Adrian Frutiger – Traces

Interlaken, my home, lies deep in a valley in the middle of the Bernese Alps. To the east, the valley opens up to the Lake of Brienz and to the west is the Lake of Thun. Sunrise comes late, the air is cold, and I did not much like the early mornings. In winter the valley is usually shrouded in mist. Climbing up into the sunshine did not appeal to me as my days were filled with work, play and odd jobs; I never really enjoyed going to school.

My happiest time was the evening when it was still light. Almost every day the mist disappeared to the westward. The valley beyond the Lake of Thun draws the gaze to the pre-Alps and climbing a little higher one can see the chain of the Jura mountains. I often used to ride my bicycle to the shore of the lake and I still remember the wonderful romantic feelings I had on those evenings. From an early age I was seized by a feeling for which I knew no name but I suppose it was a kind of Wanderlust. I longed for a distant, sunny land and for a metropolis where I could achieve something "big". Twenty years later I often thought that my childhood dream had been fulfilled, in the evenings when I crossed the Place de la Vache-Noire where we had our studio in the south of Paris. In Chartres, too, standing in the garden of our old farmhouse, I loved to watch the sun going down on the far horizon of the cornfields.

But when the summer holiday time came I felt homesickness and had to go back to Switzerland. We often spent our holidays with the children in the mountains of the Valais. There I could really put out of mind everything I had left behind in Paris.

"I spent my youth in a narrow valley amid the mountains.
This gave me a longing for distance and broad horizons, which I later fulfilled by moving to Paris."

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