Telling Swiss Farmers What to Do

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t know who or what to vote for. “Undecided” is not a category I ever find myself in, at least not when it comes to politics. On June 13, however, Switzerland is voting on two initiatives that would force Swiss farmers to give up pesticide, and I don’tContinue reading “Telling Swiss Farmers What to Do”

A Garden for the Dead

At the risk of seeming morbid, I wanted to return to my favorite place for walks, the Schosshalde Cemetery. On March 30th, I wrote about how most Swiss graves last for only twenty years, before they are filled with another generation’s coffins and urns. But I didn’t tell you how beautifully tended those temporary gravesContinue reading “A Garden for the Dead”

Ten Little Piggies Went to Market…or?

Every spring, at least one litter of piglets is born in the large enclosure for wild boars between the Aare river and the Dählhölzli forest.  When I walked along the river path beside the zoo today, I joined the crowd of parents holding up small children to see the antics of ten tiny furred andContinue reading “Ten Little Piggies Went to Market…or?”

A Plate of Eggs

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy Easter.  I’m not just thinking of the pleasures of chocolate eggs and fancy Easter breads or even, in Switzerland, the taste of a shoulder of baby goat roasted with potatoes and an Osterfladen, its buttery crust filled with almond- and lemon-flavored custard.   I enjoy Easter becauseContinue reading “A Plate of Eggs”

Temporary Graves

Bern’s Schosshalde cemetery, a hilly expanse of grass, trees, flowering shrubs and pansies shaded by gravestones, is perfect for a quiet spring walk. A place of peace, with intimations of eternal rest. Right? Wrong! Twenty years. That’s how long these dead get to rest. And then, whoopsie-daisy, their rent runs out and their spot isContinue reading “Temporary Graves”

Brunetti under the Matterhorn

Although it’s mid-March and Bern’s parks are full of daffodils, Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn, is still white with snow. A posh ski resort disguised as a village, Zermatt is in Valais or Wallis, depending on whether you are in the French- or German-speaking part of the canton. Zermatt is 1620 meters above sea level. FromContinue reading “Brunetti under the Matterhorn”