Monday 5 September 2011

In Switzerland (1)

We've only been in Switzerland a few days and already we've managed to pack in quite a lot.  The weather was lovely and warm when we arrived and this continued into the Saturday.  So much so that Cosimo, Alessio and I trekked across the road to the local Badi for a bit of swimming and sunbathing.  The 3rd is of course Alessio's birthday, his 5th this time and Emma had organized a great little party for him.  Which he thoroughly enjoyed.  It all started with opening the presents, which he does with gusto as you can see below.
Though there was no doubt as to which was his favourite present - this giant aeroplane.
After some games in the garden with his guests, came the food and in particular the blowing out the candles on his specially made Dinosaur cake.  Now, ready, steady, blow!
The cake was delicious and everybody had a great time - not just the children.  There was even a bit of a reunion with some of Emma`s friends who can be seen posing here.
It was a fun day for all and Kathleen joined in with this impromptu modelling.
The next day unfortunately, the weather began to change.  However that did not prevent us from getting out and about. In the morning, Cosimo, Kathleen, Alessio and I visited a kind of Ideal Home exhibition.  There was some fascinating things to see, from wine coolers, built-in steamers, jacuzzis and goodness knows what else.  All, alas, at an equally fascinating price.  This exhibition was only for the rich and the very rich.  Good to see though.

In the afternoon we drove to Schloss Hallwyll in Kanton Aarau.  It is a fully preserved medieval castle surrounded by a moat.  Below is the view from the front and then from the side.

The rooms displayed all kinds of information about the Hallwyl family over the centuries.  Some rooms had period furniture, while others showed off some of the scientific and cultural interests of the family.  A few come up next.

Outside the castle and the moat there is the remains of the old mill house.  The mill lade and the water wheel are still there and some of the old wooden machinery is still there.  Perhaps it still works, though there was no-one around when I visisted.

Across the yard from the mill is a new building which stores some examples of transport from earlier ages, including this wonderful large wooden barge.
We finished our outing by stopping off at a nearby farm which sold fresh fruit and vegetables.  On the drive way there were some stunning clumps of dahlias, including this one.  A lovely way to end a lovely day.

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