Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Finale of our Swiss Trip

 We are heading to Zollikofen to the Senior Missionary Conference March 20-22.

 The first thing we did after checking into the Hotel near the Temple, was to drive up to Emmental to take a tour of the dairy and cheese factory there. Here, Anton, our native cheese maker (for 30 years) is showing the old way they made cheese in the smoke house. They would heat the milk over a fire of wood and pull it off in the huge kettles when it curdled.  Cheese making is a long process, plus being aged for months after. Back home we think of Swiss cheese as only one kind, but in Switzerland it is all Swiss cheese. So they name the cheese after the town or area that it is made. This is Emmentaler cheese (from Emmental of course)  which we can buy at the store we shop.  It is very good and not as strong as the Swiss cheese at home.

This is how they make the cheese now.  It is much easier but still a process.

 We then took a tour of the dairy farm. These are happy and content cows (each has a name- it is above them on the green sign). They have their tails tied up with elastic, to avoid problems when milking, and for sanitation. The cows that give milk for cheese have an especially good food requirement- only the best, so their milk costs more. That is a concrete floor above (not snow), with their good hay on it. 

 Our tour guide spoke great English of which we were all happy.

 Later that afternoon we enjoyed a most wonderful Endowment session in the beautiful Swiss Temple. We got to see the 2nd brand new temple film. They showed it special for us that day.
 Elder and Sister Tew with Pres. and Sister Miles. They will be released to return to their home in Bountiful at the first part of July. We will miss them so much. They are so loving, spiritual, and positive.

 The next day we all met in the Stake Center next to the Temple.

 Then off we went for a tour of the city of Bern.

 Pretty good selfy.

 The clock tower and Glockenspiel.

 Elder Tew had to take this pic because he was amazed at all the dormers on this building and glad he didn't have to build it.

 When we were walking down the street we noticed all these cellar stores. I am standing on the sidewalk looking down these steep steps. When they close for the night, they just pull down the sides that you see here with things hanging on them now, that cover the steps, and lock it.
 We like this picture of the rooftops.

 We had to take a pic of one of the 3 brown bears that live on the hill side of a river enclosure made special to house them. These are the city mascots because, Bern in old German dialect, means bears, now Bären.

Get out your magnifying glass- the picture of all the Senior Missionaries that they took was too big to download, so you can see the small one clear, or the enlarged fuzzy one (your eyes aren't bad)

 A fun pic of all the Elders and their wives in our mission who served their first mission in Central Germany.

How would you like to play this instrument? These are Alphorns, and it took Elder and Sister Fox about 5 years to learn to play. These come apart so they can transport them. They were part of the entertainment for the evening after a Swiss potatoe and cheese dinner. The Fox's are on their 3rd mission here in Switzerland, working with the YSAs. They go home to California for a few months and then come back for another 18 months. They are very valuable, because one has to have Swiss citizenship or be from Europe to serve there now.  She is a Swiss citizen since her mother was born there and they said it also  helped that she and her husband learned to play the Alphorn. They get asked to play often. (Sorry-camera recording is not the best).

 On the way home, we just had to travel through the tiny country of Liechtenstein just to say that we have been there.
 Well... there was not much to see except the castle, where the reigning Prince and his whole family live, from parents, down to the grandchildren. Every August 15th they celebrate his Birthday, with food & fireworks!
 So we drove up to see it but it was not too fancy as you can see.

 We stopped to ask some people what there was to see here and they said " Have you seen the castle? Oh, well that's about it." So hey, we have been to the smallest country in the world!!

And we made it back safe and sound. Good times. Loved meeting all of the other Ehepaars (married senior couples) in our mission and sharing testimonies and loving our assignments here in our wonderful Alpine Mission.


Lindsey said...

I'm just in awe of all of your pictures! It is so fun to think of living there with the different culture and those amazing buildings. I love the Liechtenstein story!

The Tews said...

What a great post! I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOUR CHEESE TOUR! I love Emmental cheese. Those really are happy lucky cows! Nate and I just watched the Alphorn video - what strange cool instruments! How do they make different notes...I didn't see them moving their fingers or anything? How neat you got to go to the temple AND see the 2nd new film! That is a really cute selfie of you two, you look so pretty - I'm loving all your outfits too. That picture of the building that Rick wouldn't want to build is pretty cool...all the cable wires are pretty intense too. Even though Liechtenstein wasn't too exciting I think it's pretty cool that you can say you have been to the smallest country in the world!