As most of you know, I spent two weeks in Europe last month. We took a train tour around Switzerland the first week, touring the great mountain towns of Lucerne, Interlaken, Bern, Grindelwald, and our most favorite, Zermatt, at the base of the Matterhorn. Our second week was spent in Salzburg, Austria, and while my husband attended meetings, I played the solo tourist and explored the Austrian museums, fortress's and gardens, as well as toured Mozart's birth place and the locations for the Sound of Music (when in Austria, these are "must dos," right?).
Being a Realtor that *loves* new construction, part of what was most awe-inspiring to me was the amazing architecture of both old and new buildings. The Europeans are very resourceful, taking from the land and using in ways I've never thought or seen done in the U.S. They are also very solar-focused, and even the smallest countryside towns had homes with panels.
In our favorite town at the base of the Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland has breathtaking views, amazing food (and beer!) and the nicest people. The town is lined with shops, and tucked up and down the side streets are these little cottages dating back to the 16th century. They once served as shelter for cows, sheep & pigs, as well as grain storage, . Some were boarded up, but the vast majority were rehabbed into AirBnB's and little bungalows for the local residents. One thing that was striking to me was the use of stone to level the building. I'm pretty certain that would never pass building code here in the USA.
As we traveled throughout Switzerland, our train wound through the most charming towns and gorgeous Swiss countryside. Every home had window boxes overflowing in flowers, even in Mid-October. (which, weather wise, is very much like it is here in the PNW in October) In the most rural towns, we found that roofing material was VERY different...many used wood shingles (cedar I presume?), but quite a few had slabs of slate for the shingles! I can only imagine the size of the trusses that must be used to hold up that weight!
Back in Salzburg, Austria, I had LOTS of time to walk around the historic district, wandering in and out of shops and exploring the fortress's, gardens & museums. New commercial construction was underway on one of the streets, and what amazed me the most was their choice of lumber. Instead of i-beams for floor joists, they used a rough milled tree, complete with bark. As pure as it gets, nothing artificial mixed into the materials.
Author:Michelle Snyder Phone: 253-735-4674 Dated: April 19th 2019 Views: 149 About Michelle: ...
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