This was not the best morning in the life of a motorway. Accidents and roadworks caused bottlenecks and lengthy delays across all four hundred kilometres, and the Mazda with it's six speed gearbox and console placed exactly where one's elbow wants to be to change into three of them was exactly unsuitable for this sort of driving, reinforcing my first impressions of it. By the time we had found the the house with the green shutters behind the meadow with the two goats we were well and truly ready to stop.
We knew that Graham and Jill were also visiting, and Erika had gone to some trouble to keep news of our impending visit from them, and our sudden appearance on the wrong side of the world actually appeared to take their breath away for a time.
Our breath had long gone. It was the view. Across the lake we could just make out the outline of what we thought were distant mountains, even in the overcast and rain we could sense that we were in something of a special place. When the weather clears we were assured, there would be alps.
We knew we were in a different world when the bells on the church clock next door rang. Exactly on the hour. They are, explained Christian with only the faintest hint of a grin in response to our bemusement, timed to the second, synchronised with the atomic clock in Zürich.
Welcome to Switzerland.