After publishing my last post, I realized I’d forgotten to share some important pics. Cows!
Not just any cows, Belgian Blues, a very muscular breed.
I also forgot to share this image of a house with a thatched roof, which I took specifically for my mother-in-law (her sister visited Belgium years ago and told her about thatched roof homes).
And then there was this spider. There are lots and lots of these spiders in Annelies and Yves’ garden (yard).
Oh, and this brick barn. Everything is built with brick in Belgium, even barns.
Those images were captured on our afternoon excursion to secure provisions for our upcoming road trip to Switzerland. We were to leave once Yves got home from work.
Yves really does excel at packing a lot of luggage and other stuff into small spaces.
In total, the drive to Tammi and Martin’s house, which is about 20 minutes northwest of Lausanne, Switzerland, was expected to take about eight hours. We decided we’d do about half of the driving on Thursday evening, so we’d have more time with our friends in Switzerland on Friday. Annelies planned a route that took us south through Belgium, into and out of Luxembourg, to Metz, France, where we spent the night.
Rather than eat at home, we decided to grab a quick meal on the road. That’s how we ended up at Burger King in a highway rest stop in Luxembourg.
They speak French in Luxembourg, so I decided to muddle my way through ordering. I was doing okay until the cashier asked if I wanted mayonnaise or mustard. What an odd question to ask about a burger. So I told her make it the normal way. You know, make it however it was usually served. She looked confused by that so I figured I’d make it easy on her and choose the mayo. It was only after my dinner was placed on the tray in front of me that I realized she was asking if I wanted ketchup or mayonnaise for my french fries!
Belgians claim to have invented french fries (pommes frites), and they typically eat them with mayonnaise, NOT ketchup. We got quite a few chuckles out of that whole experience.
Next is one of my favorite captures from that drive…
I’m still kicking myself for not buying that bearded minion.
The rest of the trip to met, while stormy and dark, was uneventful. And we rose bright and early the next morning to continue our drive to Switzerland.
Because we took Yves’ company car, Mike and I weren’t allowed to drive (we’d taken their personal car to the UK), and were relegated to the back seat. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to where we were, I just sat back and enjoyed the scenery. It was quite beautiful, really, especially as we crossed through the mountains west of Alsace, France. Colorful villages with the painted buildings I LOVE, old stuff (castles, churches, etc.), and vineyards.
I told Mike I wanted to return to that area via motorcycle one day. It was quite picturesque.
We stopped at a genuine French patisserie for breakfast, which made my day. The pastries were delightful.
A bit later, we stopped at a rest area for a potty break. The French know how to do road food. (Click on the image for a closer look.)
And we drove right through the heart of France’s Alsacian wine region.
There were vineyards everywhere. And it was harvest time. 🙂
If only we’d had time to linger…
Honestly, though, we were all anxious to see our friends, so we pushed on.
Soon enough, we were overlooking the lovely valley where Tammi and Martin live.
The tall mountains in the background are on the opposite side of Lake Geneva, across from Lausanne.
We were all very happy to reach our destination that day.
That’s cherry beer we are drinking, NOT red wine on ice.
Oh, and we can’t forget their sweet, crazy dogs.
We all enjoyed sitting on their lovely terrace, drinking, and chatting. In fact, we did that for hours. Later that night is when they served us Raclette, which I wrote about previously.
Mike and I are truly blessed to have such friends in our lives.
In my next post, I’ll tell you about what we did on Saturday, including our fun, impromptu visit to the nearby medieval village of Gruyeres.