14 more days until we see Kaylee
George came into town 5 days ago. It has been wonderful. We have had a pretty relaxing week. The weather has not been very good; so that has played a big part, but also this is his third or fourth trip here; so we have done a lot of of the close by touristy things. He is also saving some up for next week when his significant other (Gabby) is in town. We have only taken a couple of day trips.
Last Sunday we were wanting to get out of the rain; so we drove to Basel for lunch. Julie and I have wanted to visit; so it was a good escape. We found a really nice place for lunch on the Rhein. About 1/2 way through lunch George exclaims, “I’ve been here before!” He had never said anything to us about being in Basel; so we didn’t believe him. He searched through his photos, and sure enough found a picture that was taken probably 10 yards from where we were sitting. It turns out when he was studying in Milan, he took a long weekend to go see a friend living in Germany. For some reason those two decided to visit Basel for a meal as well!
Tuesday we drove to Rapperswil. I wanted to show George the schloss. Once again I was foiled. The first time Julie and I went to Rapperswil everything was closed because of Covid. This time everything was just closed until later in the afternoon. We couldn’t stick around until it opened because we needed to get back and cook Julie’s dinner. Oh well, when Kaylee gets here I am hoping the third time is the charm! I did not take any pictures of Rapperswil because they all would have been duplicates.
Today we drove to St Gallen. St Gallen is home to the Abbey of Saint Gall. We have visited before, but it is very impressive. The Abbey was founded in 719 (that is pretty old!) It was one of the most important benedictine abbeys in all of Europe. One of the more striking pictures is the library. Unfortunately, they do not allow cameras (I also learned they do not allow umbrellas! I did get my umbrella back, though!). The library is home to one of the largest collections of medieval literature. It holds over 160,000 medieval manuscripts and books. I also get to visit in a couple of weeks. This is the one place Kaylee has said she wants to visit. After the Abbey we drove to an Appenzeller Cheese factory and museum. I learned more about Appenzeller cheese than I ever thought would be possible. According to the tour Appenzeller cheese is so special only two people know the recipe for the salt brine in which the cheese rests, and they take the name so seriously that the cheese is “genetically” fingerprinted so they can spot fakes.
I did get a big compliment from George. He wanted to go to a “swiss” restaurant for dinner last night. He picked it out, but you could not make same day online reservations. So he “made” me call. After it was done, “I am impressed. I figured after the lady started talking back you would have to switch to English.” :). Of course all of that was ruined about an hour later, when Julie called and said she was going to be very late, so we had to change the time. I knew I could never complete that transaction completely in German. Let me rephrase that. I think I could do it face to face. But I still freak out a little when talking on the phone! The first words out of my mouth on my second call were: ” Es tut mir sehr leid. Mein Deutsch is sehr schlect. Sprechen sie English?” Oh well, my German is still a work in progress. I am getting better, and really try starting most conversations in German. The dinner was very good though, and I was able to show to my wife and son, that I can spot a painting that was made in 1956 instead of the 18th century pretty easily.
I say that last sentence, because the dining room last night was beautiful. It was obviously a very old building, and it looked like a lot of the wood work might have been original. We were discussing the painting, and Julie and I were informed that it has to be original asl well. It was certainly painted in that style, and utilized the same colors, but the artisit’s signature and date of 1956 kind of gave it away. Sometimes the old man still has good eyes. :).
Oh I almost forgot. Sunday was the Swiss version of July 4th. The day started at 7:00 AM with one of our neighbors setting off artillery simulators, or something very close. I was NOT a happy camper. The night ended though with a really nice fireworks show. We were able to 7 or 8 different communities setting off fireworks from our balcony!
It has been really nice having someone at the apartment this week. Julie has been in the middle of her busiest season. She leaves for work every morning a little after 7:00, and doesn’t get home until about 8:00. Long days for her. We are both looking forward to her filing season being over soon.
I am not sure how many pictures I will be able to take over the coming days. We are traveling back to Grindelwald and heading up the Jungfraujoch. I just don’t know how many pictures the “kids” will let us take. Enjoy the pictures, and I will talk to you next week!