foreign travel

Basel and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland & Paris 2023


I had a free ticket to Paris with my saved-up AA miles, so planned to take a cheap trip to Switzerland and Paris to visit writer friends of mine, but then my oldest grandson Andrew requested to accompany me. “Only if you pay some of the expense,” I told him, knowing he had money saved from his internship with an architecture firm. He agreed, so off we went. 

Basel, Switzerland

Andrew and my friend, the award-winning writer Lidmila Sovakova, take in old Basel

My friend Lidmila took us for a tour of the city, which combines old homes (500 years old) in old town and modern sky scrappers in the new town. Basel is known for the medical companies headquartered there, and for their museums and art. It is very international and very civilized (a touch too much?). The Rhine river runs through it.

From Basel we took the train to Interlaken and another up to Lauterbrunnen, a small town snuggled in a magnificent valley in the Alps.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen is a gorgeous place to visit, with its green hills, steep cliffs and ribbon falls. We stayed 2 days there, hiking to waterfalls, and taking gondola rides to mountain tops like Schilthorn.

Whenever I visit a new town, I search out the best unique food – in Lauterbrunnen, for me, it was the pumpkin-seed multigrain roll from the Coop store – I ate one every morning.

Of course, being in Switzerland, we had to eat the potato (yum) and bread (yuck) cheese fondue one night, which cost $70 for the two of us.

In walking around town (and since my younger brother is a retired fire fighter), I noticed the cute fire hydrants.

Our hotel was a 15 minute walk from the town center, down by the river. From there we walked another 20 minutes to Trummelbach Falls, a roaring waterfall inside a mountain.

We took gondola after gondola after gondola to get to the top of Schilthorn mountain, only to be encased by clouds. We did get to walk half the Thrill Walk (the other half was icy and blocked off).

Paris, France

Ah Paris, my favorite city. I got to visit another of my writer friends there, and walk the city where I once lived for 5 years (from the age of 33 to 38). Where I joined a writers group and made life-long friends. Where they have 5 cheese pizzas with real cheese, and delicious hot crepes with sugar and butter. Where the buildings speak old French and the spring sky blesses you on your walks into the past.

Paris, with its Pere Lachaise cemetery, great for sightseeing tombs of the famous (Chopin, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Delacroix, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Sarah Bernhardt), and mysterious crypts and gravestones covered with spring growth. Paris, the setting of my 2nd Phantom mystery book, Phantom of Pere Lachaise.

I’ll finish my blog with a walk thru Pere Lachaise:

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