Friday, September 07, 2012

Book Hunting in Little Switzerland

Foggy Switchbacks

A little detour on the way back from Black Mountain led me to Books & Beans, a used books shop planted on the side of a mountain near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

By "little detour," I mean the kind with gear changes (I drive an automatic). I drove up the mountain in the kind of fog and threatening rain that obscures the view, as well as the dropoffs. But who could look at the view when 90-degree and sometimes 180-degree turns hide behind the next piece of cloud?


The fog reminded me that two times this weekend I'd heard someone say: "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future."

Suddenly I had to turn a sharp corner and a building loomed up on my left. "I'm here!" I said, recognizing the building that houses a restaurant, general store and Books & Beans.

I went straight home from Black Mountain last year, so I hadn't been to Little Switzerland since 2010. This was my first visit since I became a bookseller, which gives me a different focus. Moira, manager and coffee barista, was very nice, and we chatted about some of the changes since new owners came in about two years ago.

Ian Fleming, Irish vintage fiction, slave-trade history, and a few auction catalogs made their way into my stack of finds.

I've never left Little Switzerland empty-handed, but the trip would be worth it just to have lunch at the frou-frou restaurant on the corner, the Switzerland Cafe.

I walked next door and ordered the smoked trout (although the menu boasted a smoked portabello sandwich, very tempting!). The trout, with capers and sauce, tastes so good, but they gave me the whole fish — I didn't expect my lunch to be looking back at me!

Have knife, will eat.


Lara Britt said...

Little Switzerland! Looks incredibly charming. And the mists make it all the more magical and thrilling. Thank you, Beth, for the vicarious journey.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I am glad you navigated the fog and rain safely. I wish I could venture out to such places.

Veronica Roth said...

Wow, what a lovely bookstore. I gather this is in North Carolina. Looks like you had a wonderful drive, lunch and mooch around.

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Thanks for visiting, Lara. Thrilling is a good word, now that I'm safely home. :-)

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Little adventures. Jo Ann, I like your poem about transient time.

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Yes, Veronica, it's in N.C. up near the Blue Ridge Parkway. "Lunch and mooch around" - I like that!