Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Himmliche Himmelfahrt

So Germans have a lot of religious holidays, which I have no problem with, but two of them sound rather the same: pfingsten and himmelfahrt. The latter is a 4 day weekend encompassing father's day, which merits a day off afterwards for the men to get over their hangovers. I elected to take this opportunity to go to switzerland to see boyfriendo.

It was a pretty great idea. The trip over was a bit annoying, since the AC in he train was broken, which makes a difference when it is full, but it had the added benefit of aiding my napping, so it was a draw.

Usually I get off the train in Bern, meet phil there and leave, but this time we took the opportunity to check out the Paul Klee Museum. The museum is great, really charming. The architecture mirrors the mountains and the collection being displayed was right up phil's alley, the Near East and it's reception. Klee's works are quite sketch like for the most part, which I adore; I love casual art. We also managed to charm our way into the modern art exhibit in the basement (you are supposed to buy a ticket, but two cute people can get down there for free around closing time!) which was great. Lots of video installations, a rug with fighter plane cutout in it, a 3d floor map of Beirut. We really dig these museums; I guess that working in Artica made a difference in the way I see the world.

Philippe against the mountains and the Paul Klee Museum

The next day we chilled; I studied in the world's most lovely park, and at night we saw a French movie called OSS. The first movie in this 007 send-up is out in America, though it has a lot if class in the states. I surprised phil by understanding the film, even the low-brow language jokes. I highly recommend this movie to everyone. It's Austin Powers minus the toilet humor and plus a little political spin, but not over-the-top.

a view of the pretty park around sunset...
it was really great, and they have a really
sympathetic coffee house there

The big highlight though was going to see this hill hidden in the middle of the mountians that for a few weeks in may is covered in narcissus flowers, so it looks like snow, which was so great! It was just out of a Bollywood, and I loved it. We wandered around the area after in weather that could not have been much better, and it really did feel like we were being party to this secret very few others know about. Nature is extraordinary and when you are kind of romantically attached, throwing massive numbers of flowers into the mix is just too much to even try to fight the sentimentality really.

some of the more scattered groupings of flowers

It really does look like snow!!!!


This is what one singular narcissus looks like...still really pretty!

c'est moi!

c'est boyfriend!

hmmmm...up or down?

There was also a concert one might in a nearby village in which a friend of Philippe was playing, so we went to go check it out. It was really traditional, but they were playing it well, and they let philippe play along at one point. The whole thing was a festival to welcome new inhabitants of the town, so the crowd was a bit sparse, but it was still fun to sit with the friends of the band, "notre groupies," relax, have a cold one. It was almost summer, the air smelled like moist...it was really nice, and all the musicians were in jolly spirits.

On my last day we decided to take a relaxing morning at the pool. No, not trying to find a place on hot asphalt, but rather the Euro-Swim-Experience! A European pool involves a lot more than that. It's a lawn with pretty trees that is even bigger than the pool, a kids pool, diving boards, lap swimming, splashy pool, a part of the lake roped off and kept for swimming (though a real JERKTARD swan got into there and hissed/lunged at my innocent little self) along with a little restaurant. It was really great, and you can stay there for hours and hours. The water was cool and a bit shocking. The word "FRESH FRESH FRESH" was being heard ALL OVER the pool, but it was SO pleasant!

I have to say, this led to some admittedly bad decision making on our part, because--well---

our skin was cold...the sun was warm...it was warm in the sunlight...we were cold...

yeah. We're both still pretty red, and me in no small part from embarrassment. As we were leaving we ran into one of Philippe's colleagues and one of his friends also taking a May afternoon to go to the pool. They joked a bit because apparently it's pretty shocking to go swimming in May, a bit of a novelty, but no good person could resist the pull of the lake, not even hard-minded academics!

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