This is a particularly special edition of The Beautiful People We Meet. Not just because there are two beautiful people but also because this is the second time we have met this supportive, sweet and generous couple.
The first time we met was in Thailand at a cute little wine bar out the front of The Gallery, a restaurant/photo gallery/spa on Koh Tao. I was playing a show for a mutual friend of ours, Chris Clarke, who owns the Gallery with his lovely wife Pou and is also the photographer responsible for the amazing work all over the walls. Not only did Andrew and Corinne buy me drinks while I was on stage but afterwards they bought my CD and gave me a very generous tip of 500 baht ($20 AUD). This amazing display of support and generosity didn’t stop there. Hannah and I got chatting with them and within minutes they offered us a place to stay in Switzerland once our #looptheworld tour brought us to that part of the world. It’s not uncommon for us to be offered places to stay but what was unusual was the enthusiasm in which they followed up their offer.
For the next two weeks while we were both still on Koh Tao Andrew and Corinne attended as many gigs as they could and a friendship began to blossom. After leaving Koh Tao Andrew stayed in regular contact. Often sending pictures of the room we’d be staying in, the food we’d be eating and the friends we’d be meeting if we were to make it to Switzerland. As the European leg of #looptheworld came closer I assured Andy that we would be coming and we’d be arriving around mid August. Next time he got back to me he’d lined up a hand full of gigs at a picturesque little bar called Aifach Lakeside. It is people like this that make #looptheworld possible.
Andrew and Corinne live in a small city in Switzerland named Lucerne. A beautiful old city nestled among the Swiss Alps on the edge of a huge, crystal clear lake. Picture perfect, the kind of landscape you see on one of those 1000 piece puzzles you did with your grandmother as a child. To get there I flew from Santorini in the Greek Islands to Milan, Italy then caught a train up the mountains into Switzerland. Hannah should have been with me but had lost her passport on Ios somewhere and had to detour via Athens to pick up an emergency replacement. Upon arriving I was greeted at the train station by Corinne who had just finished work and shortly afterwards Andy picked us up. That night we ate steak, drank wine and caught up ’til the early hours of the morning.
Eating and drinking was something we indulged in a lot while staying with Andy and Corinne. Andy works in a large wine boutique so a fine selection of wines was always on hand and all of us enjoy a good meal. Hannah and I tried our best to return the hospitality by cooking up a few hearty home cooked meals and Andy and Corinne were keen to show us a few traditional Swiss dishes; Fondue, Raclette and Älpermagronen and of course their amazing chocolate fudge cake (Corinne gave us the recipe you can find it here). Yum.
Those of you that travel will know it is not uncommon to make close connections while on the road and a place to stay on the other side of the world is offered every couple of days. You will also know that as close as those connections were at the time, they often disappear days after you part ways. Sometimes never to be heard of again. It’s not that the connection was insincere, it’s just that relationships take effort and attention. We can’t remember everyone we meet, nor could we stay in contact. There is not enough time in the world. Every now and then though a chance meeting moves past a drunken night, an enjoyable weekend, a few dinner dates and turns into a real friendship.
Andy and Corinne did just that with Hannah and I. I think we will be friends for a long time. I hope one day we can repay their hospitality and put them up in our house…. if we ever stay still long enough to have a house again.