“Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every byway, every path you know.”
-Oscar Hammerstein II
First off, wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. In a world full of brokenness and uncertainties and especially after a particularly rough year, what better thing can we do for ourselves than to focus on the good with gratitude? And once you start, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is good. There is always good.
We woke up early in Milan this morning and enjoyed a quick breakfast before catching a train to Central Milan.
The train station was huge and beautiful, by the way. This was one area of many and it was where we caught our next train. I will add that for the first time since we’ve been here, I was a little intimidated by not only the size of the station, but also by the vast number of people who were coming and going.
At the train station, we caught our next train which would take us a total of three hours to our next destination. As we traveled through the mountains, I alternated between sleeping and peering out the windows to take in the marvelous sites.
We passed through many, many snow covered mountains and villages as we passed quickly through the Alps. And it was just stunningly beautiful, even on a cloudy day. And if you were wondering, our destination for our last few days in Europe would be Bern, Switzerland. Our original trip included seven days in Tuscany, but since we were already traveling so far, we extended it through our travel agency so that we could enjoy Europe a bit more. We had deliberated staying in Italy, or going back to France, but ended up deciding on Switzerland since it was a place that we hadn’t been and a dream of Jeremy’s to see.
Switzerland, for the record, is awesome but very expensive. We booked the most inexpensive hotel we could find and were very pleased when we arrived and though it was simple it was nice and clean.
While in our hotel, we caught up with our kids on FaceTime. They were doing well and happy to be spending Thanksgiving with Nana and Papa. Christian enjoyed playing in our Youth Group’s Turkey Bowl and Ellee was having fun with Nana watching Christmas movies and helping her make food. While we are enjoying ourselves, we are also getting to the point in our trip where we are getting excited to go back home.
Back to Bern. Thus far, it’s awesome. We did a bit of exploring and have realized that our hotel is in a great location. There are lots of shops around us and it didn’t take me long to find my favorite natural cosmetic store, Lush. I’ve found one in every major city we’ve seen so it was fun to see on here in Switzerland. I did not get anything, mostly because their prices were about 30% higher than back home.
Jeremy and I enjoyed a nice walk to get our bearings. We walk a lot on our vacations and it’s something that we love to do. So far, we’ve put in about 70 miles of walking in the 8 days we’ve been here. Which hopefully helps to balance out the gelato and the future Swiss chocolate that we’ll be enjoying.
Speaking of food, this was our Thanksgiving dinner. A delicious bowl of chicken and rice goodness. It was more expensive than we’re used to, but worth every Swiss Franc. And while the food may be more expensive than Italy, the Coca-Cola’s were not so that was something else to be thankful for.
Towards the end of our night, we walked past the Parliament Building and noticed a large crowd had gathered. There was the feeling of anticipation in the air, so we waited around with everyone to see what was going on.
And we were certainly glad that we did because we had the privilege of stumbling upon the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz Light Show. Set to music, the Parliament house was lit up with the most artistic picture and video compilations you could imagine. It was a bit reminiscent of how Disney projects a light show on Cinderella’s castle, only it was much more artsy and focused on celebrating Reformation leaders Luther, Zwinli and Calvin and their historical significance.
While we didn’t quite understand everything it was portraying, we did enjoy about 17 minutes of the 25 minute show and it was a very fun way to end our first night in Switzerland. From climbing through the Swiss Alps to ending up in the capital city of Bern, all in all it was a very fun and full Thanksgiving and we are excited to see what the next few days have in store.