Monday, February 02, 2009

1 of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

If any of you have a copy of the book, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”, the International Balloon Festival in Chateau-d’OEx is listed as one of the must-sees. Being a connoisseur of all things checklist (must be my American-ness) I of course had to attend.

I was not disappointed. Over 100 balloons from many countries were represented in this festival—everything from typical hot air balloons to fancy-shaped ones like chicks popping out of eggs to an oversized bagpipe player.

I really have to thank John Seay of the U.S. for his balloon, “Western Spirit.” Its design was everything cliché that the Swiss think of when they think Americans—the balloon featured cowboys in the Wild West. If things like this continue, we Americans will never be able to escape the Swiss expectation that we are anything but cowboys.

Anyhow, during the two days spent at the festival, I realized that learning German has caused me to forget most of my high school French so I awkwardly spoke to many people in a combination of English and German, with a token French word thrown in here and there for good measure. Not surprisingly, I was completely understood with the exception of a few small Swiss French-speaking children who insisted that I ordered a sausage (that they proceeded to hand me with their bare hands) even though I ordered a sandwich. So I ate a sausage even though I never eat sausage since I couldn’t waste time with arguing, as I had to get back to freezing my hand off taking photos. I’ve posted a couple of them. Enjoy.


Jessica said...

That is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing. I had read about this and wanted to put it on my list but forgot. Glad you got to go. For next year!!!

Chantal said...

Definitely go next year! I think we'll be returning, it was really something to see.

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