Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Le fabuleux village d'Evian

We decided to go on a trip at the last day of 2013. Destination: the faboulous village of Flottins in Evian. This lovely city is situated right on the board of Lake Geneva. We chose it because of a festival that was going on between Christmas and New Year. I have no idea what/who Flottins are, but what I know is that the place was filled with the strangest wood sculptures one could imagine. 'Strangest' is a gentle word to describe them, I think 'creepy' is more accurate :) Radek said that if he had found himself on a meadow with all these wooden creatures, he would have felt scared like hell. I agree. Nevertheless, spread across all over the town, they made for a very particular and absorbing view that we both really enjoyed.


We were both surprised by the multitude of the sculptures. Arranging them all over Evian must have already been quite an endeavor, not to mention actually crafting them!  We started our trip by walking along the lake shore, which was a good prelude to the rest of the visit, since the sculptures by the water were relatively less sumptuous than the rest. Then we headed to the old part of the city and walked through the alleys full of the weirdest installations...

We decided to leave the best part of the city - called 'le fabuleux village' - to the end of our trip, so after a brief walk through the streets and stopping by for a cup of warm coffee, we set off to see Evian's marina. Like every lake-side place here, Evian can pride oneself with a beautiful harbor for yachts and boats. We strolled down a calm and quiet boulevard by the water and enjoyed the sun and watching more sculptures scattered all over. 

Last but not least, we headed back to the town to see what was called "the fabulous village of Flottins" - a small passage filled with wooden goblins, gnomes, imps and who knows what else... Well there was even a huge hippo - kind of bizarre since hippos seem nice to me. But that one was huge and was opening its mouth every now and then like he wanted to devour the spectators, so in the end he suited well among other companions of this queer market.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thun revisited

In 2010 when I was in Switzerland for one year we did the exact same trip: Bern first and then Thun - a small city located just a bit south and just a bit east to Bern - right at the foothill of the Alps. Thun is a pretty little place and we decided to treat it as a starter to even more beautiful mountain resorts that we want to see this winter. Also, since I didn't feel that well health-wise, we decided to go to Thun which was the closest to our location.
The atmosphere of the city was way more hectic than at Bern. We first went by the city promenade - full of young people, Christmas emblems and crazy window displays. Then we headed to a boulevard stretching along the Thuner See (Thun Lake). A look on the Alps felt like a foreword to the views that we are going to see when we visit villages even more to east and south.

On our way back we went through an old city alley that was heading to the castle. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the top. We decided to return to car because I was feeling more and more ill. Better to save my health for later - in the end, I already saw the castle in 2010 (photos from 2010 below).

And here is a view from the castle hill in 2010 (just four years ago but seems like an eternity now):

Hazy Bern

Christmas are past and Radek has still a couple of free days left so we decided to use the time wisely and do something else than my usual 'staying at home'. It's a pity I am ill though, nevertheless I feel like getting out and so we went east - to Bern anf Thun. Bern is the capital city of Switzerland well known for its bears (emblem of the city). I have already visited it twice in the past but each time was a bit different. This year we were greeted by a thick mist which made the city look dim and mystical.
We parked our car by the bear cave which is situated just by the river with a nice view on the city. Pas de chance though - I guess the beras were sleeping so the carrots we had taken with us remained in our rucksack.

Then we went past the bridge to stroll down the main bernenian alley and admire beautiful ornaments on the tenement houses and throw ourselves into the remains of the Christmas atmosphere. I guess it was good time to visit the city - the Christmas rush was by no means over, yet there were a lot of people (mainly tourists) who made the old town vibrant.

We continued walking and passed by what seemed to be the town hall, cathedral, well known tower clock and a couple of other fancy buildings. At the end we found a Christmas market next to a coffee house we stepped in to warm up. After this short but restorative break we went back the same route. Surprisingly, I noticed a lot of different details on the way back. Perhaps a change of an angle makes the difference while observing the world surrounding us. Also, the mist became less thick so it made us see the colours a bit better. We didn't stop any more and went straight to the car to continue on our day trip and go to Thun.