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* 2009 Trip to Switzerland *

In 2009, I found myself back in sunny Switzerland (it looks like global warming gave us the warmest fall on record). I performed at the opening of artist Alex Sadkowski's 30th anniversary show at the Art Room, Lengnau, just outside Zurich.

I am listed as "Paul Einstein, Violine..." on the poster below:

Here is the lower part of the above poster which featured me as violinist at Alex Sadkowsky's show. (The poster was too long for my scanner.) It is nice because it shows some more of Alex Sadkowsky's art:


Here is an article on Alex Sadkowsky and also an extra photo of his work. He's having another show this year at a major Swiss museum in Olten, Switzerland. On the right you see the invitation. I couldn't attend. Because Cassandra and I were in Prague, Czech Republic, showing our new theatrical musical production.

More about that later. Now, click on the small photos to read article and see the full sized photos pertaining to my friend's art exhibition:

Odusseia: Zurich and the Journey Home: Travel Tip Pontarlier, France

Zurich is my hometown. I was born there. And it had been a long time since I had seen it. Things have changed. It's busier, wealthier and more international than before. Leaving one day during the rush hour, Cassandra and I faced a serious traffic jam, forcing us to drive up into the hills to sit on a park bench for an hour in a beautiful old neighborhood. From there, we could see the entire city on the splendid blue lake and the Limmat river trailing amongst the steeples of the churches on its banks. Switzerland has changed, too. What was small and quaint in my childhood is giving way to modern development.

What, or rather who hadn't changed were the little schoolboys of Zurich. They still go around by themselves on scooters, totally independent, and pluckily speaking the local Swiss German dialect, which sounds so fanciful and magical on their lips. That brought back the old Switzerland: amazing toy stores, hand made chocolates, cable cars, trams and trains, glassy ice blue lakes reflecting mountains, cozy tea rooms and bakeries, Tinguely, Corbusier, the Jet d'Eau on Lac Leman, Brienz, the cathedral in Basel, the Rhein Falls, a trip to Ticino with a quick excursion to the Italian Alps...Recently, I spoke to a Frenchman and he asked me, "Are you English." I answered, "no, I am Swiss." He replied, "That's O.K. nobody's perfect."

After spending time with our friends in Zurich, seeing the town, eating at one of our favorite old student hangouts, Restaurant Weisser Wind, it was time to return home to southwestern France. After a late start, we headed down towards Geneva along the eastern bank of Lake Neuchƒtel. Traffic was again awful, and around 5 pm we decided to head east over the Jura mountains towards Pontarlier, France, thus avoiding the inevitable bottleneck at Geneva. We drove over a beautiful landscape, crossed into France passing an empty tollbooth and drove toward Pontarlier, a town mentioned in Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". It was getting late, and we needed a hotel, but found nothing good along the way. At Pontarlier, around twilight, there were two hotels that didn't look too inviting. In a parking lot, a slightly haggard man with a little girl holding his hand gave us directions to a small bed and breakfast in a hamlet called Frasne, about 26 km down the road.

In the failing light of early evening we spotted a small sign, "Gite," along the road and turned off at Frasne.

And there in Frasne, we found a beautiful and wonderfully comfortable b&b run by the charming couple, Ambroise & Bénédikte Bettineschi. Here is a photo taken by Cassandra of me with them. Bénédikte prepared a superb menu for us, and we dined "ensemble."
                                 (Click here or on the photo to go to the website of their b&b with table d'hôte.)

Our Next Performance is in PRAGUE, Czech Republic
Tap Herr Mozart on the shoulder and he will take you there.

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