a cute and tiny swiss valley next to the french border – with sleepy villages, a picturesque river, beautiful restaurants and museums, mystic trails, delicious sausages and cheeses, pure and adorable creeks and fountains in deep forests and everything surrounded by steep mountains. far away from ski- or any other form of mass tourism it lies cozy and quiet, famous for clock manufactory even though time apparently stands still. escapist’s paradise and, almost as a sideline, the birthplace of absinthe. the perfect little spot to disappear from the face of the planet for a little while, to come to a complete stop and to recharge the inner batteries. shangri-la for walking meditation and a mental reboot.
absinthe is the thing for me for almost two decades now. introduced to history, myth and rituals in my late 10s, i meanwhile drank lots of different brands and versions all over europe but never an original one; until my visit at val de travers a couple of days ago. act of long awaited completion. you cant miss the absinthe thing there when spending your time with eyes opened but all happens in an unobtrusive and all too pleasing way. outlying farmhouses, growing the holy wormwood (artemisia absinthium), smaller and bigger distilleries, some modern, new and always legal, some older, rich in history and with owners who were proud resistance fighters during prohibition with great stories to tell.
highly recommended for these kind of slow-paced interludes that are needed from time to time to pause for a moment and to make sure you’re still alive and moving forward into the right direction. to feel real again… the blue color filter in absinthe context is intentional by the way. for those who know.