Paleo part three

Holiday post-mortem: Malans, Valens and the Magic Mountains.

Fantastic holiday, I was lucky again with the professionalism and friendliness of the PAs who accompanied me. This made for an equally memorable Paleo as last year with Vicci and Jamie. This year with Jess and Rach alongside myself, Raj and Ellen. Mehdi, a friend and resident at Michael’s house was a welcome addition this year and made an amazing feast at a friend’s house on Lake Geneva. Ellen and I were able to spend some time with the Ernsts (Tom was so pivotal in making the first Paleo a success) but not enough.

Paleo was for me focused on electronic dance music this year, the theme of the festival was South African and it seemed like the organisers had spent money on more talented B listers and not fewer famous English/American A  list  acts. There was also a focus on French-speaking artists over the weekend which is how it should be for a local festival, that’s what makes it so special. Among my favourites were “Vitalic ” & “Beast” who I had never heard of before.

Experiencing it with my girlfriend, brothers, sisters , step mum, dad and best friend makes it a holiday I’ll never forget. Josephine growing up so fast, as loving and caring as ever. Lucas a bundle of energy and sharp as a knife. Fancy dress Friday at paleo was initiated by Raj, who was dressed as Batman and received much attention. The rest of us dressed in cartoon related T-shirts

Then we were off to Bad Ragaz after a couple of days relaxing at dad’s house with Gillian, dad and the children.
The main reason for going to BR was to spend time with the Leisingers, lifelong family friends we have a mutual fondness for. These special people live in an idyllic village called Malans in a valley in the Swiss Alps. Peter and Maria are usually busy exhibiting and creating Peters artwork (search Peter leisinger on Google).

The mountains around this area of the Swiss Alps are reminiscent of those described in the book “the Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann (it was set very close). This was one of my favourite books.

We spend time exploring the area and rested in their magical garden which contains many of Peters sculptures. We  met a granddaughter of theirs for the first time and were fed like royalty. Ellen learnt some invaluable lessons about wood sculpting from Peter and created a fantastic rabbit called “Warren”.

Peter and Maria hosted a dinner party one night where the food was exceptional. We were joined by a friend of theirs from the village called Alfred and today we enjoyed an active game of “Hang man ” hosted by Josephine and Lucas. Although probably not what Albert is used to at dinner parties, we think he enjoyed it.

During our stay we also visited the Valens Klinic, a mountain rehab centre (probably one of the best in the world for people with multiple sclerosis). I received some therapy from a world-renowned therapist called Urs in their thermal bath which has water from the mountains naturally at the body temperature (36.5 degrees). All this was arranged and accommodated by the generous Dr. Jurg Kesselring, the chief neurologist at the centre. I think Jurg properly has the best office view I have ever seen, looking out onto the “Magic Mountains” of Valens.

We left with remorse the day after National Switzerland day after viewing fantastic firework displays across the whole valley including numerous fires on the surrounding mountains.

Inevitably regretful about the finite time available to spend with loved ones but joyful and refreshed to have had such a wonderful break from my computer! Thank you to everyone for making this holiday so enjoyable especially Peter and Maria and David and Gillian for being so hospitable.