Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interlaken (day 12)

Day 12 began with a stop at the gas station down the road from our hotel.  We picked up some yogurt, fruit and pastries to eat on the hour drive it took to get to Interlaken.  We arrived and immediately noticed the many para gliders sailing through the air in above the mountains.  We were pleasantly surprised when we pulled into the town center that the paragliders were landing in a big park just a few shot steps away from where we parked.  They were really fun to watch!

I stopped at the information booth and got some info on the Harder Kulm peak.  We decided that we would take the vernacular up the mountain to the overlook which is 4327 feet above Interlaken.  What a spectacular view of Lakes Brien and Thun not to mention the Jungfrau in the distance.  by the time we got to the top of the mountain the clouds had settled over the peak but we got a good view going up the vernacular.

A panorama of Interlaken

 A shot of Rick and I on the platform.

A selfie coming down the vernacular  (Scoutie's face:)

After a little lunch we each couple went our separate ways to do some shopping.  I have been wanting to buy a music box for my music room and I found one on sale!  Score!

After meeting back together we took a horse and buggy ride of the city.  We all fit on one buggy.....poor horse!

While I stayed in the van and dozed off the kids played at the park.  I was happy to get warmed up.  It had gotten a little chilly.

Afterwards we stopped at this cute place for some pizza.  It was sooo good.  Best pizza on the trip!

Some shots of the city......

A great place to visit, and great people to be with!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bern (day 11)

Happy Sabbath!

Today started early with a 9:00 Sacrament Meeting in Bern.  We enjoyed meeting with the Saints and partaking of the Sacrament.  A renewal of the Spirit for the week to come!  

After church we had a lunch in the hotel restaurant for their Sunday Brunch.  Seeing how we won't pay for it until we leave on Tuesday we justified that it was ok.  
Plus we all (especially the children) need to eat:) 

The Brunch was superb with the regular breakfast fair of meats, cheeses, eggs, fruit, yogurt, and  a plethora of breads.  Added to that was chicken, peas, noodles, muesli, and juices.  We all filled up and  then settled down for a Sunday nap.  Well, everyone else did but Rick and I looked into some family history since driving to my ancestor's birthplaces were on the agenda for this afternoon.  I needed to be prepared to tell the kids stories of their Swiss ancestors.  

In searching I found a gem of a story about Samuel Reber my 2nd great grandfather.  I'm so grateful for Family Search that these amazing stories can be told.  Anyway,  I will not retell his story but suffice it to say it involved miraculous healings, baptism in a frozen over river (the missionaries took an ax along to break the ice in the river), a 16 year old runaway,  crossing the Atlantic, a love story, a tragedy, and dedication.  Good stuff!  I am grateful for my Swiss ancestors and feel a great connection with them as I am in their homeland.  Sammy Reber (as he was known by those who loved him) came from a village called Schangnau.  In all of my travels it is one of the most beautiful places on the earth as far as I'm concerned.  As I read his story out loud to Rick I was overcome with emotion several times. I could barely speak because my heart was so full of love for this man.   I sincerely enjoyed getting to know him better this day:)

Rick and I in the Schangnau cemetery.

A family picture

Schangnau's small chapel built in 1657.

We also stopped in Rothenbach where my 2nd great grandmother
  Mary Ann Stucki Hafen 
was born.  We couldn't find the cemetery but the church was beautiful!

In the intersection just outside the church was the city public spring.

After our travels we had dinner in the hotel.  It took and hour and a half to get our meals!!!
The kids did surprising well though (thanks to phone videos:)
Tomorrow is going to be another wonderful day!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lucerne/Bern, Switzerland (day 10)

Today we spent some time in Lucerne, Switzerland.  Yesterday we traveled through some amazingly beautiful parts of Switzerland to get to Lucerne.  Cloud covered mountains, waterfalls falling off the alp cliffs into the a lake,  rolling farmland with old chalets dotting the landscape, cows with bells around their necks clanging as they munch on pasture grass, and century old churches with their bell towers ringing.  Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth and everywhere I turn my head another amazing view attacks my senses.  My senses are reeling!   I love the smell of wet wood burning, the sight of the beautiful alps, the touch of a flower picked by Rafe and given to me with love, the sound of cowbells and church bells, and the taste of Schnitzel covered in delicious gravy!  

It's been a great day!  Here are some pictures of things we saw and did in Lucerne.....

Picture by the covered bridge

Scout waving the flag

Skylar buying a fresh fruit smoothie.  (He's a sucker for those!)

We all had a taste (from the same straw lol)  Brach was the last one and he declined:)

We stopped and had lunch in an English pub.  (Mr. Pickwick's) Probably not the best place for a bunch of Mormons:)
Everyone was happy with their food, though.

We saved up room for a pastry from the Backarei Hug.


Next we drove an hour towards Bern and stopped at the Emmentaler Schaukaserei (cheese factory).  Rick and Skylar love to eat strong cheese and they have had a blast trying different cheeses these last few weeks in Europe. One of Rick's favorites is Emmental cheese (Harmon's carries it at home.) It was fun watching the workers pull cheese out of a huge vat and form it into a big cheese wheel and press all of the liquid out.  The kids got to play outside on a big playset so they were happy too.  Win-Win situation!

Lots of cheese!!

A group shot.

We got checked into the Holiday Inn in West Bern (Brunner).  Our rooms are nicer than last nights (which was not hard to beat).  We are right next to a huge mall and the train stops right in front of our hotel.  even though we have cars we will take the train to the Old Town so we won't have to pay for parking.

Another vacation day comes to a close!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Travel Day (day 9)

Yesterday was a long travel day! It rained pretty much the whole day. We left Salzburg at 10:00 and arrived at our hotel in Lucerne (Switzerland) at 8:00!  At the beginning of our trip we were detained about an hour getting through a LOOONG line of traffic.  It was irritating because I knew just how far we had to travel!  During that hour Rafe had to go potty TWICE so since we were at a standstill we were in stop and go traffic Kendra just opened the door and let him go!  It was pretty funny.....especially from Skylar and Sarah's view from in the car behind us!  :-)  Anyway, we stopped for lunch just past Munich and a couple of potty breaks but we drove until we got to Zurich and then stopped at the Lindt Factory and store.  They do not offer tours of the factory like some others do but there was plenty of shopping for us to do.  We wanted to get some to take to family and friends back home!

Lindor balls galore!!

My basket of chocolates

Henry got a hold of a sample and went to town!!

The fam!

After the Lindt Store we stopped at an Italian restaurant called Da Toni's and had some pizza/pasta.  The kids were really hard to control tonight in the restaurant.  After all they had been in the car all day and were ready to roam. 

Here's Scoutiroo enjoying her spaghetti!!

We are in the Ibis Budget Hotel.  And let me tell you it IS a budget hotel!  Very small and very basic.   We were ALL ready to be anywhere but inside that car last night so it worked.  We don't really have a plan so we'll grab some breakfast this morning and  then make a plan for the day.