A whole heck of a lot of our adventure over in Europe happened in cars trying to decipher signs like these:
We had five in each car (four women and baby Dean in one), and we switched around at each stop.
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip included the discussions we had in those cars. And at dinner each night. Or late at night gathering in one room with our pj's on.
And at any time in one of our discussions there would be an interjection: "look at those trees!" "Another onion dome on that cathedral over there!" or "can you hear those cowbells?" I don't know that that countryside could have been more appreciated as we wove through it on tiny roads.
Sometimes we stopped, other times we just gaped at the beauty from the road.
Anita took us to Julier Pass where they have found remains of a Roman temple and cart tracks...this pass was really important crossing during the Roman Empire way back when.
It was beautiful (I know, I'm sounding a little redundant on the beautiful thing...let's try to figure out some more adjectives...)
Aja even found an old cart and tried to demonstrate how the Romans would have been so frustrated at the rocky terrain trying to get through those mountains.
I have to pause right here right now and just give a shout-out to my sister Saydi. I'm usually the sole picture-taker and I LOVED that Sayds may have surpassed me on this trip. Lots of these pictures are from her and I meant to put her little photography emblem on each of hers but it got too complicated.
Let's just go ahead and say that probably all the really good pictures I'm posting are from her ok? :)
Here's an ancient Roman mile-marker:
After soaking in all that magnificence (note the new adjective:) of Julier Pass, we headed over to Morteratsch where we got to watch them make cheese.
Check out the wall of the cheese house:
We took a gondola up to Diavolezza and took in the stunning views at the top.
After those adventures we got to a little town called Pontresina where we had dinner in one of the very gondolas they had used at one point on the mountain.
This picture is kind of out of place right here, but I want to remember that every night we talked until late, and then huddled around wherever we could get internet (IF we could get internet) and tried to communicate with all our 27 kids and all those great husbands we left behind. Kind of fun to overhear all the facetime conversations and hear little snippets of what was happening back at home.
That night we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in what was unanimously one of our very favorite towns, right in the Italian part of Switzerland: Zouz.
Wow. The little place we stayed was up what seemed like ten flights of super creaky old stairs winding around in a circle. At the top was this perfect little gathering place filled with warmth and little beds that reminded me exactly of how the house of the seven dwarfs would have looked. We adored it.
The next morning we walked around oooing and ahhhhing at the charming detail around every corner.
Everywhere you go in Switzerland there is drinking water like this:
I didn't get many pictures of the next town but it was equally as beautiful. It was a town called Guarda and it's where the famous Swiss story "A Bell for Ursli" originated.
It was the perfect spot to try to find my "bell" I had been looking for the whole trip (I loved loved loved the melodic sound of all the cow and sheep bells everywhere we went and wanted to bring an authentic one home for my kids. I thought it would be a good way to link them to their Swiss ancestors from back in Schmiedrued.) I figured the cheese making guy would know so I asked him where I could find something authentic, and he sent us to this house where this guy makes bells.
It was pretty awesome and we found a perfectly authentic sheep bell which I didn't get a picture of, dang it.
We drove away on to the next adventure in Germany...
...but with Switzerland and all it's glory, ancestor stories, paragliding, bonding, and a home to part of our family taking up a gigantic part of our hearts.