Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Bit of Swiss. In Indiana.

The Frau went to Indiana for vacation last week. (Yes, Yodelers, you heard The Frau right. Indiana. The part not far from Gary. Yes.)

The sunset from the beach in Dune Acres with the
Chicago skyline in the background
Now, after running around places like the Alps, Italy, China, and Spain over the last decade, The Frau never thought she’d go to Indiana for a vacation, but Indiana, specifically the lake-hugging area between Dune Acres and Beverly Shores, has a lot to offer–including, who knew, a little Swissness.

Therefore, if you must know, The Frau recommends going to Indiana for those looking for a little Switzerland in the Midwest. (And also for those who love climbing dunes and enjoying sunsets on the beach.)

Wooded path to Mount Baldy
First of all, this area in Indiana’s northwest corner boasts a lot of biking and hiking paths. In the Indiana Dunes State Park, there are over 16 miles of trails and there are 50 miles more if you count the trails in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which surrounds the state park. There are paths through marshes, bogs, along the lake, in the dunes, in the woods, and through the prairies. It’s wonderful.
The Three Dune Challenge in
Indiana Dunes State Park
Dune path to the lake
Then, there are pedestrian and bike crossings that go over busy streets like U.S. 12 and U.S. 20 so you don’t have to wait for traffic or fear for your life as you cross the street. (The Frau wishes the Chicago area would take as much care of its pedestrians and bikers as the area between Gary and Michigan City does.)

If you rent a beach house in Dune Acres, a lakeside resort village, then you will also enjoy practically car-less streets, Swiss-style hills, lake access, and a quietly well-located wooded area that allows you to get to the State Park, many hiking and biking trails, as well as to Chesterton via bike instead of car.

European Market in Chesterton
Chesterton, a small village in the area, hosts a European Market every Saturday. How European the market is is debatable, but The Frau did find this gem: A Bit of Swiss.

Bit of Swiss
At first, The Frau was annoyed because A Bit of Swiss wasn’t really very Swiss. It had homemade breads and Danishes that were very yummy looking, but not very Swiss looking. But then, after she ate a raspberry Danish, she got less annoyed. Because can you blame A Bit of Swiss for not being Swiss? It’s owned by an American named Tim. The reality is, it’s an American bakery with a few French baking traditions thrown in for fun. Which is great. Just not Swiss.

This begs the question: Can an American ever be Swiss? The longer The Frau has been back in the U.S., the less Swiss she is becoming. And while she’ll always carry a bit of Swiss in her heart, like the Bit of Swiss bakery, in the end, good or bad, she’ll always be more American than anything else.


Hattie said...

Oh, I like this. The area you describe sounds splendid. Just being anywhere uncrowded and with little traffic appeals to me these days.

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Michel Bühler said...

Hello Ze Frau!
I am a swiss guy who loves to read your blog for quite some time now!
I linked your blog to mine (yes - it just started out ^^) - maybe you can link me as well to help me "lift off" a bit?

Please do not feel obliged at all - I just wondered if you could do.

Wish you all the best over there in the US - hope you come back soon! We need more real "Frau" over here :-)


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With globalisation we sometimes forget that every country is unique and beautiful!

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