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Monday, August 11, 2008

Switzerland Part III

Day 3: Sunday, August 10, 2008
Is anyone besides me getting tired of my really uncreative post titles? I don't really have much time to come up with anything else. Also, you may notice that I'm a day behind on my posts, but I need to keep the days straight and in order, so that's how I've decided to do it. Yesterday we went to the town of Saignelegier to see the Marche-Concours fair. It is a huge horse show with over 600 horses parading, performing and racing. We did some shopping at the vendors (got my son the coolest souvenir ever!) and then we had cheese and mushroom crepes for lunch... ooooohhh, so good!! After lunch we sacked out on the lawn next to the track and watched the parade and races.
The Parade started out with men and women in traditional Swiss attire.
These bells were so loud! I really wish I had a sound recording to go with this image. It was just deafening - but not unpleasant. It's really hard to describe.
These clowns were the highlight of the parade. They were completely silent, but their body language and those huge laughing faces were so hilarious, we all laughed until our bellies ached.
Even the horses got dressed for the occasion.
The end of the parade is when they showcase all the foals. SO CUTE!!
This family gave me the cold shoulder.
The races began with a mother/foal race. Each competitor races his/her mare and foal for twice around the track. I was worried about the babies, but they seemed just fine. This is how they train them to race.
The bare-back races were amazing. Young girls and boys in traditional Swiss dress would lope full speed without saddles on these very eager horses. Unreal!
This is the saddled race. I love this shot.
This is the two-horse chariot race. These guys were bookin'!
More bare-back racers.
The four-horse wagon pull.
The final race is a four-horse chariot race, complete with Roman costumes and Ben Hur music. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled after the first lap because on of the contestants had an accident in which one of his horses was injured. It was kind of a sad ending to a very exciting day.
That night, we were treated to a genuine Swiss cheese fondue party. We went up in the hills and our hosts cooked cheese fondue over an open campfire. You should have seen the home-made tripod made out of small trees that suspended a true Harry Potter-esque cauldron of cheese over the open flames! We skewered our chunks of fresh crusty bread on green tree branches just like marsh mellows, and dipped them into the pot of hot gooey heaven. I didn't bring my camera because frankly, I was a little tired of holding after the long day. That thing can get heavy! Anyway, the fondue was exquisite, and I was not granted my request for the secret recipe (as if I could ever duplicate it correctly anyway), with pear pie for dessert. Today was another long day in which I was granted a dream come true (no cheese involved, strangely enough.) I'll hopefully be able to post tomorrow twice to get caught up. Bonne Nuit!

P.S. This is my splendid bride and groom who are the whole reason I am here. They are so much fun to hang out with, and I feel like I'm part of their family, the way they treat me. Thanks so much, Guys!


Suzanne said...

And this is the part that I try really hard not to hate you for your beautiful trip, but to live vicariously through you! Sounds like you are having a blast! I cannot wait to see what you do with the wedding shots! -Suzanne

nange said...

Thanks for posting all the horse pics--Alice loves them (well I love them too) She keeps sitting at the computer and scrolling up and down your blog. Eat some more cheese for me!