We’ve been to Switzerland many times, with and without children. This time we did what we we always do. We rented an “apartment” – in this case one room the size of a small hotel room but with cooking facilities – and we went hiking, using our Swiss Pass to the full to get around the country on trains, buses and boats.

We had a lovely time. As we walked, we greeted the people we passed, and this is one of the fun things about Switzerland. Most of the time, we were in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, although German here is very different from the German I learned at school. The usual greeting is “Grussech” which apparently stands for “greetings to you”, but sometimes they say “greetings to everyone” or several other combinations. Some days we travelled to the French-speaking area and switched to “Bonjour.” In the Italian area, we said “Bonjourno.” The strangest walk was from the German-speaking to the French-speaking area, when we switched mid-walk.

But I want to tell you about three special encounters this time. The first was with one of the natives, and while I didn’t venture too close to her…

Me and Cow…the holiday wouldn’t have been the same without this one and all the others, crossing our paths, their bells dingling.

The second encounter was with someone you all know.

Me and Sherlock

We had a most interesting conversation together, but I couldn’t interest him in my bookmarks. I had to admit that there’s no crime to investigate in my book.

The third encounter was with this couple:

Cable car from Grindelwald to MannlichenWe got into a cable car for four and they followed us. The man said, “My country is Kuwait.” We smiled and D said, “We’re from Israel.” A few eyebrows were raised. They smiled when D spoke a few words in Arabic. We took photos of each other. That’s all.

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