La Vie Villageoise, #3

La Chapelle de la Famille

At is so happens, this chapel belongs to the family of the matron of this home in which we now live.  All of her children were christened there, following a family tradition dating back . . . I don’t know how many generations, except that her husband, the gracious Monsieur B. from my post entitled “Finding Home,” waved his hands several times in the backward direction, suggesting the string of ancestors.  This chapel, and the many homes in this corner of the village that belong to the same family, are quite a bit of the history.

With time, I will know some of that story.

Makes me downright salivate.

Farther down that same passageway. . .

La Source de la FamilleI’ve shown this water trough once before, but did not know then, as I do now, that is was the family’s private water source for . . . (hand wave gesture indicating “way back”).

I also did not know that Dalton’s bedroom would overlook this pump, and the trickling water sound would put him to sleep every night.

Official tourist wandering trail

What I also didn’t know is that our little street bears one of these signs, which means it is a designated wandering (or hiking) trail on the Swiss government’s maps system. (Which system, you gotta appreciate this, is a SERIOUS enterprise.)

I learned it was a designated route when, during the move when I was standing, hands on hips in front of the moving truck in the road, a group of five impressively equipped wanderers wandered toward me.

I noticed they spoke Swiss German, so I sopke to them in High German. One man responded.

I also noticed they had two German Shepherds (or would that be Swiss German?), and they slurped noisily in the water trough.  I’ll not invite you to bathe there, as promised earlier.

“Hello, you look like you’re looking for something,” I offered to the man with olive green army grade hiking boots.

“Yes. We are. Which way to Rue St. Jacques?”

The dogs were nearly dunking themselves front legs and all in the trough.  The woman with a yellow tank top and a chestnut braid down to her waistline, yanked at their collars and blurted something quiet and cute at them in Swiss German. That language is cute, though incomprehensible as a real language.

“Rue St. Jacques? Um, Sorry, I’m pretty new here myself. Never heard of it.”

I turn to the movers and ask in French if they know the road.

“Only one I know,” says the moving team leader Monsieur Tin Tin, as he calls himself, “is in the middle of Geneva.”

“Yes,” says the head of the hikers. “That’s the one.”

“You’re walking to Geneva?” I ask, laughing a little. It’s a 25 minute drive. But on foot? And with hounds?

“Yes. We are walking. Of course.” And he lifts up his walking sticks. As if they will do some magic or something.

The woman with the braid, who has taken a swig from the fountain and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, echos, “Yes. Walking.”

I smile and shrug at the moving crew, feeling conspicuously sedentary, and put in my place. Wuss-like.

“And from Geneva?” a moving crew member asks jokingly, as if they could possibly go any farther. “Where are you heading from there?”

“To Lausanne.  Then Basel. Then Zürich. Then, uh, Bolzano.”

I now see they have calves like stones. And I’m wondering about the magic in those walking sticks.

“So. . .you’re walking across. . .”

“Yes. Das ganze Land.” The dogs shake off forty liters of water from their fur. Then sit at attention, staring at me.

And then all five wanderers give a jaunty stamp-stamp of their boots, shrug up their enormous backpacks, wave swissly, and walk off down the pathway.  Heading across, yes, the whole country.

I think I mentioned to you somewhere the Swiss invented walking.

My neighbor’s trusty — and stationary — guard dog watches them go. . .

**
© Melissa Dalton-Bradford and melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com, 2012. This work (text and images) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. . . which means, as long you’re not selling it, you’re welcome to share, but please remember to give me a link and mention my name.

La Vie Villageoise, #2

Down the path and around the corner. . .

. . .Is the direction I took once I’d pulled on jeans and some comfortable shoes and headed out, camera slung around my neck. I couldn’t pretend to just be on my way to the boulangerie for the morning bread with that camera staring at everyone like a black cyclops.

Still, I tried to be discreet. I ambled. And hummed, kicking pebbles.

Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum.

Occasionally whistling.

Tweet-dee-tweet-dee-tweet.

Around another corner and over someone’s beautiful old wall. . .

You’ve noticed, these shots are unpeopled. The village is not, though, I promise. It is, in fact, inhabited, and the folks sure look hospitable — we all greet each other with “Bonjour Madame, Monsieur, les enfants” — whatever — when we pass in the street.

But I didn’t want to ambush anyone quite yet for the right photo-op.

We’ll meet a bit later, on September 1st, at the annual village gathering. . .

I wanted to bury my head in this ivy. Or take a mouthful of it. Thought twice when a classroom of kiddies walked by right then. Might have to make a midnight visit.

Roads made for horses, not Hummers.

The cornice above the door reads 1791. Although the carpets might be newer. Maybe.

When you come back tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about this, a family’s private chapel just across the street. . .

And this, the château . . . where a great French author used to lodge . . .

**
© Melissa Dalton-Bradford and melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com, 2012. This work (text and images) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. . . which means, as long you’re not selling it, you’re welcome to share, but please remember to give me a link and mention my name.