Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SNOWY WALES & SWITZERLAND

The snow has gone now, but this was the scene last week as I looked from a bedroom window. I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of the snow at its worst, but even so, our part of Wales suffered considerably less than the majority of the UK.

This is the view overlooking our back garden out up to School Hill, you can see the narrow lane up to the school as it cuts through the snowy scene at the right hand side of the picture. If you click on the picture it will enlarge allowing you to see a house in the clearing which is the Old Rectory and just to the right of that, obscured somewhat by the trees, is our village school that has about 28 junior pupils and sadly, like many schools in surrounding villages is under treat of closure.

Dear George, in the summer he is very much an outdoor cat, but at this time of year, like me, he prefers his creature comforts and can usually be found on a comfy cushion by the fire.




Back to Switzerland for a few more pictures..... The riverside walk where in the summer many restaurants have tables set outside for alfresco dining.


I never can resist a pretty cat.... I found this one sunning itself on the riverbank. Pure white except for black eyebrows.... Beautiful!!

Vineyards hug the hillside

Oh! now there's a gorgeous little puppy dog... I wonder who he belongs to?


The Church in Eglisau. It has magnificent bells which we heard ring out the old year and ring in the new.


Wonderful frescoes have been uncovered on the walls.


Neatly maintained courtyard

I never fail to be fascinated by the half timbered houses so typical of Switzerland, Germany and Austria and of course in numerous villages in the British Isles too. Most of the houses in Eglisau are built this way with vertical studs and cross pieces of timber which are filled in with brick or stone work and then plastered over..... and they comes in a wealth of different styles, shapes and are painted in beautifully contrasting colours.




This is Neunkirch a town near the German border we visited....

This beautiful property is about 300 years old and has recently been purchased by a friend of my son’s who is in the process of renovating it and converting it into apartments. It has a labyrinth of cellars and even a magnificent ballroom with exquisite fresco painted walls and ceiling.

Snowy scenes around Neunkirch.....


When time allowed I enjoyed walks along the banks of the Rhine to the pretty village of Tossriedern....

The Rhine can be seen to the right of the pathway....

I always stopped to admire this beautiful lamp....

Unfortunately this interesting antique shop was always closed when I walked by..... but the little garden was a delight... being full of attractive art objects....

I guess the owners were cat lovers.....

I would have loved to take this one home with me.... she's beautiful!

Whilst in Switzerland we encountered a number of these unusual stoves..... My son has one in his farm house. I was amazed at the amount of heat they give... fuel is fed into the furnace section which is usually in the kitchen and....


.....on the other side of the wall in a living room this ceramic tiled stove gives off the heat. I liked the way it has its own built in seat. Yes, very warming when outside temperatures are sub zero.

Timber stores were a frequent sight... all so very orderly and neat.

This picture illustrates how huge trees have been felled and sawn into perfect planks, each one kept separate from the other to allow air to circulate and dry out. If you click on the picture you can see the perfect rings of the tree.... fascinating!

Well... and here comes that adorable little puppy dog again.

Have a wonderful week, keep safe and warm
Marion

13 comments:

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Betty said...

Mmmmmm...now I do wonder to whom that little white dog belongs?

Marion, the pictures are breathtaking ... the scenery is so different than I see surrounding our home, as you know...thank you for taking me along on your visit.

I enjoyed enlarging the first picture and seeing your neighborhood.

Sending our love...Betty

Betsy said...

Thank you for the great pictures and I do like those half timber homes, There is one here in Richmond Va similar that was brought over from Lascashire England in the late 15th century.
It is called Agecroft Hall.
The snow scenes are so pretty, I love snow and I do like the first picture, nice to be able to look out of your window and see such beauty.


George knows a good thing and he's got it, a nice comfy chair and warm fire, he is so cute.

Have a great Day
Betsy

Barbara said...

I do love the idea of that kitchen stove with the tiled storage heaters on the other side of the wall. This is the same technique used in very old abbeys and the like whre they had a furnace one side of the wall and an alcove the other side to dry clothes.

The street lamp in garden is nice too. Well all the photos in fact but toomany to comment on.

Enjoyed enlarging the one from your bedroom window. I am so glad the snow has gone.

Beth said...

Hello Marion,
Thank you for following my blog. I am so glad that I found yours. It's beautiful!

Iowa is cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. However, it's not as hot as Georgia, which is quite a bit farther south.

I have been to London, but just for a couple of days on a tour in 1998. I'd love to visit more thoroughly since there is so much to see in the UK.

Love how you featured the puppy in your blog - so cute! The puppies are a feature of "The Daily Puppy." It's a "gadget" I added to the layout of my blog, just for fun and because I love dogs (and cats).

A Lhaso Apso is a recognized breed of the American Kennel Club. Perhaps it is not recognized in Great Britain. I have a dog breed book from your area, and breeds recognized are not all the same. For more info, www.akc.org/breeds. By the way, I don't think I'm correct in interchanging "UK" and "Great Britain" - what is the difference?

I look forward to reading your blog and learning more about Wales and the UK.

God bless,

Beth

Kerri said...

How lovely it is to catch up with you, Marion.
The snowy scene from your window is not unlike our own snowy countryside. I enlarged to see all the interesting details, and did so also on some of your other lovely photos. That's a gorgeous church.
Thanks for sharing your Swiss scenes with us. How wonderful to spend Christmas in such a beautiful place with your son and DIL.
It's certainly been a cold and snowy winter for many corners of the world, with the cold stretching icy fingers far and wide!
George looks so content. What a handsome boy he is. Our 3 girls are not spending much time outside lately either. Poor Hannah gets very bored. She's a very active cat.
Your new stove is a cozy addition. I can imagine how much you're appreciating it :)
I love those half timbered houses! And the puppy is adorable :)
I hope you and John have a wonderful week too, and cozy up to that warm stove.

Willow said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to Switzerland, a country I would love to tour! Wouldn't a walk alongside the Rhine River be wonderful?

The two sided furnace is a great (old) idea!

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Babara said...

How interesting (and funny) to see such nice and also familiar pictures with scenes from villages and little towns of my country. I like the way you look at things and describe them. Actually, here snow is slowly disappearing...but not in the mountains of course. Today I saw my garden again for the first time in weeks ;-) ! However, I am glad that everything is still having its wintersleep...it would sometimes be nice to be able to have this kind of sleep too ;-) !!
Have a cosy weekend!
Barbara

Sara said...

I like George the Cat! He has on a nice thick fur coat well suited for the cold months, but he's smart to stay indoors by the fire. Your Switzerland photos are wonderful....one of the great things about blogging is being able to visit other places with our eyes if not our bodies. That's a sweet little puppy too; he looks like good company!

Flip Flop Floozie said...

What great pictures!! Boy do I need to blog..been a long time now. My splint is off so I can once I think of something to write. My life is a little boring except for falling down the steps..Smile!!
i love your cat, George...he is something else. We love cats here...Sandy

Hillside Garden said...

Hi, Marion, I see you are back and with you all your wonderful photographs!
I will send you a mail the next days.

Sigrun