small stand on which it rests.
I felt like owning one!!