Just getting over jet-lag after being back for five days. The trip was great. We met some wonderful people; reestablished relationships with others, enjoyed great scenery—natural and man made, had good food and wine, did some good hiking and biking. And learned some French—we’re both improved immensely and Louisa can carry on a conversation.
We would liked to have posted more, but we didn’t take a computer, and France and Switzerland don’t have many internet cafes.
We took a bunch of photos and plan to post some on the site. No video except some shot with point-and-shoot cameras.
One of the thing I first noticed when coming home is that more than half the vehicles are monster SUVs, trucks, and crossovers (station wagons). More than half the cars in France and Switzerland were (sub) compacts. Almost no pickups. Tradespeople use compact vehicles (like the Chrysler PT cruiser) or Sprinter like box vans.
The other thing of course is the lack of old, beautiful buildings. They keep up their old homes and villages and spent money restoring public building and castles, etc.. No wonder France is the number one tourist destination in the world. But they take tourism more seriously than we seem too. (Getting on soap box: I would assume tourism creates lots of lower skilled jobs that we certainly need. A recent LA Times article stated that tourism was now the regions biggest employer, since trade had dropped. We probably need to save more old building and realize that tourism is important to the economy. We will have to lower the barriers to foreigners traveling here too. We can’t be and don’t want to be Europe, but we could consider tourism more when making public financing decisions.)