The Swiss “Désalpes” Festival is a celebration of cows like no udder!

Every year in the early fall, festivals are held across Switzerland’s alpine villages that feature herds of cows wearing silly hats and large cowbells parading down village streets, marking the end of the cattle’s summer grazing in the high alpine pastures. This is a custom that has been taking place across Switzerland for generations, and we recently attended a festival in L’Étivaz to take in this iconic Swiss celebration. Continue reading

Another Awesome Alps Adventure!

I know that I’ve already dedicated a few posts to the splendor and majesty of the Alps, and maybe its because I’ve spent the last 33 years of my life in the northern plains of the midwest United States and so I just can’t get enough of these mountains, but if you’ll allow me just this one additional post on a recent trip we took to Ovronnaz in the Swiss Alps, and including a train ride up to the Matterhorn, then I promise not to even mention the Alps for at least another 3 or 4 posts. Continue reading

I’m having trouble getting used to the magnificence of the Alps

I’m very proud of my adopted home state of Minnesota (I’m not originally from there) and I have always told anyone who asked that Minnesota is truly beautiful with its 10,000 lakes, its rolling hills, the spectacular fall colors, the north shore of Lake Superior, and the pristine Boundary Waters to name just a few of its most appealing features. But there is one thing that Minnesota lacks, and that’s mountains. I’m making up for that now, living so close to Europe’s major mountain range, the Alps. Continue reading

First trip into Italy! Genoa on the Mediterranean Coast

When we visited France in 2002, we were discussing the beautiful sites we had seen in France with a French waiter. After listening to us for a little while, he responded, “yes, France is beautiful, but the most beautiful sites in Europe are found in Italy”. I have always remembered those words, and have looked forward to one day visiting Italy. Continue reading