September 6 Lydia and Ernst invited us to have dinner with them this evening. We attend Mass here in Meiringen on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. We thanked Lydia and told her we would be happy to have dinner with she and Ernst after church. We told them we would bring wine and beer. After Mass we joined Lydia and Ernst for dinner.
I set the dinning room table while Ernst opened the bottle of wine.
Lydia cooked a delicious meal of baked pork cutlets, zucchini/tomatoes and onion casserole and mashed potatoes. For dessert we enjoyed cooked pears topped with vanilla and chocolate pudding and coffee. This was awesome!! We sat in the living room and had a nice visit with Lydia and Ernst. The evening passed by very quickly.
September 7th Arthur Wyss, our favorite bus driver, picked us up in
up in his car at the post bus garage in Meiringen. At 11:00 a.m. He drove from Brienz to Meiringen. We had kept in touch with Arthur and Beatrice over the past few years since 2002. We emailed, sent cards and called them a few times. We had not met Beatrice before, but she was the one who sent the emails to us. Arthur had retired from the bus company, and was enjoying his leisure time.. When he knew we were coming to Meiringen again in 2008 his wife Beatrice emailed that they would like us to come to dinner. This was a great surprise, and so thoughtful of them.
Beatrice was there to greet us. She spoke English, so this made the conversation easier for us. She had a dry sense of humor with a twinkle in her eye. Arthur opened a bottle of wine, and of course, another toast to our friendship and our holiday in Switzerland.
Arthur loved to cook—he really knew his way around in the kitchen!! As he prepared our dinner, I talked with him in the kitchen. Fred sat and talked with Beatrice. Around 1:00 p.m. dinner was served. Arthur had cooked veal piccata, saffron rice and vegetables. More wine was served; it was a delightful day with Arthur and Beatrice.
After the leisurely dinner the four of us went for a walk around property. There were a few apple and pear trees, a very nice yard and garden. They rented out the lower level of their house for a few years. Now as Arthur was retired, they had only one tenant for six months. The tenant planned to arrive in October. This arrangement worked out better for them.
Fred insisted that Arthur take us to the Brienz train station instead of driving us back to Meiringen. Fred told Arthur we have the Swiss Rail Pass; he finally agreed to do this. As we boarded the train to Meiringen, we saw Ruthie and Harold. Once in Meiringen Ruthie and Harold walked with us to the Brugger apartment. We all enjoyed hot tea, and red wine along with crackers and cheese. This was a nice way to end the day!!!
September 8th the “going-away party” was today; it was held in Sachseln, a short train ride away from Meiringen. The party started at 6:00 p.m. We took the train to Giswil then changed trains to Sachseln. We met Sheila and Leon at the train station. Ruthie and Harold were already there when we arrived. We walked to the church, and graveyard; saw the statue of Brother Klaus.
More people had started to arrive at restaurant. Six of us sat together, Ruthie and Harold, Charmaine and Tom, plus Fred and I. Across from us were Jan and Brian Cooley.
. Shirley sat with Sheila and Leon. This was going to be a “fun, fun” party. About 40 people were present;
this included the Untours staff. It was so nice to see Marianna Rosa (who had retired from Untours) at the party. Some of the staff members were Francy and her husband Cary (he had joined her on vacation), Marlis, Jessica, Connie and Cathryn.(I hope I did leave anyone out). Bill Martin from CA joined Connie; they sang the Swiss National Anthem. Bill's voice was strong as he sang the Anthem. Just imagine he sang in German!!! What a feat!! A delicious meal was served. Before dinner was served, everyone ordered their favorite beverage, wine, beer and soda. Untours treated us to the dinner and entertainment, and we paid for our own drinks. Our meal consisted of: veal cutlets, fried potatoes, salad and ice cream for dessert. Once the meal was over, entertainment started. A man played the different types of Alpenhorns. Also, a small band played Swiss music.
A few people competed in Alpenhorn contest; they tried to play the alpenhorn. A woman won the contest. (Hurrah, Hurrah) In another contest it was questions about Switzerland. I managed to get a few answers right, someone else had most of the answers and received a prize. Prizes were passed out to other contestants. It was a lot of fun--- A few couples danced to the music. There was a lot of laughter; and more people took pictures. We always looked forward to this party and once again we have the chance to see old and new friends again.
September 9th we took the train to Thun; across the street from the train station was the bus terminal; the bus ride took 20 minutes to reach Schloss Oberhofen. As we got off the bus and walked along to the Castle, we noticed a group of children who were sitting outside at a long table, with two adults. When we approached the group, the children smiled; and so did the adults. We wondered “what was the occasion”! One of the women said: “It was the children’s lunch time.” .
What we had come upon, was a group of happy children who sat outside and ate their lunch in the warm sunshine. One woman was the teacher and the other woman was the cook. Across from the area was the school. One large pan of hot food, plus salad and fruit and drinks were on the table. Most of the children had almost finished their lunch. Of course I had my usual stickers with me, and asked the teacher if the children could pick out a sticker. The teacher smiled and was surprised; it was alright with her. The children gathered around and chose the sticker they wanted.
Seven girls and two boys, the boys didn’t want to have their picture taken with the girls, (some things never change). We thanked the teacher and the cook.
A short distance away was the famous Oberhofen Castle, we had wanted to see this Castle on our last visit in 2006 but of course, we ran out of time.
Outside, the grounds of the Oberhofen Castle were beautiful; so many varieties of flowers and shrubs. Everything in the garden was neat as a pin.
Many statues of animals and children were atttactively placed among gardens. .
Many servants and gardeners were needed to maintain the upkeep of the Castle. At the entrance, we again showed our Swiss pass and our admission was free. On each floor, there were many paintings from the 1864 era which were displayed along hallways of the Castle. Very ornate furnishings were also placed throughout the Castle.
Each room was decorated elegantly. This was awesome sight—just try and imagine the life style of wealthy people who lived in that era.
The bus stopped at the main terminal from there we walked 30 minutes to the Wocher Panorama Museum. Again free admission with our Pass. Inside the Museum, we walked upstairs to view the Panorama scene. I tried to take as many pictures as I could to see if I could capture some of the views that reflected Thun in 1800. It was very difficult and the circular painting was enormous. As we looked around and around the museum the scenes continuously changed.
The panorama views were seen by the artist, Marquard Wocher, when he lived on the fifth floor of this building. As he overlooked the roof tops, he sketched many different views of Thun. It took him over 3 years to capture all the views; he sketched the scenes on paper and later transferred them onto canvas. A special circular museum was built to show his famous Panorana Painting.
In the picture below, I took two pictures and put them together. I wasn't sure how the picture would come out.
Then I took the combined picture; and it worked!! Hurrah!!
From here we trained back to Meiringen. Tonight we were to meet some of the alumni for dinner at the Baer Restaurant in Meiringen. Brian, Jan and Charmaine and Tom were already at the restaurant when we arrived.
We were suppose to met at the Baer Restaurant, however Brian ran into a problem, so we went to the Rosli Restaurant instead. There were nine of us: Ruthie and Harold, Shirley, Charmaine and Tom, Jan and Brian, and Fred and I. Brian had made the arrangements for our dinner. The food at the Rosli was very good, and reasonably priced.
We ordered beer and wine then the group toasted Fred and I; it was
our 57th Wedding Anniversary, it was very thoughtful of them. We enjoyed seeing each other again, and caught up with all news. A few people ordered pizza, and others ordered pasta dishes. The food was served hot and delicious! This was a great anniversary, and we celebrated it with good friends. Hopefully we will meet again in Switzerland on our next Untour.
When we walked to our apartment Lydia greeted us; Hans and Beatrice Zumbrunn had called Lydia; they wanted to see us before we left Meiringen the next day.
We were delighted; and Lydia invited them to visit with us in their apartment. Hans and Beatrice arrived a little while later; it was great to see them again.
Hans had brought a nice bottle of wine; meanwhile Lydia had prepared crackers and cheese for all of us. Hans and Beatrice wanted to see our apartment. Hans wanted to make renovations to his home. We showed them through the apartment and they were pleased. As we sat around and talked; pleasant thoughts passed through my mind!!! How thoughtful these Swiss people were; we had only known them for a few years; enjoyed their company and now on our last night, they came to see us. Memories like this were very special.
September 10th, Going Home--- we were up early, and all packed. Lydia and Ernst drove us to the train station. We said our “sad goodbyes” to our dear friends, the Bruggers. At the train station we met Ruthie and Harold, Jo and Bill and
Shirely had two more weeks in Sachseln, so she changed trains, and looked out of the train window--- and luckily I took her picture before the train left for Sachseln.