Here is April! Starting off in the Ligurian Coast, in Italy. Of course we loved it, but are eager to go back in a less touristy mode – with tents and backpacks and time to discover less beaten tracks. They are quite rare – and we cannot deny our tourist status ourselves – but we were eager to get away from crowded hiking paths between the Cinque Terre villages. It’s a bit of a paradox, because this kind of place lives off the tourist movements, but it also got us thinking about what it means to travel, and how tourist flows change and shape places all around.
Back home, back to work and a busy, busy month. I spotted a tray full of pastéis de nata once in the cafeteria and they winked at me. I ignore pastéis de nata most of the time, because if I’m going to crack for a pastry like that they’d better be worth it and they normally aren’t. But this one caught my eye and I had a feeling it would be good. My God, it was, even though there was no cinnamon around (crime!).
We went to watch a film at the cinema and found ourselves at a really old, beautiful cinema from the 1920s. Lausanne keeps surprising us.
On some weekends, we took it easy and did some spring cleaning and played around with the cat. On other weekends, we went running: a 10K race and the race of the year – the 20km de Lausanne. It is my favourite race in the world, but this year it was quite hard. To train for all this, I kept up the training sessions in the forest with my dear club, which also helped clear my head from all the work that was taking place back in real life. In one of these late afternoons, there was a sunset over the trees, and I remember being really happy about being in this place and at this point in my life. It was a good moment.
We went to Cully Jazz, a very nice jazz festival in one of the villages in the Lavaux, a wine region on the shores of Lac Léman. We saw a concert by the Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch which was a little experimental. People had mixed feelings about it, but I really liked it. And then there was Youn Sun Nah, a Korean singer which I didn’t know before, but who blew my mind with her impressive vocal range and all the craftiness she weaved into her singing.
On one of the weekends, we headed up to Kandersteg again, but this time with Nina, my old friend from Scouts. We’ve known each other since we were hanging around the campfire still in our nappies. Over the course of our lifetime, we’ve spent many, many long periods apart, but each time we meet we get along as if no time at all had gone by. This time, we went to a place that is not only beyond beautiful, but is also a very special place for Scouts. She was so happy – with the view, the peace and sharing it all with her husband and son – that it made me even happier. We made a campfire, roasted sausages and potatoes in tin foil and rounded it off with marshmallows. It was just perfect.
April ended with my Pilates teacher’s dog greeting me, which is a very gratifying and practical way to end a month!