Wednesday, October 31, 2007


First things first, my apologies for not having blogged in a while, but I've been out of the country people. :) I also apologize for the length of this blog, but there is just a lot that I want to share from my trip. Considering that I took about 400 pictures, this is a really condensed version. :) My friend Heath and I flew to Switzerland on the 18th of October and we were there until the 26th of October, an early birthday present to myself. :) Thanks to him I got a round trip ticket for about $370 and thanks to me he got free room and board and tour guides. We spent part of our time in Switzerland in Herisau with a family friend, David Flueckiger and his parents. Then we spent one night in Toss with my Aunt Conny and then another night in Rorbas with my Aunt Susy. It was a wonderful trip, one that I will never forget, and I am so grateful that I was able to go. I loved getting to visit some of the places I visited as a child and seeing a few new places. I also had the best time being with my Dad's family again. They are such amazing people and I wish I were able to see them more often. My most favorite day was the day we had lunch with my Grandma. She is so adorable and quite the talker! From the moment we picked her up until we dropped her off at the train station she was just talk, talk, talk. I wish I could have understood what she was saying, but it was neat to just listen to her talk. It wasn't a long enough vacation, and definitely not enough time to spend in Switzerland, but it was amazing. I love it over there and it is such a beautiful country. Here are a "few" pictures of our adventure over there.

"It's fun to fly!"
Heath and I enjoying our business elite seats on the way to Switzerland.
We were spoiled with our own tvs, noise canceling head phones, pillows, blankets, four course dinner, and the best part, reclining seats with enough leg room to stretch out. It was HEAVEN!
9 1/2 hours from Atlanta

Sunrise over the Swiss Alps.

Getting into Switzerland at 8 AM

Heath enjoying his first ever bratwurst!
David took us to OLMA, in St. Gallen - A week long festival in October where the farmers come and show off their livestock and sell their produce. At night there are rides and all kinds of yummy food booths. Very similar to the fairs we have here.

Mmmm Ovomaltine! (hot chocolate)
I was so tired from the jet lag.

David, Ivan, and Rachel (David's sister and her boyfriend)

The little town of Herisau out my bedroom window

We took a hike Saturday all over the hills of Switzerland and had some pretty amazing views.
We hiked for about 3 1/2 hours! Needless to say my legs were a little sore the next day.

Ummm....don't ask.

David and Heath contemplating life and women.
This was a perfect spot for reading (only when it's warm though :)) there were three benches like the one the guys are sitting on that cirlced around this big tree and it was set on a hill so it had a beautiful view.

I love how green it is there!

Can't remember if this was a hotel or someone's house. We really liked it though so we took a picture. :)

The little village of Schwellbrun

I felt like a true Swiss girl having hiked all over those hills

Swiss cows! I loved hearing the cowbells outside my window. It was a beautiful sound, not the obnoxious sound that you hear at football games.

Lunch with the family at Cafe Tobler in Neuhausen

Uncle Bruno, Aunt Susy, Aunt Connny, Claudia, Daniela, Me and Heath

The Rhein Falls

Claudia, Heath, Me, and Daniela

Me and Heath on the boat to the falls

The streets of Schaffhausen

The Munot Castle

A fortress built back in 1564-1589

Obviously I didn't take this picture cause it's sunny and warm in this photo and cold in all of mine. I just wanted to show what it looks like as I unfortunately didn't take any shots like this.

View from the top

View of the vineyards and Schaffhausen from the top

Me with Schaffhausen behind me

Mmmm...fresh mountain water. Heath didn't believe me that it was safe to drink.

Didn't know I had my very own land did you? Yup, there's a train to it and everything. :)

So on the train ride home from Schaffhausen we had to swith trains in Winterthur. While we were there we decided to hit the bathroom. Yup, it's called Mc Clean and it was very clean, which was nice, but it was quite the experience to use this bathroom. First, it cost 2Fr. which is about $1.73 just to use the bathroom. Then on top of that the lady that was working there didn't speak a lick of english and she kept telling Heath he had to go to the urinals, but he wanted to use the toilet. Finally we got it figured out. Then she walked in on Heath, don't know why he didn't lock the door. When I got finished and was washing my hands, she came over and started talking to me in German as if I understood what she was saying. She asked if I was British and I said no American and she just started laughing. Not sure why. I thinks that the most interesting bathroom visit I've ever had, well minus getting locked in the bathroom. :)

This is what I woke up to Monday morning. Very beautiful, but BRRRRRR!

Cool side street in the town of Appenzell

I Love Cheese!

David's parents took us to Appenzell on Monday and to the Schaukaserei (Cheese Factory)

Louise, Me, Rolf

This was one of my favorite meals while we were there, Raclettes. It was so yummy. For those of you who don't know what a raclette is, we stuck cheese in our little pans that are on the plates and then stuck them in the grill to melt. Once the cheese was melted we poured it over potatoes and added some seasoning. Oh it was devine. You can also cook meats and other things on the top part of the grill while the cheese is melting.

Chapel Bridge in Luzern

Tuesday was mine and Heath's day to venture out on our own while everyone else had to work. We got a train ticket that was good for all day on any train, bus or boat and headed to our first stop Luzern. It was about a 2 1/2 hour train ride.

Heath and his Starbucks...of all the yummy food to eat in Switzerland that is what he chose for his breakfast.

The Lion of Luzern

Carved out of the rock in memory of Swiss mercenaries who died at the Tuileries in 1792

Me and Heath with the Lion Monument

Next stop Lugano another 2 hours on the train

The Italian part of Switzerland. David told us it would give us a good idea of what Italy looks like so we decided that we would check it out and boy am I glad we did. It was beautiful there, as all of Switzerland is. :) The best part though was that it was 61 degrees instead of 40 something like the northern part of Switzerland where we were staying. It was so nice to see the sun out and to take my coat off.

Walking down the hill from the train station to get to the "down town" area.

I love fresh fruit markets

Down by the water

Cute old men playing chess on the walkway

Just some artsy pictures I had to get in. It's a photographers dream down there. So much beauty to capture. These are three of my favorites.

Just waiting for Mr. Right to fill in the other side of the picture. :)

Waiting for the train to head back to Herisau. 4 hour train ride home.

Lunch at the Crazy Cow with Mutti and cousin Claudia

The food was so delicious!

Me and Mutti (Grandma Bitsch)

I loved getting to spend time with Mutti. Isn't she the cutest!?

Claudia took us shopping down the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich after lunch. (The 5th Ave. of Zurich) We had a nice little tour of down town Zurich as well as we made the loop down the street and back to the train station.

Claudia, Heath, Me

Marco? .... Polo! We had to explain to Claudia why we thought this was so funny.

Some views of Zurich

Last night in Switzerland at Uncle Bruno and Aunt Susy's house in Rorbas.

Me, Claudia, Bruno, Susy, Daniela