So this morning I said goodbye to the Hotel Au BelAir and Dominique drove me and my bags down to the train station. It was just beautiful, so green and we drove through clouds and his dog laid his head on my arm. At our destination we received a Swiss kiss from our wonderful host Dominique and he set us on our way. My friend and I went to Geneva to put our luggage in our hotels and then wander around the city. We went down to the water to see the famed fountain and ran into a bunch of…monks, maybe? We just walked around and got lost a bit. My last day in Switzerland and I finally broke down and payed the fee that women have to pay to use public bathrooms. But at least it had a toilet instead of a hole in the ground (I broke down and used the hole toilet earlier in the week). So, enough TMI. I’m settled down for the evening and have my flight out in the morning. After some reflection in the airport tomorrow, I’ll follow in Hemingway’s footsteps and write my own Homage to Switzerland. But until then, here’s some photos of my last day!
So it’s Sunday so we travelled to the ward in Lausanne and the missionaries were happy to see us again. The French hymns are still impossible so we hummed today and let out some English now and again.
Then I came home and packed- how crazy is that? I’ve been here a month already? That just blows my mind. Oh , and here’s the view out my window I’m gonna be missing tomorrow. Yeah, we live in the clouds.
So we decided to go to Bern again! That’s 3 times in my favorite Swiss city. We went to the beautiful temple 🙂 then we went to the “Mormon Home Shop”, which was like a mini Deseret Book. The best part was the “American Food” section. It was stocked with A&W, Oreos, and Skippy peanut butter.
So I spent today in an art museum. It was terrific. It was filled with Renoir. I also got to see Picasso, Rodin, Segel, Kooning, Chagall, DaVinci, Cezanne, Van Gogh and much more. Crazy awesome. Who needs the Louvre? I got it all right here. I made a lot of sketches and even snuck a few pictures. Their gift shop was full of everything to do with cats and I was tempted to buy all the cute things! Until I was sitting in the sculpture garden petting a kitty and he bit me! No broken skin so no rabies right?
The basement was an automobile museum and I got to check out ancient Model Ts and Bugattis. Some very Gatsby cars as well.
Also, a vending machine pregnancy test! And right next to your cigarettes, too!
So today we took a boat across Lac Léman to a little French town right on the water. It was so pretty. I stood on the beach with feet in the sand and sang some Little Mermaid cuz it made sense. There was this friendly black cat at lunch that who’s kindness and adorableness won him some ham from a crêpe.
Anyway lots of crêpes and sail boats, or as my dad said, creeps in small boats 😉 It was nice, I even took a video of me ‘splorin, don’t complain about the quality, it’s a personalized walk in France. Haha, enjoy.
Day one of my free week and my friend Laura and I went to Bern to the temple! It was just so spectacular. I loved being there and getting the opportunity to serve with so many wonderful people. They were speaking French, Dutch, and Italian but it still felt like home 🙂 Beautiful people and a beautiful house of The Lord. They were cleaning it, so there’s some scaffolding on the steeple. Great day 🙂
So in case you didn’t know, most of the inspiration for Lord of the Rings came from Tolkien’s trip to Switzerland when he was 19. So this is my adventure through the real Misty Mountains.
First I started off the day with a pretzel shaped like a futbol. Yep.
Then we took trains upon trains to the Eiger. We were told there was no way we would be allowed to hike this in bad weather, it’s too dangerous, especially the downhill at the end. But it was sunny and clear! A cow, must have been a meteorologist, came up and stood across our trail but we just walked around her. So we go up and up and up- this is the major trend of Switzerland, hills. So we stop for lunch at the “top” of our ascent, which is most definitely not the top of the mountain because only crazies do that. So we look around and start to see huge purple clouds coming our way. Yep, just in time for our downhill. It was just sprinkling at first. But then the thunder growled and it started to POUR. I got a little wet. It was terrifying but thrilling at the same time. Trying to hurry, not get stuck by lightening, and make sure you don’t slip off the edge of the cliff. Bueno Tiempos. After we reached the bottom and we’re walking through the cute chalets I looked back and I saw ’em. These were the Misty Mountains.
So we went to Gruyere for their castle, Tibetan museum, and Medieval festival. The castle was just spectacular and so fun with all the people dressed up! There was a lot of cool art in the castle as well. I even got to try some bread the “servants” were baking in the big stone oven. So fun #princess
The Tibetan museum was interesting because it has all these Hindu relics inside an old Catholic chapel. But they blended together really well with the gold statues and the stained glass. It was pretty cool. I then went adventuring in the woods and wound up at a cow pasture, they’re everywhere. So yeah, didn’t try any cheese, but it was pretty awesome 🙂
So today was the day we’d all been waiting for- our visit to Cailler, the chocolate factory. It was magical. It was so much like being on a Disneyland ride. Like literally, it was like Indiana Jones when we were learning about the Aztec beginnings of chocolate, sooo cool. And then the production areas and then…the tasting room 🙂