Plein Air Painting in Charmey, the Heart of Switzerland’s Gruyere

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I am in Switzerland touring around, the West part of the country, the French speaking part, close to Geneva lake, in the heart of Gruyere.

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Cheese making is serious business here, and cheeses are slightly different when made at different altitudes.  The best or most traditional cheeses are made at higher altitudes, so in June some farmers take their cows up into the mountains, stay there with them until the end of September, and make cheese.  The sound of distant cowbells is a common and pleasing sound here.

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Jackie Grandchamps
Jackie Grandchamps obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in Belgium, and then moved to the U.S. in 1995 to conduct cancer research at Stanford University in California. Her heart has always been in travel however, and she turned her passion into a full time job in 2003 when she launched her travel business, French Escapade offering an authentic travel experience to women.

She says, "I wanted to make my dream come true: sharing my love of traveling and giving people the opportunity to really experience a different culture. Instead of the traditional 'tourist' sightseeing trip to France, I wanted to immerse very small groups of women in the culture, let them meet locals, eat authentic cuisine and 'live' an authentic experience. That's how French Escapade was born.”
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