Friday, July 6, 2012

Days 11 - 13 (July 3 - 5, 2012)

Days 11 – 13 (July 3 – 5, 2012)

            We spent Tuesday, July 3 with Claudia and her kids in Einsiedeln, cycling around a nearby lake and playing outside.  In the afternoon, we rode our bikes to Trachslau, a farming village where I had lived for a year with my family when I was five years old.  I felt the circle of life as I watched my five-year-old daughter Saya bound through the same fields I had run through at her age.  I visited the Kaelin’s farm many times as a child and especially enjoyed watching the older kids milk the cows by hand.  Sometimes they playfully squirted me with the milk.  Sho and Lucas turned the Kaelin’s barn into an obstacle course, climbing and jumping into huge mounds of hay (see video below), before joining some local kids in a game of pick-up soccer.
Claudia, Becky, Lucas, Sho and I ate dinner with the Mueller’s, the couple who rented a room to my family nearly forty years ago.  They brought out pictures from that time (see below) as we reminisced.  There are more houses now, but Trachslau remains much the same as I remember it – a comfortable collection of homes and farms tucked in a beautiful Swiss valley.
            On the fourth of July, Becky, Lucas, Sho, Saya and I took a train from Einsiedeln to Interlaken, then cycled beside the glistening waters of Thunersee with the inspiring and intimidating Alps watching over us in the distance.  We slept that night in Thun, a pleasant town of about 50,000 people that was enjoyable to explore by foot.
            On July 5th, we cycled out of Thun along the Alpen Panorama Cycling Route.  We got lost at first, but two friendly cyclists led us to the path out of town.  We cycled around 37 miles, climbing over several challenging ascents that tested the kids’ physical and mental endurance.  But we were rewarded with some fabulous views. 
            Here are some pics:

Saya with Claudia Kaelin, her "Swiss Mommy"

My sister Becky in Einsiedeln, Switzerland

With the Kaelin family in Trachslau:

Sho and Lucas climbing hay in the Kaelin's barn:

Saya with the Mueller's in Trachslau:

Dinner with the Mueller's:
Pic the Mueller's shared of my family climbing a mountain in Switzerland around 1972 -- that's me in the red shirt on the left, age 5, my dad on the right, mom on the left, Becky lying down wearing a hat

Swiss countryside:

Taking a break on the way to Thun:

Cyclists in Thun who guided us:

Saya on trailer cycle:

View on the way from Thun to Fribourg:

Saya helping Sho push his bike up a steep climb:

Sho recovering at the top of a climb:

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