I’m back!

Or rather, I was back in India a couple of days ago, but I’ve only now managed (somewhat) to get over the jet lag, clean up home a bit, and find time to see what’s happening in cyberspace. Travelling is so tiring and trying.

Having said which, I’ll have to admit I love travelling. Give me a new place to explore—preferably with lots of old buildings, museums or pretty sceneries—and I’m very happy. Though I suppose I have to confess: Switzerland didn’t quite measure up to all I’d expected of it. There was, for one, no Shammi Kapoor begging me not to go off on my own

Shammi Kapoor in An Evening In Paris

…even though the train was more or less empty, and I was sitting all by myself.

On the train to Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch

But that may have been because my husband tagged along.

At Lutry, on Lac Leman

I didn’t even get to see any people dressed up in traditional costumes and doing a song and dance for me.

A scene from An Evening in Paris - and some more in Switzerland?!

On the other hand, I did see the beautiful Chateau Chillon,

Chateau Chillon seen from the lakeside

And fields full of wildflowers in Gruyeres.

Wildflowers in Gruyeres

And guess what? I even got to see an old film on the Delhi-Geneva flight: An Affair to Remember, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Sigh.

Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember

Unfortunately, no Empire State Building figured on my itinerary; the closest connection to New York City was in Colmar, in Alsace. Colmar’s most famous son was Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the man who created (among other works) the Statue of Liberty. Bartholdi’s statue in Colmar has a tiny replica of La Liberté peeking over his right shoulder:

Bartholdi's statue in Colmar

When I think about it, though, a good place to fix up a rendezvous in the vicinity would have been the unmissable spire of Strasbourg’s magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Especially at sunset, when it’s all golden and gorgeous.

Notre Dame at sunset, Strasbourg

Or, equally romantic, Strasbourg’s Petite France quarter, with a curvy swan as sole company.

Strasbourg - and a swan

But, back to Switzerland. I was a bit appalled to see what Geneva looks like onscreen, in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Pyaar Ka Sapna:

Geneva in Pyaar ka Sapna

Thankfully, the real thing is way more attractive:

Geneva: bridge across Lac Leman

And the boats on Lac Leman are picture perfect.

A Boat on Lac Leman

On which note, I’ll sign off. I’m still not quite up to a full length post, as you can see, but stick around: there’ll be a review coming up soon.

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12 thoughts on “I’m back!

  1. Welcome back! Great to know you had such a nice vacation even if it had to be sans Shammi. But then, I bet you didnt wear a bikini and water ski, to attract his attention, either!

  2. Thank you, all. I’ve missed being with you people, too!

    bollyviewer: And if I’d worn a bikini and gone water skiing, that would probably have been guaranteed to shoo off Shammi, if he’d been around!! LOL.

    memsaab: I’ve actually uploaded plenty more pics on Facebook. Drop by some time – there’s an album on Switzerland, and another on Alsace.

    bollywooddeewana: Don’t I know it! When I was a kid, my father got posted to Srinagar, and me (having lived on a diet of Kashmir ki Kali, Junglee, Mere Sanam and dozens of other films set in Kashmir), imagined flowers everywhere. It was late October when we arrived, slushy and muddy and not a flower in sight. I’ve never been so disappointed and disillusioned in my life! Thankfully, spring brought all the flowers back, but still…

  3. Welcome back. I have been several times in Lausanne so it was nice to the photos of Lac Leman. Dad said when he first went to Geneva in the 60s the water was dirty and horrible looking. Guess more money and regulations have improved things to their present state.

    Ooh I love Cary Grant. My favourite in this order are
    Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (I would rate it as one of the best comic films of all time, but thats me…its sooo real, and anyone who has done home decoration can identify with each and every situation in the movie)
    Arsenic and Old Lace (that scene where he sits on the window seat and realises…the expressions on his face!)
    Mr. Lucky (the knitting scene…)
    etc. etc.

    Have you seen any of these?

  4. Ah, so maybe Pyaar ka Sapna‘s Lac Leman wasn’t just a case of a print that looked awful! ;-)

    I sooo adore Cary Grant too. He’s wonderful in just about every film, even if it’s a dud otherwise (like I’m No Angel and Once Upon a Honeymoon). Except for the hilarious Arsenic and Old Lace, I haven’t seen any of the ones you mention, but will add them to my list immediately! Among my favourite Grant films, I think I’d also list Charade and Operation Petticoat – though pretty sexist, the latter is quite funny in its own way.

  5. Yes, some of the attitudes change over time.

    Lot of the critics at the time were lukewarm over Mr Blandings, not realistic, silly problems, easy laughs…but it has aged well, a recent review saying “no one has ever described wall colours as Myrna Loy!”

    I like the Op Petticoat too..some things date but they are so well made that I tend to be more forgiving! His presence always seems to lift up a film a few notches.

  6. Again welcome back! Somehow I missed this post and got straight to your Sujata. The pictures are lovely. Did you picnic on the banks of the canals in Straßbourg? It is so serene, despite the fact that you are in the middle of a city.

  7. We didn’t get to picnic on the banks of the canals, but we did spend a lot of time just wandering about, gazing at the swans and those lovely half-timbered houses… sigh. Now I want to go back. :(

  8. Ah, the Indian films always get shot in Berner Oberland, a really heavenly paradise. Or in Central Switzerland around Luzern and its surroundings.

    Geneva on the other hand (as also the rest of the French speaking part) is rather a poor cousin of the Swiss German speaking part of Switzerland ;-) as far as beauty and maintenance goes.
    My apologies to anyone from there reading this. :-)

  9. Oh, I think Lausanne and the vicinity is very pretty – I loved Gruyeres, for instance. And Lutry, and Chillon… Geneva wasn’t great, I thought. Too much hype.

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