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My kind of place

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MALAVIKA SARUKKAI

The Swiss countrysideMountains move meFor me, holidays mean being in a mountain country, be it here or abroad. It's literally a top-of-the-world feeling. The mountain air, the long walks through the greenery, the sight of snow-covered trees, the mist, the clouds and the streams rippling down the peaks... you can't help but turn poetic!Memorable moments at Muzot This time, I spent some days in the mesmerising small village Muzot, about four to five hours drive from Zurich. One of Germany's great 20th Century poets, Rainer Maria Rilke lived and wrote some of his best works here. And imagine I got to stay in the chateau where he lived! It's a beautiful heritage structure with every little piece, including the poet's writing desk and chair intact. My art-loving friend Barbara Fischer's family (she and her husband accompanied me to Muzot) now owns the chateau. Acclaimed poets, musicians and painters from across the world have stayed here. Probably, I was the first classical dancer to do so. The Fischers love playing host to their artist-friends in this special house. Captivating countrysideThe Swiss countryside is like being in Nature's lap. And the mountainous Muzot is no different. It charms holidayers with its diverse climatic moods. If it is balmy the first day, it is bright and sunny the next, cold on the third day and rainy on the fourth. Green meadows with little flowers in yellow, purple and violet, waterfalls, lakes, picturesque chalets... leave you completely rejuvenated. You could just walk, walk and walk at your own pace, taking in the beauty. The visual treat is so satiating that one hardly worries about the gastronomic treat. Being a vegetarian, I was on a bread-cheese-pasta diet. But I can still feel the taste of the yummy rosette we had in a small town nearby. Dressed in saffron and cloves, it had an unusual flavour. Friends make all the differenceHolidays are more enjoyable when you visit spectacular places with friends rather than as tourists. Thanks to my loving and caring friends, the Fischers, who made my trip to Muzot mean so much more than just a break from my routine. The Bharatanatyam dancer spoke to Chitra Swaminathan

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