Wednesday, August 26, 2009


What a wonderful Monday!
We decided to take the day and travel three high mountain passes, and it turned out to be an incredible experience for us! We started with Grimselpass, where we picked blueberries on the way. Then Furkapass, where we went inside the Rhone glacier, and ending with Sustenpass, where we hiked and sat and contemplated the wonder of it all and heard an alphorn being played by a man in the parking lot.

When we pulled over to see the view, we noticed a man bending over the bushes and we wondered what he was doing. Then we saw three people get out of a car each carrying a small bucket, and going up onto the hillside. Lenski said, "Blueberries! They are picking wild blueberries. It's the right time of year, and those are blueberry bushes!" Instantly we were searching for something to gather blueberries in. We took a plastic bag and started picking. We picked for just about 20 minutes and gathered about a half a sandwich bag full, nibbling along the way. Oh, were they delicious!!!

A quick picnic.

Bright bluebells were everywhere and . . .

. . .these little white fluffy things in the moss were irresistable!

A zigzagging road at a distance . . . it is all so wild and raw up here . . .

. . . a little closer . . .

. . . and we are on that road . . .

The views those zigzagging roads gave us are worth every scary turn! We both said almost simultaneously, "If you see a painting of mountains that look like this, you think the artist was imagining or exaggerating them!"

In a parking lot we were serenaded by this man on his alphorn . . . sounded wonderful echoing off the mountains!


Lakes of glacier melt, milky opaque and slightly blue.

Waterfalls everywhere, amazing gushing waters where ever there are glaciers . . .

. . .ending in noisy rivers like this one

We saw glaciers on every high pass.
We got close up and personal with this one.
This is the Rhone glacier . . . crevasses are bright aquamarine in the bottom.

The glacier is huge. Black specks are adventurers --with guides, we hope!!

We walk inside the glacier . . .

. . . close enough to the surface that outside light gives a gorgeous glow to the ice . . .
. . . so beautifully blue! A close-up . . . it looks like we are under water!!

The happily tired but contented travelers!

Next morning, blueberries ready to be washed.

Honestly, never before have we had blueberry pancakes that tasted like this!!! Never!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The forest behind the temple gets a lot of good use!
Saria is leaving for the Brussels Belgium Mission and she and her parents threw a little party--well, it was a fantastic grill--for friends last family home evening.

Someone said this--grilling sausages in the forest--is a genuinely Swiss activity!
"You don't get more Swiss than this!" she said.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


A digression from the usual:

We happened on the stake Primary presidency, who, with the help of their high council adviser, were conducting an activity day for 36 of the 8-12 year-old children in the Bern stake.
Of course we had to watch!!
They had met at the chapel in Zollikoffen earlier where they divided into two groups. One group went next door to the temple and met with the temple president, President Castellani, while the other had a temple-related presentation at the church. Then they reversed, so all the children had both experiences.

Then they changed clothes and prepared for a short trek into the forest. That's when we found them.
Gathered at the chapel.

Gathering sticks for the fire as they trekked through the forest.

Solemnly preparing his roasting stick . . .

Starting the fire--I couldn't believe it! The boys didn't show any interest and the girls did it!

A big thank you to the stake Primary presidency and high councilor for devoting their time to the children today!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009


In Prague, Czech Republic,
we gave a fireside at a conference for YSA in the eastern European countries.
The wonderful young people received us graciously,
and we were impressed with their commitment to their, for most of them,
newly-found faith.
The warm-up

A knight in shining armour joined us at the talent show after the fireside.
Waiting for the plane we saw a quick glimpse of Prague
The Moldau!


Part of the summer program at insti was an outdoor grill (barbeque), and theYSA chose a location at the top of a hill that required a 40 minute walk--at least for us it was 40 minutes!

Starting the hike

On the way . . .

Thomas and Alain starting the fire . . .

Thomas, with moral support from friends, trying to get it going

waiting for the fire . . .

The sisters ate what they brought without the grill.

Some chose to wait up here!
Sorry guys, but it was getting late and we had to get the missionaries home! Couldn't stay for the grill!

Anybody got pictures we can use?