My grad student, Aline, invited me to her parent's home in Neuchatel this weekend. We left on Friday and got in a good wander around the old town. There was a castle, an old prison tower, a protestantized cathedral and a lot of cute little streets. There was also some sort of ancient bicycle convention and about 200 people rode around town on those old bikes with a huge front wheel. Costumes included. The town is really old (14th century?) and a lot of the old buildings are yellow-hued with colorful shutters. There were lots of sidewalk cafes and happy looking people going for their afternoon stroll. There were a couple of lovely gourmet food shops with charcuterie, artisan cheeses, and italian imports.
Her home is up in a valley about 5 km from the lake. They have a breathtaking view of the valley which is currently checkered with yellow safflower fields and dotted with quaint little towns. I met her family, who were quite charming, and got to practice my French listening skills. I think they actually increased dramatically this weekend. Rather I just remembered. It's been about 6 years since I studied French after all. And they have cheese after dinner.
More on the rest of the weekend tomorrow.