London - May 6-8
Pre-Tour Mistakes

Tour Begins
Paris - May 8-10
Beaune - May 10-11

May 11-13

Reutte- May 13-15

May 14

Venice - May 15-17
Florence - May 17-19
Rome - May 19-21
Tour Ends
Ostia - May 21-22


The Gang
The Reunion
Local Host:
Manny, Pension Gimmelwald, was charming and funny. Garden horn story here.

Manny & and cow bell.

A little reminder on the underside of the toilet lids to the men staying at Pension Gimmelwald.

Surprised by:
The gorgeous scenery. The friendly people. The wonderful food, especially the fondue.

Viewing avalanches from the terrace.

Lessons Learned:
Small touches can make big impacts.

Salmon Röschti Royale

Real Swiss Cocoa! Swiss Miss never tasted this good!

May 11

On the way to Gimmelwald, we stopped in Interlaken to pick up some Swiss Francs. Interlaken is a charming town that caters to tourists. In Gimmelwald we'll need cash because there are no banks or cash machines up there. We had to move some money from savings to checking as it was before payday and we needed the money beforehand.

Flowers in Interlaken

Riding a vernicular

The first thing that I noticed about Switzerland was how orderly and clean everything was. If you even looked at the crosswalk traffic stopped. That was quite a shock after Paris, where it seemed drivers aimed for pedestrians.

"I want to be buried here," says Chris.

"Oh yeah? Well, my wood stack is neater than yours."

The Swiss landscape beautifully with attention to small details.

Simple, sweet and charming. What a fun way to decorate!

We took the gondola from Stechelberg up to Gimmelwald. Took refreshments on the terrace and had a big dinner at the Inn. The views were lovely. The inn was creaky and charming. This was the only inn where we had to share bathrooms. The sound of cowbells could be heard all over the town.

Tim, Mike, Stacy, Cindy, Shauna, Greg, Jennifer Z, Karen, Ben & Alyce enjoying the view and refreshments at the Pension.

Reid, Sandy, Barbara & Tammy

May 12

Took the tram up to the Shiltorn at 10,000 ft. The surrounding mountains were beautiful. When I heard that we would be near the Eiger, I thought about Clint Eastwood's “The Eiger Sanction” I was able to spot the train tunnel up on it and was showing it to all of the others in our tour. That was not the only movie that was filmed in the area. The James Bond movie “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” was filmed up at the Schilthorn. The views from the Schilthorn were incredible. Tammy bought some souvenirs in the gift shop. Our guide, Reid brought some Swiss Chocolates for everyone on the tour. We ate them out on the snow covered patio. Then back down to Stechelberg.

Tammy & Mike standing atop the Shilthorn

Reid and the Swiss Chocolate.

The hike down through the valley was nice. There were lots of waterfalls coming down off of the cliffs, and we went in and saw Trümmelbach Falls that is actually 10 different waterfalls carved deep inside the cliff.

We stopped in Lauterbrunnen for lunch. Tammy ordered the salmon “Rosti Royale” which is a type of lox over a potato cake. Mike had the Schnitzel Rosti and a local beer. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the scenery. Tammy couldn't help pondering if the people who live there could ever take it for granted.

We departed up the mountain by incline to Muerren. Mike hiked back to Gimmelwald and Tammy stayed with Karen and Chris and took the train back to Gimmelwald. We had some wonderful strawberry ice cream in Muerren and I bought some nice souvenirs at a little shop run by a little old lady who couldn't see well enough to read the prices. Everyone who came in was honest and added up their costs for her. Everyone was patient and kind.

The hike back to Gimmelwald was very beautiful. It was not overly strenuous, but a pleasant rolling path through the woods and meadows. I saw some interesting wildflowers along the way.

After we returned to Pension Gimmelwald, we sat out on the patio and drank hot cocoa or one of the local beers, and watched avalanches in the snow on the surrounding mountains.

We had dinner again at the inn. Great fondue. Dinner included salad, pasta and chicken, and flan for dessert.

May 13

Departed at 8:15 am via vernicular to Stechelberg where Juan waited for us at the bus. Juan stayed down in Lautenberg because there was no room in the inn.

Had a pit stop in Switzerland to get rid of Francs on the way to Germany and Austria.

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