In July we joined Big Art (Arthur's Father), and Marji (Arthur's wicked stepmother) for a delightful trip to Switzerland with all of their children, spouses, and grandchildren. We based ourselves in Meiringen, a delightful village south of Luzern. Over the next days and weeks I will share my journal, photographs, and other goodies from our trip.

Day 7 - 19 Juli - Thursday in München and Zürich

This morning is the big Untour orientation at the Reformed Church Parish Hall (a very elegant modern building wrapped around an older 20th century building ­ very handsome with quality materials.) So after a breakfast of fruit and toast, which Arthur has made, we join the others. It's an older crowd (listen to me!) and everyone seems to know about "the family" that has traveled here.

The orientation is mostly about activities here (a lot of them for an untour!) There are train and bus schedules (the size of the white or yellow pages), hiking and walking information, etc. After two hours of this we feel well oriented. We do look at the parish hall, which is quite handsome. Excellent materials and beautiful concrete work make it a very pleasant building. Absolutely no religious images or symbols to be found, however.

We join Patty and Dan and family for lunch near the train station. I try out the tellermenu ­ risotto, and quite good. We all decide to take the Gondola up to Reuti, Bidmi, Magisalp, and Plan Patten. This we do, with the heights of Plan Patten being utterly stunning. It is above timberline, and the alpine flowers are delicate. On the way up we pass over the cows, with their bells ringing. It's quite unreal. On the way back we take a scooter kind of bicycle, with brakes. The first 60 seconds convince you that you're going to absolutely die ­ from then on it was an absolute kick.

We were going to hike down from Reuti, but it is looking like rain again so we take the Gondola down, and each goes home. We however continue to the Internet Café and catch up on email, followed by a delightful dinner at the Alpbach (Gnocchi, perch filets, with vegetables). We walk home and run into Art and Marji about the same time. They come in for wine and cheese, and then take us over to Patty and Dan's chalet.

MTH 8/18/07
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