12 June 2008

Alpine Repast

"Landscapes have a language of their own,
expressing the soul of the things, lofty or humble,
which constitute them, from the mighty peaks 
to the smallest of the tiny flowers hidden in the meadow's grass."
- Alexandra David-Néel, Belgian-French writer, explorer, spiritualist (1868-1969)

We had been searching for peanut butter through three countries. We had seen (and consumed) lots of Nutella, some paté, butter, honey, jams and preserves, but had found no peanut butter. Until we stumbled into a small shop in Zurich. There on the top shelf, a bit dusty and lonely looking, sat a small jar of that golden goodness. We bought the jar, some salmon paté, a couple beers, and a thick loaf of dark, German bread. We then took a Swiss train high up into the mountains, next stop: the Principality of Liechtenstein. We changed trains in Vaduz and continued up on a slow local. We disembarked, took a right outside the train station and began to climb. The road cut back and forth across the steep hillside. After some time we veered off of the road onto a well-worn path. We followed that through a thicket of trees, over a couple more hills, and were treated to a sight straight out of The Sound of Music. A lush, green Alpine meadow studded with yellow wildflowers dropped away to a small village of lovely chalets. Beyond the village the earth rose up again to tower in the clouds. The peaks cresting above the valley (the Gorfion and Augstenburg) were still ringed with snow, but the air was warm and fragrant where we were. We hopped the fence, laid down on the verdant hassock and opened up the beers. We toasted the beauty of the scene. Breaking the bread, we slathered the peanut butter on rough hunks and ate them voraciously. Alternately we scooped out the paté, and with the beer ate a very passable lunch under the noonday sun.
KJT - Malbun, Liechtenstein (1998)

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