Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Switzerland Days #7 and #8

Day 7- This morning we took it easy.  Anita and I went to eh "mega" store (kind of like a super Target).  After lunch and naps we drove to Rossberg and walked up to a little campsite- put there by an organization called Sweiz Familie.  There was wood, a hatchet, 2 fire places, swings and a cool teeter totter- and best of all, a mountain spring that we spent hours damming up with stones.  Violet build a fairy house with mushrooms and wild strawberries.  We cooked stick bread over the fire- a fun first for us.  We also had salad, chips, weiners with bacon wrapped around them, cervelats and marinated pork.  They know how to cook over a fire, this Mani family!!  We came home to put the kids to bed, take a coffee and play Settler of Catan.

Walking up to the picnic site
We saw an ACTUAL waterwheel driven saw mill- just like the one we saw working at Ballenberg!
Family Teeter Totter

Someone left these little water wheels to play with

Totally trust these two with fire, wouldn't you?

A dam we built

Violet's fairy house

the water wheels work better when the dam isn't there!

Stick bread!

Delicious feast- yes, cast your eyes on the bacon wrapped weiners!

Happy kids!
Day 8- Today we drove to the Gruyere region, to the Nestle Cailler chocolate factory.  We took a tour from Aztec days to current Swiss chocolate making.  Turns out that the Swiss not only MAKE the most chocolate of anywhere in the world, but they consume the most chocolate per capita.  No wonder everyone is friendly over here :)  We saw a chocolate making machine, sorting robot and then went into the tasting room.  Oh my.  We could (and did) taste as many chocolates as we wanted...milk, dark, white, hazlenut, truffles...there were probably 25 varieties.  We were limited only by our own ability to consume :)  

Then we drove to Gstaad to see that ritzy town of the rich and famous.  We browsed the walking street, had a Panache bier and Ovomaltine for the kids.  Then we went to see the atelier and store where Marianne works (and alters ski clothing for the rich and famous!)  We didn't need much dinner after that...so of course, we had Fondu!  Our days here are limited- have to seize the moment!  And speaking of seizing the moment...I also took a motorcycle ride with Anita around the Thunersee.  It was beautiful to see the mountains and lake at sunset...when I had my eyes open :)  Have I also mentioned that the Swiss idea of a "passing zone" varies slightly from our flat, spacious Illinois?!

A castle on our drive to Gruyere

The chocolate factory

During the tour

The tasting room.  Violet could JUST reach!

One of the varities

Beatrice is a fan of Swiss chocolate!

The store

A fountain in Gstaad

Have I mentioned the Swiss do hanging baskets VERY well?!

The palace hotel 

Mid-afternoon refreshment

Marianne's atelier store



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