Friday, June 28, 2013

Our last visitors.

Keith's cousin, Roy, died a few months before we moved to Switzerland.  He is one of the kindest, most unselfish men I have ever known.  In the middle of his cancer treatments he told me that before he died he wanted to teach Josh how to play the guitar in order to help him with his stutter.  He spent many hours teaching Josh.  His whole family is remarkable!   His wife Linda and her daughter Melissa came to visit us on Wednesday, June 19th and just left this morning.  I felt like Roy was looking over us because everything we did turned out perfect, weather and all.

Wednesday I picked them up in Zurich and we headed to Luzern and Mt. Rigi.
This is a picture of a drunk French guy who asked us to take his picture and send it to him.  As we did. he fell part way down a steep hill and had a hard time climbing back up.  So funny. 
Top of Mt. Rigi. 
Then we walked around and saw the town of Luzern and the Lion Monument.
Thursday it was suppose to be rainy so we took a train, then a boat to Chateau de Chillon.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.  We walked around Lausanne and had dinner at a great Chinese restaurant.  While having dinner, two girls at another table started screaming at each other and then one tried to turn the table upside down and broke all the dishes.  It was quite a scene.
view from the boat

After dinner we went to see the Cathedral and got caught in a torrential downpour running to the train.
Friday we went to Grindelwald and rode the trotti bikes down the mountain called First.  We stopped along the path and ate pastries.  We then headed to Lauterbrunnen, Trummelbach Falls, Gimmelwald, Murren, and then home through Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken.

Saturday Kelly had a dance in Zurich so the rest of us went to the Callier Chocolate Factory.  From there we went to the darling town of Gruyere.  Linda and Melissa treated us all to fondue. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the Medieval Festival that was going on.  There were fun reenactments, great costumes, musicians playing, and other interesting things throughout the castle.

The town of Gruyere from the train. 


Sunday we all went to church, then walked around Bern.
The bear pit in downtown Bern.

Monday it was suppose to rain in Bern so we took a train early in the morning and got to Stresa, Italy in only two hours.  The weather was perfect.   We spent two days walking along the lake, swimming in the pool overlooking the lake, eating Italian Food, and the best Italian pastries.   

Melissa on Lake Magiore
Did I mention we had a few Italian Pastries?
Wednesday we went to Zermatt and took the cable car up to the highest point where we enjoyed great views of the Matterhorn and went to the ice caves.

Thursday was our last day together.  We did a temple session in the morning.  Linda and Melissa stopped for a bratwurst on the way home.  They said they couldn't go home without having a brat.  Then the skies cleared and we rented bikes in Murten and rode around for four hours.  We rode around the entire lake and through some cute towns including Avenches with the amazing Roman Ruins.  We had dinner at a Turkish restaurant in Murten that was different than anything any of us had ever tasted and it was really good.  The owner was in love with Melissa and kept coming to our table to see if we were enjoying it. (at least that is what we thought he was asking)  Too bad he didn't speak a word of English.

Murten from across the lake.

Avenches from a hill.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

#1 &  #2    The Brady's and s'mores.  
I have always loved chocolate and marshmallows, but I love the Brady's even more.  Last Sunday we went into the forest and made s'mores.
Dan has been a great scout leader and church leader to my kids.  Lori has been a great friend.

Erin and Kelly.  Erin has been an outstanding example to Kelly.
Josh and Nathan.  Nathan has been Josh's best friend these past two years.

#3  Castles
Friday night Kelly went with the Brady's and the youth in our ward (6 in all) camping.  Saturday they all went to a rope park and then the girls went to Zurich for a BYU dance performance.  We got to have Nathan for the night which is always fun.  Saturday afternoon Keith, Josh, and I headed out to find the castle that we always see on our way to Zurich.  It was as impressive close up as it is from the train.

Castle near Olten

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Luzern, Aareschlucht, & Reichenbachfall

Josh has had a great scout experience here in Switzerland. He was able to join as soon as he turned 11 and has already advanced to 2nd class. Wednesday night there was a court of honor with  his scout troop, and it was fun to get pictures of the whole group. 

Thursday night we got Chinese take-out, and sat at a park overlooking the Aare river. Afterwards, the kids played a mean game of Chess.

Friday Josh and I took the train to Luzern, and then a boat over to a recreation area on Lake Luzern. The water was 15 C, but we were warm enough to go in the water anyways.  Luckily the pool was heated.  We had dinner at the restaurant on the lake, and even though the food was gross, the views made up for it. 

Saturday we had three things to check off our bucket list. Aareschlucht, Gelmerbahn, and Reichenbach falls.  We only made it to two. 
The Aare gorge is a slot-canyon cut in the granite and limestone rocks by the upper Aare river.  There is a walking path poked into the sidewall of the rock, just above the water, so that tourists can walk all the way through the gorge without getting their feet wet.  At its narrowest, it is one meter from side to side. 

Reichenbach falls is where Sherlock Holmes met his doom.  Professor Moriarty tried to kill his nemesis Holmes, but they both went over the falls together.  In Meiringen there are hotels, museums, statues, all dedicated to Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.   We took a funicular train up to the falls, then hiked further to the top to get ice creams. It's amazing how far the kids will go for an ice cream. 

Tower Falls

Reichenbach Falls

The funicular up to the falls.
Lake Biel 
There were so many water falls on the train route.