Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Swizerland has welcomed us with all its natural glamour- all of it bathed in the sun. We can hardly see the autumn approaching; mabe for the few colourful dead leaves now and then... The weather was spleandid from the beginning and we had easily forgotten the last 2 days of the entrance into the winter weather in Sweden.

Familiar and friendly face of Pierre Olivier picking us up from the trains station in Sierre / by the way, the 2 hour journey from the airport in Geneve to Sierre by train was a spectacular exposure of all the Swiss beauty. The Alps, the vineyards on the slopes, spectacular work of terraces, picturesque villages, towers of churches sticking out of the green, castles and fortrecess on the top of the hills or inaccessible rocks- all of this passing like in a caleidoscop in front of our eyes!/
It is not our first time in Swizerland and not the first one in Sierre. But you have to be blind not to be impressed by the surrounding beauty!

We realize that Swizerland is a favourite posh holiday destination for the most priviledged on this planet. And Aisha & Victor!

We got our love nest in the most romantic attic apartment with a breathtaking view on the Alps from the skylight windows. Pierre Olivier and Francoise know how to spoil us from the start...
For the incredulous ones: the photo above was taken from the window and it is not even half as splendid as the real panorama.

And it is not only delights for the eyes. From the first dinner in the restaurant to the last visit in a local bodega, our stay in Sierre was a neverending challange for our palates.
The list is probably hard to mention without forgetting something, but from the moment I had my favourite MOCCA YOGHURT for breakfast, I knew I am in Sierre, in Swizerland ( this kind of yoghurt is nowhere to be found apart from here)!

Welcome dinner was held in a little charming Italian restaurant, where I got a proof that Alps moutons ( with rosmary or with champignons) were as delicous as the famous Patagonic ones. But it was only an entrance to the royame of delights in VALAIS...

Next day, after the workshops, we had a busy programme: but the MUST was a participation in the WINE DEGUSTATION, annual event called VINEA!

The best commentaries we get from Victor ( see his Spanish seccion of ATTENTION SWISS!)

But in a couple of words the event was a huge Bachus feast which filled the main street of Sierre with stands of winery owners offering their specialities to the visiting crowds.
Careful as we are with wine tasting before our evening tango show, we could not resist but try a dozen of examples of Sirah, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cornalin, etc
Siesta was an obligation afterwards, bien sur!

The organizers have found a charming dancing room in the nearby locality called Luc. Under the banner "milonga en famille" we had a lot of fun and dancing with our students and friends we have met during last year s festival and new ones, of course. The adventages: we were not anonymous artists anymore, but the friends to have a nice chat and a glass of wine mixed with a tango or vals.

In one word: it was a super reunion of friends and tango lovers in the Alpine context!

On the foto: the elegant ambiance of the last year s tango festival in Sierre in the dancing room of Hotel de Ville.

Next day, after the workshops, was very memorable too. We had a RACLETTE CEREMONY! It was held in Pierrol & Francoise apartment ( view on the Alps from the glassed wall, as a visual delight). Who has ever been to Swizerland and have not tried raclette, has not completed the swiss mission!
It is a ritual like argentinean asado, with a master of a ceremony taking care of every bit of served pieces of hot cheese. I wanted mine more golden brown, and it was how I got it! Indispensable wine-should be white, but on our request we had those marvellous red liquids from Valais!
If one see sees a huge piece of over 2kg of cheese cannot imagine that nothing will rest from it after the Sunday dinner.
WE were 7 altogether, both of us, Pierrol & Francois, our dear students Madalaine, Francoise and Patrice.
Full of cheese and wine, we had only one desire: DIGESTIVE URGENTLY! Nothing serves better as a digestive after raclette as a WILLIAMI, pear liqueur, my DEFINITE NUMBER 1!
But we have not finished there... Pierrol brought another bottle to taste. It was a tipical MYRLI. As we were enthusiastical about the contect, we got a bottle as a present. It will be taken and drunk in Buenos Aires for our WELCOME BACK PARTY. Obviously, we will not share too much of this delicacy.

There we go with key words in the Suiss world of tastes: Mocca, raclette, Wiliami, Myrli and the endless list of Pinot Noir, Sirah...

Monday was a day of rest, relax and filling our eyes and stomachs with the beauty of Valais.
Pierrol & Francois have decided to take us for a trip through the mountains covered with vineyard to SION. Each 10 minutes we were exclaiming our WOWs! and asking Pierrol to stop the car in order to take in and immortalize the sights in front of our eyes. The the most prototipical tourists..

We have visited the OLD TOWN of Sion ( not missing the important spot where Sierre dancers have their tango demonstrations), climbing up the VALERE hill up to the cathedral.

Our group, brave enough to reach the top of the hill, drew attention of the TV crew and we were interviewed. There is always an opportunity to talk about tango. Whether tango dancers from Buenos Aires are interested in historical museum of Valais? Why not, if it is a good spot for tango dancing, definitely YES! ( watch us in ECO DECODE)

For the tango dancers everything and everywhere is applicable to tango activities.

The best example of it was yet to come. From Sion, we transferred to VAREN, a german speaking locality of wine producers. There, we had our last WINE DESGUSTATION followed by the detailed guided tour in the CAVE DE CHEVALIER BAYARD! Little exclusive bodega, run by the family, is a real jewel of wine making. Apart from hi tech hidden from the customers eyes, the big dining room-restaurant is equiped with huge wooden tables and stoned arches in the wall. WHAT A PERFECT AMBIENCE FOR TANGO, we exclaimed! Apart from that, what a perfect combination, TANGO AND WINE! It was only a question of minutes when Pierrol closed the agreement with the cave owner to held a tango presentation there! We are looking forward to TANGO IN THE WINERY!

Friendly ambience and sharing wine, cheeses and prosciutto around the table was part of swiss hospitaliy.

All the ladies ( that is me, Francoise and Jacqline) were adorned with berets with inscription of the name of the winery, and our chevaliers ( Victor, Pierrol, Josy) got the winery T shirts. Next step was a restaurant, in spite of our protests of impossibility of further eating. A nice, italian restaurant was also our good-bye meal with our tango friends. Next day we only had to take one of those fantastic swiss trains and after over 1 hour of caleidoscopic panorama of the Alps and Lac Leman, we arrived to our next station: Lausanne! The second portion of Swiss is coming up soon!


Jean-Luc Vautravers said...

Bonjour ! Bravo pour votre enthousiaste description de la Suisse (et pour le match de l'équipe d'Argentine de rugby, hier soir au Stade de France) ! Je suis le journaliste-producteur qui vous a interviewés à Sion (bonne photo de ce moment sur votre blog !). Vous pourrez effectivement vous voir, en novembre, sur notre site http://ecodecode.blogspot.com qui contient les vidéos de notre émission hebdomadaire "ECO.décode". Pour chacun des thèmes, une séquence a été tournée en Valais. Découvrez-les... Je vous conseille notamment le thème "La bonne assiette".
Nous traiterons vraisemblablement de celui du vin dans le courant de l'année 2008. Je vous en informerai en temps voulu.
Pour me connaître plus personnellement, regardez mon autre site : http://ksarmaroc.blogspot.com Je viens d'ajouter l'adresse de ce site. Cordialement et à bientôt.

Jean-Luc Vautravers said...

Petite précision : sur ma photo, je déguste de l'oeil-de-perdrix de Neuchâtel !
Voir par exemple le site http://www.montmollinwine.ch/wso1_f.htm
Santé !