RDP Friday: Vacation

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When a river runs through it who needs a vacation. Vacations change as the years go. It all began when I was a kid and loved to go to the British seaside once a year with mum and dad: making sandcastles, having a dip in the sea and pony rides.

You get older, the world gets smaller and the first holidays in other countries are on the list. France, Italy via Switzerland are just a hop way.

Perhaps you get packed by the holiday bug and decide once a year for a couple of weeks is not enough. I got adventurous and decided to spend my future on a holiday. I was not bothered where, I just wanted to be in another country. At least I think that must have been the reason, but it worked out. Someone was looking for an english speaking  secretary in Switzerland, I applied and got the job. Little did I know that the idea of living for a while on holiday would become my way of life.

Yes, it was a long holiday, but I happened to meet Mr. Swiss on the way and after 53 years in Switzerland it has become a permanent vacation. Perhaps it is time to go on holiday again, but no. The river at the end of the road is enough holiday for me today.

RDP Friday: Vacation

Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us VACATION.

Me with Eiffel Tower

This is me on vacation in Paris, and just to prove it the Eiffel Tower is in the background. Honestly it is not photo shop but me a few years younger – you can tell by the fashion.

I have been lucky being there and seeing places. I moved to Europe 46 years ago and since our holidays are mostly spent either in the Bernese Overland in Switzerland or in other European cities. Beach, sun and fun holidays are not really our thing, although we did go to Mallorca and Portugal. The furthest I have been is New York City. Mr. Swiss and I decided we should at least once put our feet on American territory; after all it was an English colony a few years ago. Otherwise we spend the summers at home; no stress, just lying in the sun in the garden or going on a car trip somewhere.

However the question is a dream tourist destination. Today the world has really shrunk, everywhere is within flying distance so it just lays at your feet. I have revisted Paris twice and there is still a lot of Germany I should visit. We were once in Vienna and that would definitely be worth a second visit.

I have just finished reading “Inferno” by Dan Brown, you know the author that features a professor who knows all about the old symbols of civilisation and created quite a furore with his book “The DaVinci Code” which was also filmed. Interesting in his books are the places where the events take place.

In the “Inferno” the towns of Florence, Venice and Istanbul play a main part. Now Florence I have visited, it is a fantastic place, like an open air art exhibition: all those old statues on every street corner and the famous sculptures by Michelangelo. It seems that Florence holds the statue phallus record for its exhibits. You can even do a phallus tour of Florence.

I was also once in Venice when I was single and fancy free, with a couple of colleagues. It was an Easter holiday and honestly I wish I had been in a more serious age at the time, but somehow you have to enjoy your teenage years. I did see St. Marks and I even went to the Lido. After reading Dan Brown’s book I wish I had paid attention to more details.

That leaves me with Istanbul. I have never been to Turkey but have read a lot about it. There is an author Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2006 and I read a couple of his books, one of which was “Istanbul: Memories and the City. At the time I was still a working woman and part of my job was guiding the apprentices in our department. My apprentice was a Turk and we had a few discussions about the books of Orhan Pamuk. He gave me the book about Istanbul to read and it was very interesting, from the point of view of someone that had grown up in the city.

Of course I know that the Hagia Sophia is in Istanbul, now a museum, but once a church and afterwards a mosque. Dan Brown describes it very well in his book as well as the Blue Mosque which stands opposite. I would love to visit those buildings. My neighbour had planned a trip to Istanbul this week, but had to call it off because of the riots they are currently having. She had been there some forty years ago and said it is a fantastic city.

At the moment I am in an Istanbul mood, seeing the Bosporus, its bridge separating Europe and Asia and that would definitely be the place I would like to visit. Whether it would ever happen I do not know. I do not really travel a lot today, just my annual trip to London to see my father, but Istanbul would be number one on my list. I must admit Turkish food is not my favourite, but I would not go there to eat, but to absorb the sites. You can find a Macdonalds on every street corner in the world – no problem.

Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap

West Ham United – Local Swiss Boy Raphael Spiegel joins the team.

West Ham United Stadium, Upton Park

As far as football is concerned (the english game – soccer in America) my dad was a West Ham United supporter, so I automatically also became one. Yes, my claret and blue heart beats for the “Hammers”. I was all the more surprised, and even pleased, to read in our local Swiss Newspaper the AZ Solothurner Zeitung (AZ Solothurn Newspaper) the following report.

I am translating and explaining as it is all in German.

The Headline of the article is “West Ham treasure my potential highly” and a photo of the 19 year old goal keeper Raphael Spiegel follows the headline, stating that this man is from Langendorf, a village where me and Mr. Swiss go to the local large supermarket for our shopping and only five minutes away by car from where we live.

It seems that Raphael Spiegel, who is a goalkeeper,  has made a large career jump and is changing from the Swiss football team Grasshoppers in Zürich (one of the best Swiss teams) to the West Ham United team in London. So I went on an exploring trip on Internet and found this link on the West Ham United site.

Raphael Spiegel footballer


Which saves me a lot of translating. There was an interview in our newspaper with him and it seems that it is quite positive that he actually has a three year contract.

One of the questions asked was how his english is. He said that he can understand quite a lot and can basically converse, but he is sure that he will soon learn the language. Another player Guy Demel is also in the West Ham team, who played for a while for Dortmund, and also speaks German, so he will have someone to converse with in the team. At the moment he is in England looking for somewhere to live. I wonder if he will find somewhere near where I grew up, who knows. West Ham is on the edge of the East End roughly speaking.He was also asked why he was not taking part in the West Ham United training camp in Germany, but because of the formalities that had to be settled, no time remained. However, this week he is training and playing with the second West Ham United team.

I would also mention that he played for the Swiss U17 team and is also in the narrow choice for the U20 team.

So I can only wish him the best of luck, and am pleased to see a local boy from my part of the woods in Switzerland who will be playing for my team.