the new year; traveling for chocolate… and much more

Switzerland was actually “Plan B”

We had hoped to get to Fire Island (Long Island) at The Pines for Rosh haShannah to be with a colleague and at the beach. However, because “the season” at The Pines was still going strong, the two establishments where we tried to book rooms could not commit, barely even returning our calls or emails.

So, Plan B; Chocolate research and Jewish adventures in Switzerland.

Our American Airlines miles had accumulated enough for us to fly to Zurich and back from Geneva so we rented a small car and developed a plan to spend time in Zurich, Basel, Gruyères and Geneva. I booked simple hotel rooms. I also contacted the rabbi in Zurich who arranged for us to join his congregation Or Chadash.

Debbie thought through the chocolate stops. We had heard about the chocolate train from Montreaux to Broc and back. Tantalizing as it was, on closer research it was expensive and it limited our time at Cailler. Since we would have a car, we decided to forgo the train. This turned out to be a great decision.

On sharing these thoughts and what actually happened with Libbe, she responded that they seemed like a wonderful mixture of careful planing and serendipity.

Our Activities:

posted on October 4, a month (minus a day) from our departure

  • …on the Gregorian calendar which Pope Gregory XIII implemented on this date in 1582. So, while we went to celebrate Rosh haShannah in Switzerland, these pages appear on yet another new year of sorts.
  • …regarding traveling, this date is the anniversary of the death, in 1859, of Karl Baedeker. And while in no way authoritative, these pages are offered as our own modest guide to those who might follow us.
  • …and it is the anniversary of the death, in 1947, of Max Planck, one of the first who recognized the significance of Albert Einstein‘s theory of relativity which was written while living in an apartment in Bern… which we visited.
  • at Einstein's desk

    Mark wear's his Einstein button while standing at Einstein's Bern desk.


    Einstein button

    Albert Einstein

    Date: 1960s
    Size: 4.43
    Pin Form: straight
    Print Method: celluloid
    Text [photograph of Albert Einstein]

    your lapel buttons

    Many people have lapel buttons. They may be attached to a favorite hat or jacket you no longer wear, or poked into a cork-board on your wall. If you have any laying around that you do not feel emotionally attached to, please let me know. I preserve these for the Jewish people. At some point they will all go to an appropriate museum. You can see all the buttons shared to date.

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