Peck's personal Web site
Alison's late summer visit, with castles, caves, and an inch of snow
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Peck, a hard-working employee of the US Federal Government, having
just returned from extremely difficult duties in Australia, including some time
on the Great Barrier Reef, was immediately rushed into further service with scarcely
a moment's pause for catching up on the sitcoms, and found herself in Sardinia
for a while in September 2003, comparing notes with astrophysicists residing there.
And then, in a whirlwind, off to Zermatt, Switzerland, for still another astrophysical
conference, spent in good part (at least during the coffee breaks) hiking about
near the Matterhorn with fellow astronomer Satoki.
then, the two of them, down the rail line to visit the Elderly Dad on Lake Geneva
for a while.
rainy visit to the old favorite, the Château de
Chillon, in late September 2003.
departing the Chillon crypt with her digital camera as big as Delaware.
now it's off to another tourist favorite, and rightfully so, the castle
and village of Gruyères, on a grisly afternoon in September 2003.
view of the Castle, before passing the H. R. Giger Museum and wandering on into
the castle itself.
photo of Alison and the Old Dad at Gruyéres, September 2003
are the same old friends (above) in the same spot a hearty quarter of a century
Château de Gruyère's neat little gardens are a magnet for digital
town of Morat (Murten in German, located right on the "Rösti Curtain",
the Swiss linguistic frontier), in September 2003.
Tour of the Ramparts of Morat (Murten)
merely with lingering over breakfast and reading all the newspapers that could
be got in English, Alison dragged her Fond Papa out to the Grottes
de Vallorbe, astonishing Carlsbad-type underground limestone horrors of considerable
in the Caves of Vallorbe, near the spelunker's display. The guy on the left is,
like many of his betters, not real. (The guy on the right, however, is real.)
guy is not real at all and has never been. These are more caves, "fairy caves"
according to the trail sign (pretty brutish fairies lingering in these dark old
holes, I'd say) not far up a forest trail from the Grottes de Vallorbe.
photographing whatever fairies may be lurking still. (Most left in the early part
of the last century.)
the old abbey, where (since the 6th century) monks once trod in a profound depression,
waiting in vain for anything to lighten the monastic mood.
Pélé, a raw weather hike that looked like it wasn't going to make
it before dark.
Tendre, early October 2003, two Drs Peck under the holy pylon in a raw wind.
Peck, October 2003
snow of the year, October 2003, astrophysicists queue up to be the first to reach
the hut at Mont de Bière.
metropolis of Lausanne, seen (with Alison's Sony
telephoto) from somewhere up near Mont Tendre. Stretching out there in a luxurious
manner with Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) on the right and the mountains of Leysin
and Diablerets behind.
let's go home. It's time for More Cheese.
narrator cruises the International Herald Tribune whilst whipping up a quick fondue
de fromage to celebrate Alison's September-October 2003 visit to the old country.
Alison's sentimental visits to Switzerland require many many dinners of cheese
(fondue, raclette, croûte, etc.) for old time's sake.
over, Alison's gone back to Mauna Kea, alas, to find still more Active Galactic
Nuclei or whatever. As if we hadn't enough already.
coming back to Europe again soon.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All
rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 12 November 2003, updated 2 March 2014.