Greetings and apologies for long delays in updates,
We have had three fabulous weeks in Switzerland, actually nearly four by now, I think. Rather than detail the entire time, I will highlight each. One of the coolest aspects of Switzerland is the diversity from region to region. We started in the German Heartland near Interlaken; migrated to the Italian region of Ticino; took three days to visit Frankfurt, Germany, and see Hayden safely off to Denver; and now are in the French-speaking region between Lausanne and Geneva staying with friends.
Meiringen highlights: Excellent German/Swiss style pork, potatoes, and cheese. Lots of delicious ice cream and yoghurt. Two weeks with my parents who met us in Meiringen. Cable cars and gondolas to mountain summits where we hiked several kilometers across high ridges and down into different valleys. Bike rides for the Evanses family. Kids next door for Logan and Hayden to play afternoon soccer with. TV with final World Cup games. Learning some Suisse-Deutsch. Friendly people. Families on hiking and biking outings everywhere. Walking and biking taking precedence over cars. Swimming in Lake Lungern. The Jungfrau region. Hayden's big hike with David and my dad.
Lucarno in Ticino highlights: Pizza. Pasta. Gelato. The Italian region. Italian feel, language, culture. Bus rides to the end of a valley where we ate pizza and hiked back down on beautiful trails. Rock jumping into rivers. A fantastic apartment. A rented motorboat and swimming in Lake Maggiore. Laughter over dinner with the boys. A castle in Bellinzona. A cable car and chair lift to the top of a mountain, a long long hike up and down and back to a town, a one and a half hour relaxing, stress-free wait for the last bus into town.
Frankfurt, Germany. Hotel directly across the street from the train station which was extremely helpful for the Evans family who overpacked, assuming cooler weather when it's been incredibly hot, and who are traveling with two bikes. Amazing hotel breakfast, included. Seeing Hayden safely off to Denver. A hilarious restaurant which, though trendy, will not last a year. (It's this restaurant where you get a card upon arrival and stand in long lines to wait for people to order and watch food prepared until you finally order your pasta or pizza or salad, watch it get prepared while you are still hot and standing, 'charge' the meal to your card, and finally, wearily, retire to eat overcooked food. Why can't we just order from a person and sit down like a regular place?) An amazing museum of natural history! Wonderful German food in the old part of the city.
Morges, Switzerland. We are now staying with a friend of David's and another mutual friend joined us from the US. The beautiful home has a pool and a trampoline, so Logan is in heaven. This part of Switzerland is very French - language, food, and culture. Took Logan to a park yesterday where there are many many ropes courses for all ages and levels. He had a ball! David and his college friends are exploring the region by bike each day, some days actually starting before lunch!
This is an incredible country of diverse language and food, attention to detail and fine craftsmanship, awareness of the many aspects of the quality of a life as a broad range beyond just one's job, families and family outings, access and commitment to public transportation of all kinds. We realize that this is, perhaps, the vacation of a lifetime, but we have enjoyed every minute of one of the hottest summers, filled with adventure, life, and challenge. We appreciate the vibrancy of this culture, the many languages, the amazing foods, the love of the outdoors and the many ways to access it.
More soon. Jennifer