I’m beginning this saga of an epic trip with a disclaimer. The only camera I had was my Iphone 4S and since I knew that Shawni and Saydi and others would have better cameras, I have to say that to get the true picture of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, go to Shawni’s blog. She collected pictures from others and of course has her own spectacular pictures of this incredible event day by day. For the first three days take a look at Part 1 here part 2 here part 3 here. I must admit that I stole a few of the precious pictures that I missed from Shawni’s blog.
But for what it’s worth, here is my take on what happened:
We were over the moon to get to Switzerland the day before everyone arrived and see the cute house where our Swiss family now lives! It was so fun to see that family looking so happy in their new bit of heaven on earth!
Our Swiss breakfast there was such a beautiful array of delicious food, complete with homemade butter which had been hand churned by Anita!
We spent the night here and headed back into Zurich in the morning to greet the five Mothers who were coming in on International flights! I have to admit I was worried about all those flights! If one of them was cancelled or late, all our carefully laid plans would be ruined. BUT every single flight( and train) came in on time.
First Saren and Shawn came in on different flights from AZ and UT. They arrived and found each other just as Anita and I arrived, Then Julie came in packing that sweet little Dean all the way from NYC. Next we rented a car at the Zurich airport and loaded our stuff in it and those three, led by Anita headed for Zurich on a train while I waited for Saydi to arrive from Boston and Charity from London. We then headed into Zurich on a 10 minute train ride and we all had fun exploring that beautiful city along with Aja who had taken a 12 hour train ride from Spain to get there. She then rented a car and the four Eyre sisters headed out with her to our “Ancestorland” in Schmeidrued, an hour from the airport. The rest of us headed back to the Zurich airport to greet Kristi and headed for the car at the airport to join the others in that same little village where our Swiss ancestors had lived for many many generations!
Anita had arranged for us to have a private visit at the little museum right in the middle of Schmeidrued with a Swiss guide who knew everything about the history of the area! We had a grand time learning about what life was like for our ancestors and were delighted to learn that the museum was actually the school that our Grandmother Verena Goldenberger and probably her husband Samuel would have attended!
Little Dean walked on the the very stairs where our ancestors would have walked! Although some in that group were pretty jet-lagged, cutie Dean was wide-eyed and bushy tailed!
It was one of my favorite things about the trip! It will be so fun to greet these great grandparents and their little girl Ida who was my Grandmother whom I never knew, in heaven some day and tell them about our adventure in their homeland!
Our guide even took us to the mill where our great grandfather would have worked. It was SO exhilarating to see the beauty of that little village and visit the church and the astonishingly beautiful graveyard surrounding the church that our ancestors surely attended!
Amazingly, after people have been buried for 25 years the are dug up and replaced by people from the next era. Amazing that they still produce these beautiful stones!
The church was charming and all ready for the fall festival the next day!
I was pretty happy that this dream had actually come true! That night we had some terrific pizza and then spent the night at a beautiful AirB&B, arranged by Anita.
After a lovely breakfast the next morning, we hopped in the cars and headed for Tal and Anita’s church services to meet their friends and share earphones for translation. What a delightful group of people they are associated with there. Their bishop and wife were fascinating and so welcoming of our big crowd! Tal, Richard and Annina joined us from their home which was about 20 minutes away.
There we had a most memorable Swiss lunch prepared by Anita (with a little help from “her friends”) after church that day. It was pure joy to sit around that table with all those strong, beautiful women along with Tal and Dad. A moment to remember! It makes me smile, even as I post this! The food was simply spectacular! Thanks Anita!
We had a gorgeous walk through The Eyres’ “back yard”, which includes lush, green fields as we walked up the mountain, full of orchards with trees full of plums and apples and an amazing scene from the top!
We also met some beautiful Swiss cows complete with their authentic Swiss cow bells, which we heard ringing so often during the time we were there! Magical!
It was nothing short of glorious!
Next post: On to Flims, Anita’s home town.