Friday, January 21, 2011

Switzerland - it's time to (temporarily) move countries again!

It's hard to believe that in a little over a week, January will be over - this year is escaping me already. I thought we would have plenty of time to relax and prepare for our next move after our Christmas holiday but somehow it's that time already... This time next week we will be packed and in the car en route to Switzerland!

When Mitch accepted the job here, we knew it was a part of the contract that he had to spend some time working in a partner institute. He was interested in the work being done in Switzerland (he was actually also offered a job there, but we chose Holland for personal reasons) and with our friends living down there (the plus side of Mitch turning down the job there was that one of our friends who is also Mitch's colleague could apply - it worked out brilliantly!), it was an easy choice to make the move down south for this temporary stay. I must admit, although I know that once we're there it'll be a great couple of months and I'm looking forward to having friends from Australia so close, the thought of packing up and moving right now is the most unappealing thing. Ever. It might not be our permanent home, but right now I'm quite settled here in Nijmegen and I love our little town, our beautiful apartment, my bike and the general lifestyle here and so it's no surprise that when I think about having to leave this for 2 months, I start feeling a little bit homesick for Holland and it's stroopwafels... But anyway - enough of me being negative, it's going to be great and we'll be back to miserable, rainy Holland before we know it!

We were in Switzerland just after Christmas and on the way to our friends house, we drove by the rental Mitch and I will be living in for the next 2 months.... Oh my. Accommodation in this area is near impossible to find so I was quite excited when I found this place online (a holiday apartment basically) as it looks beautiful - small, but new, however what I didn't realise was the location. Naturally I looked it up on google maps but only on the flat map version - I couldn't see the gigantic alp that we are moving to. I was even telling Mitch that we can take our bikes to ride around on to get some exercise - that idea went out the window as soon as I realised that you have to stick in 1st gear to make it up and down the narrow, windy mountain road by car! Yes, we are basically moving to the middle of nowhere - literally, the side of a mountain in between local bull fighting cows and vineyards. It's only a 10 minute drive into Martigny down the extremely steep... cliff ... but it's going to be quite interesting living there - I'm so spoilt right now with having the XL supermarket only a couple of mins by car and the local smaller supermarkets 5 minutes by bike, not to mention the city centre being so close.... On the plus side though - we are going to have some amazing views!

Here's a few shots of our last trip to Switzerland in December - we took a day trip to nearby Montreux & it's impressive former prison/chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of what this little landlocked country has to offer and hoping to maybe even take some trips into neighboring France & Italy...

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