ETS Spring 2001 trip in Basel, Switzerland

If you would like to see more detailed pictures of Basel and its museums, please see and go to the section on Basel.

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The Californians gather in San Diego.

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The whole gang meets up in Newark, New Jersey.

Thursday, March 29

The West Coast students came with Mr. & Mrs. Hinrichs to meet Amy (Michigan) and Brooks and Christi (Florida) at the NJ airport. They boarded the plane at 6:00 pm (NY time) for a seven-hour flight. We all enjoyed the luxury and convenience of the new Boeing 767 wide-bodied jet liner.


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Mrs. Hinrichs illustrates her addiction to the Tetris video game on the plane. 

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Our first tram ride!  Welcome to Basel.

Friday, March 30

We arrived in Zurich at 8:30 (Zurich Time). Because of the six-hour time difference, hardly anyone got much sleep. We then walked through the town until we reached the Bonhof SBB. After about thirty minutes of travel, we arrived in downtown Zurich, where we began our first tour of Switzerland. We stopped by a wonderful Swiss chocolate shop, where Jonathan made the first purchase—a Swiss sub sandwich. Soon, everyone was hungry so we stopped by a corner sandwich shop. Since we had just began our tour, no one but Mr. Hinrichs knew much German, but we were able to successfully make purchases, with some minor problems with exchanging American money for franks. (A frank is about 2/5 of a dollar) Going on, we made our first visit to a Swiss open-air marketplace, where we attempted to converse with the Swiss people. Here are some of the phrases we could use:

            PRONUNCIATION                          MEANING

            Yah                                                      Yes

            Nine                                                     No

            Dunkuh                                                Thank you                  

            Dunkuh Fell Mall                                   Thank you very much

            Hallow                                                 Hello

            Ve Heisdu?                                                What is your name? (addressed to younger)

            Ve Heisunzee                                 What is your name? (addressed to older)

            Ech Hiysuh                                      My name is…

            Ent Shool de Genzee             Excuse me; I’m sorry

            Ess Var Nett Kennen-soo-lairnen            It’s been nice meeting you

            Ish Con Nur Ingles                                I only speak English

Next we headed to a cathedral, where we saw several things of interest. First, we saw a statue of Heinrich Bullinger, who was a “firebrand” of the reformation movement in Switzerland. Inside, we heard an organist practicing, and saw an old baptismal. Outside there was a gravestone which was dated approximately AD 200. After an exciting morning, we hopped a train to Basel, after which we took the Basel tram system to our hotel, the Wiesentaler Hof. The rooms, we found, were very classy for a German hotel. We then crossed the street to the Wiesentaler restaurant, where we met up with Katherine, who had been staying with her relatives in Germany. The Europeans smoke freely in the restaurant, but other than that minor discomfort, everything was fine. The food was good. We then took a quiet walk along the tributary of the Rhine River before turning in. Thank you for your prayers. We have had a wonderful trip so far.

The Swiss Travelers

The Basel Paper Museum

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Amy, Jonathan, and Mrs. Helland show us the steps of paper making. 

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Katherine stamps her paper and shows us the results.

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 We all had a chance to add a letter to the typeset for our paper.

Saturday, March 31

Hello from Lorrach!

      This is Christi Larsen giving you an account of the second day of the GBT Europe trip 2001.  The day was filled with many new and exciting experiences. From recovering lost friends to adjusting to the necessary walks to and from our destinations, we’ve created many life long memories.

  We began the day touring Lorrach where we are staying. After recovering Brooks and Mr. Popwell, who lost the group in the Marktplatz (Marketplace), we all hopped on the tram and headed for Basel.  In Basel everyone gazed at all the beautiful window displays. Our favorites were the chocolate, pastries, and bread. When we arrived at the Marktplatz each person ordered ingredients for lunch at the many stands vendors had set up. Most meals consisted of Bratwurst, breads, strawberries, cheeses and meats. After lunch we went to an antique paper mill. Each person learned how to make paper, to use a printing press, and to use a type set. Then each person used the skills to create his own paper. When we completed the long walk home, we ate a traditional meal of breads, jellies, meats, and cheeses. We ate quickly, so that we could attend the St. Matthew’s Passion in Basel. This enchanting work of Bach was extraordinary. Though we were exhausted, we began translating the four-hour German work into English. To end the day everyone went for Eis (ice cream). The start of this trip has been filled with many adventures and laughs, which I hope will continue until we return.

                       Auf Wiedwerschen!

                                   Christi Larsen


Schoene Sonnti ("Beautiful Sunday"-- the Swiss greeting for Sunday) from Basel!

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Waiting for the tram, a common occurrence, and a picture of the picture-takers in front of one of the medieval towers in the city. 


Sunday Afternoon at the Wenkehof

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 The students enjoyed an idyllic day playing soccer, singing, and reading Hamlet on the lawns of this beautiful old estate.

Sunday, April 1


Sunday we went to church, amazingly original thing to do isn’t it? The chapel we went to was a beautiful building. It was a creamy white on the inside with very high ceilings. The ceiling was, in part, stained glass. The sermon was preached by a gentleman who works for Novartis, the pharmaceutical plant. To the right of the chapel there was a beautiful garden with trees and flowers and two visiting ducks in a pond. We wanted to get picnic items for dinner and future lunches so we caught the tram to the Basel SBB, the train station. A grocery store, the Migros, was a good place to get food, and was the only place open. Mr. Hinrichs had planned on eating lunch at the hotel, but when we got back we were too late. So instead we walked to the Wenge Hof, which is now a park. The entrance was quite impressive with wrought iron gates and huge gold statues of two deer. There were rain spouts in the shape of dragons and big beautiful grassy spots. We found a place to set up camp and proceeded to eat lunch. Afterwards Jonathan and Kit learned how to say, “May we play with you?” and played a game of soccer with some Swiss. Mr. Popwell also caught the spirit of sports and played some baseball. When everyone was rested, or tired out, we took out Hamlet and assigned parts.

  We read through the first act and decided we ought to clear our brains and our pipes before walking home. For sustenance and strength we had two types of cakes, apple and strawberry. We then learned Dona Nobis Pacem and divided into three groups to sing it in a round. We were so caught up into singing and talking that we almost missed the tram. We had to run to catch it because we most certainly didn’t want to wait for the next one. During dinner we told stories about not-so-smart criminals and told jokes. After dinner we gathered into a small, flat brick area outside the hotel and got out the banjo. Rachel and I then taught the Virginia Reel, the Pattycake Polka, and the Gay Gordon. We danced and danced and danced. Afterwards we sang Dona Nobis Pacem one more time and went to bed. Another day of fun and fellowship.

  Amanda Helland


Breakfast at the Wiesenthaler Hof

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Each morning, we enjoyed bright smiling faces ready to eat their rolls and get on with the day. 

The Basel Antiquities Museum

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The students enjoyed looking at the ancient Greek vases and finding the characters they have read about in Great Books.

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The students surround their old friends Homer...

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and Plato.

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Our girls attempt to look like ancient statues.

The Basel Muenster

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The beauty of this medieval cathedral moved us all to silence-- an amazing feat. 

The Rathaus

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The Rathaus is the Basel city hall.  All similarities between politicians and rats are purely coincidental. 

Apfel-Kuchli at the Restaurant Spillman

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Ah!  A true delight-- deep-fried slices of apple in vanilla sauce with four dollar a bottle mineral water (oops!).

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 Jonathan gets a nap after a long day.

Guten Morgan! Kit Topper here. I’ve been given the opportunity to make you all wish you were here by recounting Monday’s events. So, here goes.

Monday morning, we woke up and made the bleary-eyed trip to be at the Breakfast Room by 07.30 for our usual morning meal: biscuits with our choice of cheeses, peppered meats, and spreads. After breakfast, Herr Hinrichs introduces us to a new, useful German phrase and we sing a round of either Dona Nobis Pacem or “Mine Hat et Hast Dri Echen” (My Hat, it Has Three Corners.)

 At about 09.15 we assemble outside of the hotel and take a head count by having each of us shout out his assigned German number, in order from one through fifteen: Eins, svi, dri, fear, something, zex, saben, ocht, something, sane, elf, svolf, drysane, fearsane, something-sane.

  Ok, I think I’m giving too many details. I’ll try to keep it more succinct.

 We cross the border and wait at the “trammly” station. While waiting, some of us send emails from a nifty little box in the phone booth, and others of us talk and/or practice various dances. And sometimes Mr. Lee Popwell busts out a chocolate bar or two.


 At 09.30, the tram arrives and off we go to the Novardis Pharmaceudicals Plant. Now we’ll see if I was paying attention.

 Novardis is the second-leading developer and manufacturer of medication. In addition, they own some companies you may have heard of: Gerber, Ovaltine, and some others. But they develop neither baby food nor chocolate milk at their plants. Just medicine. Lots and lots of medicine.

 In addition to making medicines and bottling them, Novardis exists to develop cures for diseases that are presently incurable. They think they may have a pill to kill most (if not all) forms of cancer, but, as we learned, it can take anywhere from eight to twelve years to get a new drug from the lab to the drug store. And occasionally the patent period runs out before the developers can start making a profit from the drug, so they cancel development altogether. Its sad, but it makes sense.

  We watched a video about the plant, and then took a guided tour of the facility. We saw the quizing and bottling areas, and it was all very enlightening. After the tour, we eat lunch in the cafeteria. Kind of an embarrassing experience for me. I started to serve myself some noodles and this lady with an apron on walks up on the other side of the table. I smile and, thinking this would be a good opportunity to practice some German, I point at the noodles on my plate and say to the lady, “Vas est das?” She looks at me, scowls, and says, “Those are noodles. You are supposed to let me serve them to you with this meat sauce and vegetables on them.”

  Anyhow, we ate the food and then had some dessert. For dessert, there was an array of little cakes and slices of cheese.


 Back in lower Basil, we took a walk by the gorgeous Rhine River. It was a very. . . interesting experience. We got to take a boat across it too. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people right on the shore who abuse the beauty of the River, so we chose to take the street. Met up with an ice-cream vendor. Note: Mr. Hinrichs will not let the ice-cream vendors sell us any ice-cream unless we speak to them in German. This can be very difficult, and there is such a wide variety of dialects in this area. You can always count on Jon to have at least one loaf of bread because


 Got back to the hotel in Lorrach, ate Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ homemade wedge-fries. Mmmmmmm. . . Then we had an exhilarating time dancing outside. Mostly reels on that night.

  Ok, there’s my summary of what may quite possibly be the most incredible Monday of my life. Oh, and since I have your attention, let me interject a little of my own commentary on this experience. We have been given a very rare and precious opportunity to learn about western culture and the history of the renaissance. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Hinrichs and everybody who has worked hard to make this possible.

  Keep it REAL everybody.

  Representing the ETS Switzerland Trip gang,

  Kit Topper

  Tuesday, April 3, 2001

  Today in beautiful Basel, Switzerland, we visited The Basel Antiquities Museum.  The Basel Antiquities Museum has an excellent collection of Greek art, armor and pottery.  It was very exciting to be able to see art and works which were thousands of years old, and to picture the books we have read in our minds. It was great to see the tools and armor that Achilles would have used. After leaving the Antiquities Museum, we traveled through town to the Musik Museum. The Musik Museum was extremely interesting as we saw and heard models and original medieval instruments. Also at the Musik Museum we were able to see the progression from ancient to modern instruments and sounds. After a short rest from a long day, we ate a delicious chicken dinner and read Hamlet. And as they say here “Aufwieder sehen

  Jonathan Kennedy

The Basel Historical Museum in the Barfusser Kirche

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Amanda Helland grins mischievously at these ornate items from old Basel. 

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Rachel tries to figure out if she has enough souvenir money to purchase this fine vessel while Katherine and Christi wonder how much the enormous crown weighs.

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Leaving the Elizabethan Kirche after a soporific organ concert which induced us all into a much needed nap.

Wednesday, April 4, 2001

  This morning we trekked as usual, across the border and took the tram into Basel to tour the Historical Museum.  In the first part they fixed rooms to look like the homes of Basel’s bourgeois class from different periods.  We found out that the Swiss really love their drinks.  They even designed a drinking vessel as a knight on horseback, which travels around the table!  We also enjoyed the captivating 18th century slide show, which portrayed soldiers and Indians fighting.  Everyone’s breath was held as the pictures changed at the staggering rate of one per minute J.  In the museum’s second section we saw the coin collection which featured money from the Greeks to the early 20th century. 

  After this we attended an organ concert at the Elizabethan Kirche.  Some of us enjoyed the music while others (including Mr. H) added harmony with our snores.  The rest of the day was free and we all spent it in different ways.  The Popwells and Steinburgs visited the Black Forest with some friends.  The rest of us practiced our “getting lost” skills, some in Basel and some in Lorrach.  We’re getting quite good at it!  Although we experienced our first bad weather and found that our German really needs some work, everyone had lots of fun.  Once again we finished the day with a tasty meal, Reader’s Theatre, and singing.  Everyone sends their love.  “That’s all folks!”

  Katherine von Heiland                                                                                    

The Haus Zum Kirschgarten

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This lovely home boasted furniture, clothing, and fine porcelain from the old families of Basel, but we spent the majority of our time in awe over the beautiful toys.  The intricacy of the dollhouse furniture is hard to find in full sized furniture. 

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Hi Brooks!   This middle picture is from a dollhouse, if you can believe it.  In the third picture, students take a break from the museum to discuss theology.

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Rachel and the Elizabethan Kirche

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Christi uses the last of her strength to carry poor, exhausted Amy.  Astonishingly, both girls' smiles did not appear to suffer any damage. 

Roman Ruins at Augusta Raurica

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We enjoyed this video of a nobleman and a peasant eating a typical meal, and then had a chance to recline at a traditional Roman feasting table. 


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Rachel attempts to persuade everyone to side with her in the assertion that hazelnut ice cream is the best. 

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Amy tried to hide in this cavern so she could stay in Switzerland, but we found her.

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Mr. and Mrs. H. pose by an ancient Roman cherry tree.  Well, we don't really know if it's an ancient Roman cherry tree, but it sounds more interesting that way.

Thursday, April 5, 2001

  This morning proved to be sunny and warm again. We are all enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.  Once in a while we have a spontaneous drizzle, but it never lasts long. We have all learned, though, that you should always carry an umbrella. One beautiful, sunny morning we all went shopping (without our umbrellas), only to get stuck in a down pour that lasted about two hours. Most of had to go and buy umbrellas, despite the fact that we already owned one, for the mile and a half trek home.

 We were all planning to go to the Roman Ruins this morning, but that changed to this afternoon for traveling conveniences. Instead, we went to the Haus Zum Kirschgarden, or The House by the Cherry Garden, which is really a museum. This museum had four floors dedicated to the history of the early Basel lifestyle. It included toys, dresses, galleries, and slideshows, all explaining Basel life in the 18 and 1900’s.

 After this museum, we went to a Basel cathedral to attend a short praise meeting. After the singing and prayer, (which were in German), we all got to sing our own songs and listen to the beautiful acoustics. We sang for a half an hour, and the beautiful songs had more than half our group in tears. After the singing at the cathedral, we went to the Roman Ruins. These ruins are the largest ruins north of the Alps. We got to see where gladiators fought, and also a stone temple. Most of the ruins are under construction, because the Swiss are re-building them. Some people say they are not the same any more, but the Swiss say that they are just repairing the “ruins”. We all enjoyed walking around the ancient, stone structures, taking pictures, and buying souvenirs. Thanx again for all your prayers.

 Amy Sluiter 

Skulpture Halle

This museum has the largest collection of Greek copies of original statues.  There is a complete set of sculptures from the Parthenon.

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Okay, so we didn't actually go to the Parthenon, but we did see a model of it.

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Jonathan proposes to Penelope as she waits for Odysseus to return home.

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Kit and Jonathan illustrate their skills as Greek wrestlers.

Hike to Schloss Dornach

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The end of one of the tramlines stops in the countryside.  We spent a lovely day hiking in the foothills after everyone enjoyed lunch on the tram, especially Kit and Jonathan who ingested an entire chicken en route.

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The Goethe Annum-- this is the headquarters for the Anthrosophical movement, an intellectual cult whose members do not believe in right angles.  You can see the lack of true right angles in this very odd-looking structure.

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Schloss Dornach is a ruined castle where we stopped in on our hike. 

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The ETS ladies and Mrs. H.

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Katherine and a lovely view.

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Keep going!  Students complained that they were tired out by this long hike, but we weren't too sure whether we should take them seriously when they danced for four hours straight that evening. 

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For the small price of 1 frank, students were able to climb up this tower and get a view of the Swiss Alps, Germany and France.

Red River Band

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 Our hotel owner, Dieter Philipp, is a very pro-American, pro-country music gentleman with a great laugh, great food and a wonderful place to stay.  We were able to hear him and his daughter play their music on Friday night.  The flags were just part of the decor used to set the scene. 

Friday, April 6, 2001

  Friday began with everyone’s alarm clock or wake-up call sounding in their ear. After getting ready, we ventured down into the Breakfast Hall and saw the same breakfast we have seen this entire trip. It consisted of a roll, jelly, meat and coffee or hot chocolate. At the end of our delicious meal we gathered our things and took that trek across the Germany/Switzerland border to the tram station.

  We took the tram to downtown Basel and then hiked many stairs to the Sculpture Museum. It has the largest collection of fake Roman copies of Greek sculpture. The majority of the museum was focused on the Parthenon part of the Acropolis in Athens. We saw statues of Athena decked out in battle attire, Menalaus carrying the body of Patroclus off the Trojan battlefield, and the goddess Nike who also stands at the entrance of the Louvre in Paris.

  After leaving the museum, we headed on the tram to the Scholls Dornack Castle. While we were still on the tram we ate our lunch, which had been purchased earlier that morning. Most of the lunches were just your everyday kind of lunches, but there was one lunch, which must be described. The lunch consisted of an entire roasted chicken, bread (of course) and soda pop. The two young men partaking of this meal have, throughout the entire trip seemed to be hungry day and night. After arriving at our desired tram stop, we left two mothers to do some shopping in the town and then started our very much vertical ascent up a mountain. After hiking for about 30 min we finally arrived at Scholls Dornack Castle and decided to sing Dona Nobis Pacem in a cavern. After a few pictures we began a REAL hike. This entire hike has probably been one of the longest and most uphill hike of our entire lives. Rest break after rest break finally led to our destination: the lookout point. We had the option of climbing a 50-foot tower, which most of us did. After many more pictures had been taken, we started down the mountain and had an easy time of it, as it was a completely downhill journey. After finishing our hike, we stopped at one of the local hardware stores where most of the travelers took advantage of the Swiss Army knives and their great prices. We then took the tram back to our hotel where we had another delicious dinner and ended the evening dancing to the live band’s country music.

                                    All the travelers send their Love,

                                                            Rachel L. Schmidt   

Saterday, April 7

Saturday, a day looked forward to with much anticipation, was a free
day!! We got to do what ever we wanted, except sleep of course. Most
everybody went into Basel for the morning. Christy, Amy, Rachel, Jon,
Kit, Brooks, and our chaperones shopped. We went to Mr. Hinrich's
favorite toy shop, and a few of us went to the clothes store H&M. Jon
and Kit left us a little before noon to get their hair bleached. When
Basel was finally bought out from Amy's energetic souvenir hunting we
journeyed back to Lorrach. When we got there a few people had to recover
from minor heart attacks after seeing the new doos of Kit and Jon. As
Lorrach's shops would soon be closed and Catherine wanted to find a
basket we formed a small scouting party to ferret out the shop. Amy, and
her new outfit, Christy, Catherine, Kit, me, and my mother set out
determined to find the shop. We didn't find it, however, so to console
ourselves we bought some delicious Italian Eis.
That night, after dinner, Dieter let us play his keyboard. We got some
really neat sounds out of it and saw incredible handwork out of Christy
and Brooks. Jon stole the stage by playing the chorus of "Take My
Breath Away" as it was the only song he knew on the piano. We were
going to read Hamlet but we had way to much fun listening to Mr. H play
and sing about Poncho the horse. What a day!!
Amanda Helland

One more Schoene Sonnti

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We had one last tram ride to Basel Christian Fellowship.

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We heard Dr. Erdmann from the local evangelical seminary talk about the importance of Luther's theology in the reformation.

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 The Muenster...

Sunday, April 8, 2001

     Today we did the “Amazingly original” thing, by going to church. Although this may seem like a ‘no sweat’ job, the two mile walk, in dresses and dress shoes, with rain, cloudy skies, and wind, helps one to truly appreciate having an automobile, for those not-so-sunny days.  But don’t let this news make you postpone your next trip to Switzerland. The rain simply adds to the adventure, and exhibits what other’s personalities are TRULY likeJ

   After catching a tram, we ran to the hotel’s bar, where we’ve been eating our meals, and sat down to a delicious Sunday dinner. Because I believe I should share with you many of the wonderful joys of Switzerland, here is a list of all the delicious food we had the unique privilege of trying. After a freshly tossed garden salad, we enjoyed seasoned pork chops (I think that’s what they were), cauliflower with a creamy white sauce, noodles, and rice. This was followed by a dessert of chocolate ice cream. But it was not ordinary ice cream. It was Swiss eis The best way to describe how good it tastes, is by telling you that many of us have vowed to not eat American ice cream ever again! Of course you don’t need to bother yourself by making sure we don’t break that one.

  During dinner, Dr. Erdmann, a New quizament professor, shared with us about Martin Luther, and the significance of the reformation. He explained how the reformation was started; how Martin Luther believed that salvation was completely God’s work, as opposed to believing man must earn his way to heaven.

 After lunch, all, with the exception of Mrs. H and Mrs. Sluiter, journeyed to the Wenge Hof, for an afternoon of reading Hamlet. To our disappointment the reading was cut short on account of freezing bodies. But all was not lost; we then went to an Organ and Chorus concert at the Muenster. The music was very charming, and because of its soothing tones, many caught up on lost sleep.

  The day finished with dancing and singing, accompanied by Mr. H’s banjo. Of course this was after Mrs. H modeled her new hair ‘Doo’. With neon clips highlighting the beauty in her braids, we figured all she was missing was a bright orange dress from the 60’s for the Summer Fling!J  That brings me to now, approx 11:45pm, so I must be going` or else I’ll miss the 5 o’clock wake up call!!!

                        Goodnight and God Bless,

                                 *Christi Larsen*


The End

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Rachel Schmidt is caught snoozing after attempting to catch Mr. H. in a nap all week.

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Hauling luggage to the Zurich train.

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Mr. H. with our favorite cleaning lady, Dieter's wife Karin, Dieter, and our favorite server Rolf, who is fluent in Spanish. 

If you would like to hear the Swiss travelers talk about their trip, please put pnm:// into your real player.