Switzerland. Say that name to anyone and they will instantly start talking about the Alps, chocolate, cheese, watches and more. All stereotypes you may think, but they are really not, all are a big part of Swiss life and something that is embraced by all the Swiss.
The vast amount of natural beauty you have around you living here is unreal. There is just so much you don’t know where to look sometimes. Living in Bern, the Capitol of Switzerland, is unlike any other Capitol I have lived in or visited. You would expect a fast paced city, with a large poplutaion rushing about their daily buisness wanting to get home in time for the evening news. Not so!
There is a really good pace of life out here, everyone goes at a leisurely pace, there is none of the rush and anonymity that usually comes with living in a large city, everyone is friendly, friends greet each other with three kisses on the cheek, everyone swims in the river throughout summer and can safely leave their bags on the vast public gardens while they swim , lovers and old people alike feel safe taking an evening stroll through any of the parks, the old city or by the river by dusk. It really is a unique city, something I’ve not experienced before and am thoroughly enjoying and making the most of.
Today I had some spare time between rehearsals, so I took my bike and went for a short ride up into the hills, just so I could enjoy zooming back down with the wind in my hair! A rather big workout for the thighs on the way up, however getting to the top and seeing the view across the city was reward enough. From the top you can really appreciate the size of this place, it stretches between the valleys, with a river snaking through it, dotted with old buildings, church spires and sunflower fields.
I found a really cool new place. On the way up I was struck by a large tree standing by itself at the edge of a sunflower field. The sheer size and colour of it against the background was truly impressive. A nice place to sit under or climb with friends I imagine. I’ve always enjoyed climbing tree’s, when I was younger I had my own tree in my garden that I would go and sit in when i was mad at the world or wanted to get away from something and I have a tree planted at Blair-Drummond Country Estate, where we lived when I was younger, to commemorate my christening. There’s something quite peaceful for me, being at one with nature and not having a care in the world for anything else that is going on in your life for those few moments. A bit hippy you may be thinking. But not at all, I think it’s extremely important, especially in this day and age of fast life and advanced technology, to take the time out to really get away from it all and enjoy the moment you are in.
We spend so much of our lives wishing we could go back to what was a ‘great’ year in the past, a specific time in history, a golden age, but really, we’re living in one, right now. Taking pleasure in life as it is, really living in the moment and not having your mind in another place can be hard to do, and I guess is a natural human instinct. Sceptics of this view may say we do this, take ourselves away, to numb the pain of the present. Yes everyone experiences pain and angst to varying degree’s throughout their life, but it is only a temporary pain that diminishes with time. A time that you get through with help and support from the loved ones in your life and those close to you.
What I’m getting at, is that from the time spent here already, it’s really making me be grateful and appreciative for what I already have. I’m not going to start crying about some poor kid in africa now and how disadvantaged they are, or indeed go there on a charity mission, but being here has really opened my eyes up to how much I already have around me. And I don’t mean materialistic things, they are only a temporary thing that you grow out of, break of get fed up with. I’ve always know what I’ve got, a wonderful family and brilliant group of close friends, but being away from them is making me appreciate what we have even more and be thankful for having them in my life.
Below is a picture I took at the weekend. I went on a wonderful adventure by bike with one of the son’s from the family I’m living with. We cycled by the local airport, very small and full of private jets and small aircrafts, they even run a service to Germany with a free Ipad for all customers for the flight! From the airport we continued on the road taking us past farms and field after field of beautiful sunflowers, always with the Alps standing proudly covered in snow in the background. Lunch followed at a lovely restaurant by the river, lovely food and a wonderful location to eat in. We really are lucky to still be having such good weather at this time of the year, mid-high twenties most days still here. My tan is constantly getting topped up! After lunch we cycled almost an hour along the river back home, and along the way we stopped to enjoy the beauty of the nature that is in abundance here, and that is how this picture came into existence. Shortly after taking the picture the swiss airforce, strikingly resembling the Red Arrows, flew over us in formation, very impressive indeed! Until the next time … enjoy the picture.