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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Voyages au Pays des Fées
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Steve
How was it?
hartsmar
It's still going on, I believe...
Gertz
I just came back home a half an hour ago.

First time I've been there. From what I've heard, it used to have just about everything except absinthe. The new swiss laws has definately changed that - lots of La Bleue, they even distilled it on the street during the day.

A more thorough report will follow - -
hartsmar
Sounds very nice!
justabob
QUOTE (Gertz @ Jun 19 2005, 02:55 PM)
The new swiss laws has definately changed that - lots of La Bleue, they even distilled it on the street during the day.


I wish they would distill stuff on my street. Iam lucky if we get a lemonade stand.
Oxygenee
Pics to follow in a day or two.

Boveresse June 2005

Day 1 – Thursday

Rendezvous with Peter and Ted at Gare de Lyon. Breakfast at station café. Ted orders a chocolate pastry. Waiter brings him a cup of hot chocolate by mistake instead. Ted asks for his pastry. Waiter shrugs and indicates that even if he cared enough to change the order, which he doesn’t, altering the bill is a huge hassle. Ted points out it was the waiter’s fault. Waiter says French equivalent of “bite me”. Welcome to France!

On the TGV. Next to us a group of 3 girls from Michigan, just starting out on their post-high school Europe trip right of passage. Introduce ourselves. Lots of giggling.

Animated discussion on the hidden delights of Michigan. It has sand dunes apparently. Also ice fishing. One of the girls in her broad Michigan accent, asks Ted if he’s ever been sledding. Ted pretends to mishear her, as saying “slutting”. Why yes, says Ted, as a matter of fact I go slutting all the time. I love to go slutting. And you?

General hilarity.

Arrive at Neuchatel. Steve Rosat is waiting to meet us at the station – as before, he’s put himself at our disposal as our guide, chauffeur and host in the Val de Travers. Drive into Neuchatel – a prosperous, immaculate Swiss town, with wonderful sandstone coloured buildings. As we enter the business district we see painted on the wall, in huge letters: WHILE YOU AT SCHOOL, WE FUCK YA MUM. More hilarity – why “ya mum”? Perhaps graffiti author is Jamaican. Visualize concerned Swiss schoolchildren rushing home to save their mother from a little Caribbean lovin’. “Fuck ya mum” is immediately adopted as one of the two catchphrases of the trip (the other, courtesy of Dr O, is reserved for any occasion when the Jade absinthes get even the mildest praise: WELL, IF YOU’D JUST TAKE TED’S DICK OUT OF YOUR MOUTH FOR A MINUTE…)

Lunch at the Hotel Peyrou – a superb restaurant in the heart of Neuchatel, run by an Australian chef. The clientele is an odd mixture of solid local burghers, and Euro-trash - the men wearing mainly lime-green linen. the woman with expensive nose jewellery.

From Neuchatel on to Couvet. Check in at the Hotel de l’Aigle. Steve tells me he reserved the best room for me, known as the “Betty” suite.

Walk over to Steve’s apartment nearby to view the lots for his forthcoming sale. Some beautiful must-have things, all eye-wateringly expensive. Start to feel less guilty about imposing on his hospitality during our stay.

In the late afternoon Steve takes us to Le Creux-du-Van, a half hour drive away, high in the mountains overlooking the Val de Travers. On the way there we pass through mysterious mist shrouded pine forests, alternating with fields of alpine flowers. Truly the home of La Fee Verte. At the top of the mountain gentiane grows everywhere. Le Creux is a huge precipice, hundreds of feat high, looking over vast forests below. Quite spectacularly beautiful. We take photos in the nearby meadow. Feel the urge to start whirling around like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. Peter and Ted advise strongly against it.

Nearby is a small smoke stained chalet, serving, according to Steve, the best fondue in Switzerland. We enter, and our greeted with most un-Swiss like enthusiasm by the owner, a woman in her forties. It takes a minute to realize that she is blind drunk. She’s an alcoholic, whispers Steve under his breath, quite unnecessarily. The ceiling of the restaurant is hung with hundreds of smoked sausages, prepared on the spot. We take a table in an upstairs room, the walls carved with the initials of hundreds of visitors, and eat a platter of Bundnerfleisch, a type of air dried beef similar to bressola. It’s delicious. I take a photo for Kallisti’s brother’s meat-porn site. The fondue which follows, served with crusty bread baked in the chalet’s wood oven, is even better. We wash it down with beer, cider and a very dubious local wine.

Back down the winding mountain track at breakneck speed, but we’re too pissed to care. To Steve’s apartment for a nightcap – a 1929 SA port I’d brought with. We phone our Hotel, and find out that Jack Turner, a writer for the New Yorker working on an article on absinthe, has arrived. We buzz his room – he’s tired, exhausted from the long journey, and needs to get some sleep. He’ll see us in the morning. Of course we understand, we say sympathetically. Then we walk over to the Hotel, drag him out of bed, and bring him over to Steve’s place. More port, some pre-ban Pernod, some Tarragona.

Stagger back well after midnight.


More to follow.
Oxygenee
I'll put up a proper webpage with pics later this week, but here are some to start with:


Entrance to Neuchatel....
Oxygenee
View from Le Creux-du-Van.
Oxygenee
Ted, your corresspondent, Peter at Le Creux-du-Van. Notice the gentiane in the field.
Grim
So you guys really do know how to have a good time!!

Nice. abs-cheers.gif
hartsmar
Wonderful pictures. Those valleys cals for some good mountainbiking action inbetween an absinthe or two... or three... or...

Artemis
QUOTE
Michigan. It has sand dunes apparently


No goddamn "apparently" about it. The dunes along Lake Michigan are higher than any hills in probably half the fifty states. It ain't no Val de Travers, but we like it fine, thank you.
Artemis
Here. I realize it's not in a foreign country, and it doesn't have Ted Breaux in it, but the Michigan girls have reason for SOME pride even if they were slutting (didn't work for that girl in Aruba, though).



jmfranc
Michisinthe ©

Artemis
Anyway, wasn't there one of those hen parties the same weekend?

Where are those pictures? Shopping carts full of empty bottles and such.
traineraz
Chickens don't use cameras.

Silly pope.
Gertz
A few little somethings brought back:

user posted image

The Kübler bottle was a gift from the maker; we visited the distillery friday and got some interesting information about the new, swiss laws. It seems they specify that absinthe must be distilled to be legal - not just macerated, no oil mixes.

That leaves the question: would a traditional verte be legal? After all, the colouring step is a maceration. Anyway, I didn't see any vertes around at all, and most of the people I talked to didn't seem to care much for such a thing.

The other bottles ... the one at the left, La P'tite, was made by Gaudentia Persoz, a quite attractive young lady whose husband made her a still. Photos of it (and her) to come, but they are taken with an old-fashioned film that has to be developed. She claimed to be the first "distillatrice" around.

The three others, La Valote, are from a small distillery in Môtiers where three distillers make one each. The two to the left were my favourites of these (I bought larger bottles of them while paying a visit to the distillery). The third one had a peculiar dry mouthfeel that didn't appeal that much to me. On the other hand, I could imagine that it would benefit from a bit of sugaring (I only tried it without). For those who read french, they've put up a web site.
Jaded Prole
Nice pics Artemis, I can almost smell the lake.


Looks like a great time in Switzerland.




Gertz
QUOTE (Gertz @ Jun 20 2005, 09:43 PM)
The third one had a peculiar dry mouthfeel that didn't appeal that much to me. On the other hand, I could imagine that it would benefit from a bit of sugaring (I only tried it without).

I just poured a glass. Sugar definitely helps. Gotta buy some more of it next time I'm there.
Jack Batemaster
QUOTE (Le Pape @ Jun 20 2005, 01:16 PM)
...hen parties the same weekend?

Where are those pictures?...

The Hens™ were too busy debating certain Papal doctrines to take photographs.
Artemis
How about some words, then? Certainly it's worthy of a thread here. Share the wealth - win some hearts and minds.
Jack Batemaster
With so many Illuminati in the room, that night, I cannot share the details of our conversations.
Lord Stanley
QUOTE (Artemis @ Jun 20 2005, 02:49 PM)
QUOTE
Michigan. It has sand dunes apparently


No goddamn "apparently" about it. The dunes along Lake Michigan are higher than any hills in probably half the fifty states. It ain't no Val de Travers, but we like it fine, thank you.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan feature about a 400 foot drop down to the shore. They have signs warning people not to slide down regardless of how fun it looks.

I saw a 40ish guy climbing back up the slope after sliding down with his 2 teenage boys. It took him about 2 hours to return to the top. He looked like he was nearly in cardiac arrest after climbing a torturously steep, sandy embankment in 90+ degree heat.
user posted image
Steve
Thank you, Oxy and Gertz. This is the stuff of my dreams. I look forward to hearing more and seeing more pictures.

I thought about going but it didn't work out this year.
Artemis
QUOTE
I cannot share the details of our conversations


The truth is you got shit-faced and woke up under a pickup truck, remembering not a word of it, right? There was an account at the WWS of a paranormal experience - someone falling UP the stairs. It would be sad if that had to suffice.

Lord S, thanks for that picture - I have nothing so spectacular in my collection of photos of my beloved home away from home. Serves that asshole right - they try to keep people off the dunes cause they're surprisingly delicate. When covered with forest, as they often are, miles from the shore, people don't realize they're sand dunes and not small mountains.
crosby
QUOTE (Artemis @ Jun 20 2005, 07:33 PM)
The truth is you got shit-faced and woke up under a pickup truck, remembering not a word of it, right?

I wasn't there. That's usually my gig though.
Huitzilopochtli
There was a telecast in swiss tv yesterday.
It's in Swiss-German so it's probably hard to understand but you get an image from the fete.

http://www.sfdrs.ch/system/frames/news/sch...ar=2005&month=6

It seems there are 10 legal Absinth-Products from Val-de-Travers.
WhyteKnight
Neato little sandy hills. That's quite a lot of water.

On a side note, "fuck ya mum," could possibly be construed as being vaguely australian as well.
Artemis
That water is about 100 miles across. It is, to quote Long Duk Dong, "lake - BIG lake!". It has waves every bit like the ocean at times. Head P can testify to that. We sat in a cottage at the shore one winter night drinking Swedish HG as the wind tried to tear the roof off. Seemed like we had invoked Odin or something.
pierreverte
so chloe, the little michigander on the TGV was right....michigan is better than wisconsin!
justabob
I resemble that remark.
traineraz
QUOTE (Artemis @ Jun 20 2005, 07:33 PM)
There was an account at the WWS of a paranormal experience - someone falling UP the stairs.

Jack has STAIRS?!




Damn, I DID drink too much.
grey boy
Wrong party djipxit.
grey boy
Thanks for the pics and travel account Oxy!
Looks like a fantastic time.
traineraz
Oh. The NEW party.

wacko.gif

The one nobody bought me a ticket for.
grey boy
Yup, that one.
Jack Batemaster
Yep, pretty much got xitfaced and forgot most of the night. You are a sly one, Il Pape. I do remember the secret handshake, though.
G&C
I remember.
Jack Batemaster
I probably should have let YOU drive home then!
G&C
Wait a minute.


You drove home?
Jack Batemaster
Hmmm....I don't remember. I got home somehow?
G&C
Ahhh, the magic of Absinthe!
Absomphe
QUOTE (G&C @ Jun 21 2005, 03:25 PM)
I remember.

But you don't remember who REALLY stained your carpet with absinthe, do you? evill.gif
G&C
viking_emoticon.gif
Absomphe
Nope, he's not a Scandimobster.

But I'll give you a hint...



He's the OTHER guy who's received a MAFIA upgrade.

biggrin.gif
G&C
You helped him as did a couple of others.
Absomphe
One must always come to the aid of the Worshipful.
Artemis
QUOTE
so chloe, the little michigander on the TGV was right....michigan is better than wisconsin!


She probably has as much idea where Wisconsin is, as she does Pontarlier. I encountered a young girl down in Louisiana who said she was from Star City, Arkansas. I asked her where it was. She said close to Little Rock (which is dead center in the state). Going up the extreme west side of Arkansas on my way to Nebraska about a week later, I see a sign pointing toward Oklahoma: "Star City". With this sort of education, no wonder the Chinese and Indians are kicking our asses.
archangelica
???
Artemis
What can I say, maybe there's a Star City in Oklahoma.

Maybe a cult of Chain Saw Massacreers is trying to lure people to their doom with false road signs.

Maybe I made it all up.
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