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.
We sleep late -10:00!, There's the usual breakfast. Arthur goes off to shop and I go down to the churchyard to read, I'm finding the Grass Unpeeling the Onion to be quite engaging, and there is a wonderful circular seat that surrounds a huge tree in the churchyard. There are fighter jets streaking overhead, the screaming noise accentuated by the walls of the valley. (Later, we'll discover that there is an military airbase in Meiringen.
The church is very interesting with an archaeological site beneath, so I go back home to leave the book and get a camera to take photos at the church. There is some wonderful woodcarving in the "choir" of the church (which is really a preaching hall with no real choir in the Gothic sense). The woodcarving was probably done by one of the many woodcarvers in Brienz, which is a center for the art. I also take photos of the frescos that remain from the older church.
I chance into Art and Marji, and we walk about the cemetery. Marji shoes me the burial plot for her friend, Frau Willi, and Big Art settles into a nice seat over looking the scene. I'm intrigued with the outside evidences of the older churches under the present day church. When we go over to meet Big Art, he points to the scene to the south of us where alpine upthrusts serve as a proscenium for a glacier far in the background. "That" he says "is the face of God." It's really quite moving.
Arthur meets us at 1:00 and we go to have lunch at the Alpbach (a salad, perch filets, vegetables and rice). We have a wonderful time just talking and sharing lunch.
At 2:45 we all meet Peter and Marianne (friends of Marji and Art), and drive to Brienz. Once there we walk along the Brienzsee and wait for the boat that will take us to the Grand Hotel Gießbach. The boat arrives and we get on board and immediately go up the upper deck, noticing a lovely tea room in the rear of the boat. The machinery of the boat is also exposed (it's a mid-ship paddlewheeler) which is fascinating. At the hotel we disembark and then take a funicular up to the hotel. It's raining cats and dogs, so the hike up the Gießbach Falls is out for me. Some go up the falls, and the rest of us have a drink at the bar. There is a beautiful pool room with a huge painting of a particular kind of wrestling that is done here.
The dinner is very nice:
Mari & Art's
Pork steak "Valais style"
Baked with tomatoes and cheese
Fried potatoes and vegetable garnishing
Passion fruit and melon sorbet
On a pineapple stew
After a lovely evening we all drive back to Meiringen,
and then it's home, reading, and sleep.