Friday, September 12, 2008

La SUISSE, Lausanne-Valais par Aisha

If we counted the days of our tango tour, the days away from home, from Buenos Aires, it would seem - to almost everybody- that it' s such a long time. 5 months! It is a hell of a lot! But if you move every week, every second week to a different country, different culture, landscape, climat, people, cuisine, language, bed... you discover an amazing thing: the INTENSITY KILLS THE TIME. That is, it makes is pass by unperceptively. RAPIDLY. TOO QUICKLY!
And there we are, in our last station, prelast ' home ' in Europe, SWITZERLAND. We are not counting days till going back home anymore. Those days are chasing us as we are filling our hard disc with ever so new impressions, memories, images...

Switzerland is one of our favourite paradises. the visual impressions are stunning. We are feeding our eays with those postcards of incredible beauty. Our stay tangowise is as ever perfectly organized. People make us feel at home. We have definitely home and family in Valais and Lousanne.

In Lausanne it' s obvious.
There we are, in a little alpine house in the most posh quarter of the town, Puy. But
Julio and Graciela have nothing to do with being posh or snob. They are the best mix between argentineans and swiss. That is- they took the best qualities of both nationalities, as they do have the double nationality. That is what makes them perfect as friends. The mere fact that they speak ARGENTINEAN SPANISH and LUNFARDO is such a relief for Victor, obliged to communication ostratism in so many countries. He was so quitet in Poland and the last station, Wales, with native English so hard to understand for him.Pobrecito... Now, he turns into his talcative self again.
Julio & Graciela work at the Champitet College, which is, if you are not swiss
and do not know, ' Dead poet society' or ' A scent of a woman' kind of thing.
Julio is, however, not a typical argentinean at all.
First, he DOES NOT LIKE TANGO ( but he likes listening to that music) ,

HE DOES NOT LIKE ARGENTINEAN MENTALITY ( that is why he transferred to his ancestral Switzerland)
and HE DOES NOT DRINK WINE ( beer is his favourite).
If we add to that that he DETESTS THE SUNNY WEATHER and he adores t
he cold alpine breeze, he is ever so punctual and reliable, always puts his seatbelt on and is not getting drunk because the Argentinean futball team has win or lost then.... WE HAVE A SWISS Julio here. To finish off- JULIO DOES NOT LOOK LIKE AN ARGENTINEAN. His white skin, blue eys and a moustache show that his swiss genetics prevailed. Both Victor and Julio love cats ( only a mention of our Malena in BsAs makes Victor smile and utter ' grrrr' sound)

What do I have in common with Julio then? CIGARS!

But behind every perfect man there is a woman. So here goes Graciela. With a teenager-like figure, splendid hair and joyfull actitude, she does not look her age ( what s her age?). Great company, great friend-advisor-psycologist ( argentinean qualities) and great cook. In Argentina a woman never does ASADO. Graciela DOES. She knows WHO, WHERE and WHEN. This concerns Argentina And Swizerland.
Graciela makes you feel at home and pampers you without that matherly actitude. Ah, she is a hair dresser too! If it hadn' t been for her, Victor would have performed in Sierre as a hippy!
So, we have our 4 perfect ingredients of our stay in Lausanne:
1. argentinean home
2.views on the Alps and the lake Leman from the windows ( WOW)
3. great cuisine ( swiss AND argentinean. As a welcome back: EMPANADAS. Then, asado from argnetinean meat- that is Julio' s special)

4. great company

Now, a new element adds to our comforts in Lausanne. Julio has bought a new car. And it s a big Rover. ' For your hellish luggage' he jokes. And we do have hellish luggage. The car serves wanderfully for our outings to the Alps. We love EXPLORING OUR SWITZERLAND!

This year' s first trip was to Neuchatel.
Of course Julio never drives us to just one destination. There is a lot to see on the way. First, he point us the Jura mountains around the lake Neuchatel. There are the oldest mountains and therefore very law. By Neuchatel we visit STANDING STONES SITE.
It' s a ' Julio weather', that is sunless and dramatic. It feels a bit like our previous celtic ' station' .
Then we make a little walk ina charming town Estavayer-le-lac. It reminded me a Jacque Brel chanson:
Madame promène son cul sur les remparts de Varsovie
Madame promène son cœur sur les ringards de sa folie
Madame promène son ombre sur les grand-places de l'Italie
Je trouve que Madame vit sa vie
On the way back I insisted on taking those serpentine routes up to the mountains and admire the views on the lake and the vineyards. Julio showed us the little cementery up in the little alpine village Cheyres, where his swiss ancestors rest in peace.
For the weekend we transfered to SIERRE- our TANGO MISSION. Eric, our organizer this year, took us by his car from Lausanne to Sierre.It' s our third time in Sierre and here are the faces of our most advanced students. It' s great to see them and REMEMBER THEIR NAMES! The weekend was very intense with many workshops, but our swiss students are very faithfull-many of them attended ALL the classes and had energy to come and dance at the milonga till the very end. No wander, they call themselves BUENOS SIERRE. Very adecuate indeed!Men, the swiss machos, were working very hard to be good partners!Pleasure to look at. Actually, it was Piotr, an architect and a photographer, who was taking his professional photographs during our stay. We are looking forward to including them in this blog! Comme on, Piotr, do not be so perfectionist swiss and gimme some of them...
The first one, our annual
RACLETTE CEREMONY, chez Pierrol with 5 other couples of our tango family.

Then, Pierrol, according to our 3 year tradition, took us an excursion which ALWAYS INCLUDES the DEGUSTATION DU VINS. It a perfect combination of exploring a new beautiful face of Switzerland and taking a road of wines. LA ROUTE DU VINS. And it's Valais foremost attraction! Along the river Rhon we have thousands of small and bigger wineyards and wine producers. Last year's fantastic attraction was our visit to a CAVE of Chevallier du Bayard. This year our tour ended in CHATEAU de VILLA con la experiencia de: Cornalin, Petite Arvine, heida, pinot noir entre otras...

Victor was absolutely impressed by the size of the press ( pressoir), made of wood.
Our destination was Leukerbad, hot springs. But on the way we discovered a beauty of Albinen. First- en face,
then, de cote.
Alpine villages seem to be fairy tale like places, made to be taken photographs of, enjoying the views and all the details of architecture. FLOWERS EVERYWHERE!We had a walk in the old town of Leukerstadt.
And on Tuesday, we made our ' sentimental tour' of Sierre. By foot. Here, in front of this impressive Hôtel de Ville we danced our demo as a part of Tango Festival 2006.

Then, we found Villa Bayard, where I had my first sip of williamine last year. And we continued to Chateau Villa, connected to our first raclette experience. And the degustation of valais wines, obviously!

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