"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Monday, August 15, 2016

adventures in grindlewald, murren and more

There's no better way to see Switzerland than to get a bird's eye view.

And to do it with my favorite adventure seeker.

I think we thought that paragliding would be similar to the thrill of sky diving. We were surprised at the calm, silent nature of hanging over such a gorgeous landscape.

Still, taking a leap off that mountainside into the unknown was pretty exhilarating.

Christian said it did cross his mind that he was putting a lot of faith in those sewn seams and cords.

The views just could not be beat.

And we kind of decided that when we land in our new home in Steamboat, we may just have to pick up a new sport ;)

Grindelwald had a terrific sport center with the most pristine pool we had ever seen.

There were tons of rules, like taking shoes off before entering the lockers, no street clothes on the pool deck, showers before entering the pool.

With a very vigilant life guard keeping watch.

One time, Christian crossed the pool deck from the locker room in his street clothes and tennis shoes to bring some things to me where I was sitting.

That lifeguard nearly combusted.

She waved her hands and yelled in German, rolled her eyes heavenward and seemed to indicate that now she was going to have to burn down the building and rebuild it because the pool deck had been desecrated.

We felt really bad.

But then laughed about if for a really long time.

Evenings in town held a certain magic.

There were yodelers.

We played some mini golf.

Bonded over card games.

The boys took off early one morning for a bike ride.

Um .... Celia and Christian found a random see saw. This makes me laugh because I have dozens of pictures of them doing this very thing at all ages.

We loved the fondue from the first night so much, we decided to have our own dessert fondue night.

We hiked more as a family.

Took the train over to Murren which is a town in the mountains not accessible by car.

Where I again marveled at more simple gardening solutions. Green beans climbing bare sticks with branches .. who would have thought?

Our family climbed up to the heights above Murren.

The little trails there were so picturesque.

Eliza practiced her yodeling.

It started to rain along with a little thunder and lightening so we hightailed it back down.

The boys took me on a bike ride up to the top of First, which is a peak in Grindelwald. We walked the hanging bridge in cloud coverage which was just beautiful.

I think everyone who comes to Switzerland falls in love with the Alpine Cows with those bells making low music across the mountain meadows.

I gathered one of every wildflower I could find.

And we spent our evenings with monopoly, amazing Swiss hot chocolate, and a little Sound of Music. These are days I hope we never forget.

Friday, August 12, 2016

climbing the eiger

Grindelwald was full of outdoor adventure and these are outdoor people. But little girls couldn't do what big kids could so once again we split up.

Newel took tho older ones for a day of zip lining, mountain tricycles and some two wheel scooters that ran all the way from the top to town. 

Me and my little friends decided we had what it took to tackle the trails of the big mountain. Sure enough, I was so pleasantly surprised because Charlotte, who usually asks to be carried after about five minutes, never once asked.

Maybe because she knows me well. 

And my answer is always no.

Those little faces lit right up as we started up the mountain. Something clicked and they realized that this was the land where Heidi grew up.

And since they love all things Heidi, we were on a mission to find Uncle's cabin.

I love how everything is custom. Like this fence to hold in those goats. I mean, look at it! Someone had to artistically create that design and tie each knot.

Once we were through the mountain meadows, we let our imaginations turn to fairy woods.

We had brought some lunch and after eating and singing some songs really loud because no one was around to hear us (at least we hope not), Charlotte insisted that we needed to do some fishing with some poles.

We headed on up the gorge.

I love dirty little fingers enamored by tiny beauty.

See Charlotte's little fists? Those fists are holding on to imaginary reigns, of her imaginary horse, which she rides everywhere.

And man, can that horse gallop up a steep mountain.

We found a random trampoline on the hill side.

And I mean random. It was just sitting there in a hilly nook off the trail. No house, no rules, no ownership.

So we stopped to jump our "horses".

We ate handfuls of mountain strawberries.

We crossed the gorge on a bridge.

Which took some convincing.

These had to be the happiest little flowers I have ever seen.

More wild horse galloping.

When we got into steeper territory, these rock stacks were on every boulder cropping.

So we made our own to say we were there.

Afternoon storms started to move in and I got a little worried about how far we needed to go to make the long walk home and whether we would cross over into "carry me" territory.

We headed on down and where the trail head exited the woods to meadows again, there was a little park.

And some rock climbing.

We found Heidi's house. (Or at least pretended we did).

And we jumped up and down about that.

Cooled tired feet in a stream full of ice water.

Crossed a meadow full of Queen Anne's lace.

Passed the church cemetery with it's perfectly manicured plots. Gorgeous.

And home again in time to meet up with the big kids and compare our adventures.