2005 ETS trip to Switzerland
After 15 hours of flight time and heavy with jet lag the previous day, we woke up at 7:00a.m. on Sunday, April 17. We walked downstairs to a scrumptious breakfast of rolls, cereals, fruits, and plenty of spreads, including nutella, butter, and jams. Then we walked to Basel community church, where we heard a Mr. Mark Hill speak about Colossians 1:21-23. A delicious lunch awaited us down at the migros after church. Many decided on pizza, I myself had a creamy beef stroganoff, and the others ordered from a variety of foods. Following our much needed meal, it was time for our first museum. We gazed upon tapestries, jewelry, weapons, costumes, ancient coins, and old tools, once used in the middle ages. An english-speaking guide took us on a tour of dances of death next. Dances of Death was a procession of thirty-seven living figures each holding the hand of a corpse representing death, painted onto the stone-wall of the Dominican monastery during the middle ages. It stretched sixty meters long and stood two meters high. Many believe that the purpose of its creation was to show everyone that they must lead a good Christian life because no one escapes death. Beginning of a figure of the pope all the way down to the farmer, these pictures were painted on using tempura paint, a mix of color and egg yolk, which hardens after dried. The reason for the corps dancing all the time was that during the middle ages dancing was made a sin, since the pagan Greeks and Romans made it a part of their culture, the Christians wanted nothing to do with it. But in 1850 the wall was neglected and people thought it was unnecessary, so they tore it down, saving only a few parts. Today 19 out of 37 figures remained and are hanging up in the Basel museum. Soon after our detailed tour Mr. Hinrichs decided to show us Basel. We started off in the opposite direction of our hotel and what began as a ten minute walk ended up being an hour and a half. In our little journey we came upon the munster, which means "Cathedral". It was beautiful on the outside and when we opened the doors we heard something even more beautiful. A small concert was taking place, so we unanimously agreed to stay. After listening to 12 enchanting songs, we hiked back to the hotel and enjoyed a wonderful meal consisting of carrot salad, penne with tomato sauce, and two scoops of ice-cream. It was delicious! Upon reading Shakespeare's Much ado about Nothing, Mr. Hinrichs said it was time to break up. So off we trudged to our beds, excited about what awaited us the next morning.
* Basel city gate
* Historical museum
* Rhine ferry
* Dinner at the hotel
Gruzi mittenand! (That's "hi, y'all" in Basel slang)
Day 3 dawned grey and beautiful. Of course, in my vacation-awed state of mind, even if it were pitch-black outside, I'd think it were beautiful.
Following our breakfast, which proceeded much as the two previous mornings had - delicious and filling - we hit the pavement at 9. However, a museum was not our initial destination; inconveniently for us, the museums do not open until 10. So, we divided into various and sundry parties, most of which were bent on shopping. Cruel as it seems, misfortune struck again: Monday, along with Sunday, is a day on which most shops are closed. The shops that were open were not the ones in which we were interested. Amanda Helland suffered the most, for she had arrived in Switzerland bereft of a coat. Alas! The Salvation Army was closed!
At that point, the group I was with splintered. Some brave souls continued in the hopeless quest , others (like me) forsook the fruitless and pursued education. In othter words, we returned to Historisches Museum.
It was very easy to lose myself there. Not that the layout was confusing; rather, the displays were endlessly fascinating. Their coin collection is phenomenal - one entire room is dedicated to it. I personally liked the weapons...What entrigued me the most were the stoves made from ceramic. Floor-to-ceiling, octagonal, with no doors in the front. Who knows how they fed it! The stove I liked the best had paintings of Roman gods, mythological stories, and the seven wonders of the ancient world. But! Enough of my rambling. I sound just like one of those tourists.
Where was I? Ah, yes:
Mr. H. went in search of a dependable internet connection.
We all ate lunch, I'm assuming. At 13:00 (1:00 pm), we reconverged at Barfusserplatz, with our next destination on our minds: the Roman ruins at Augusta Raurica.
Before we boarded our 13:30 bus, we managed to: take an invigorating hike to the stop, miss our 13:00 bus, admire the ovesized Ring-Pop (aka a piece of modern "art") and in other ways entertain ourselves. Like taking silly group-photos.
Once underway, Mr. H. taught to count off in German. There are 22 of us, so we got up to "zwei-und-swanzig" (Mr. Wert). Besides being fun and challenging, it also proved useful. For, not only do I now know when Germans tell me what I owe them (as long as it is under 22), but I also have a nickname! Very important, because we had "Shorty" (Sarah Alanis, who's about 5'10"), Sarah (Kuznitz - this is how we call then separately), "La Syd" (Sydney Roe - since she's a girl, "El Cyd" wouldn't have worked well), and now..."Sieben"! (that's me) "Seven" in German. Hey! I like it better than "Answer Tyrant"!!
I digress. Back to the matter at hand:
30 minutes after we boarded, we got off. Completing a ten-minute-walk (really! The sign said "10 minutes"!!) brought us to the ruins.
Due to the Swiss standard of "Everything in order", they are not ruins anymore. The villa is rebuilt, and the theatre is scheduled to reopen next year - in its restored state.
One of the guides proved us with a tour (in English!). Following her talk on the history of the Roman settlement (the Romans came, saw, conquered, settled, prospered, crashed, died, were forgotten, then rediscovered), we continued with the tour. The villa is split in two: one half is the museum, the other is set up as a home.
We saw a kitchen thathad original pots and utensils, and also a privy (that was not original, though). Why in the kitchen? I have no idea. Proceeding to the dining room: We walked on a real mosaic floor, then lounged on (slightly newer) dining cushions. Next, to the baths!
Did you know had invented a way to heat rooms from the outside in? They built fires under the room (tile floors, don't worry). The heat would travel through vertical pipes imbedded in the walls that surrounded the room. Cool!
Then came the butcher's, blacksmith's, and bronzesmith's workshopos. The Romans made some pretty cool keys. Their carriages had better suspension than some 19th century varieties.
Moving on, and out. Our guide led us to the grounds, where there isi a really cool impressive temple ruin. No doubt someday it will be restored to its former glory. We concluded with the theatre. Inspired by the poetic muse, we posed on the temple steps for the camera: the women dying and dead, with the men rejoicing (??); the shades of the women taking their revenge (!!); the cupid-like students surrounding the honeymooners (xoxo); lastly, some cute girls-in-the-flowers shots (:-)). For some reason the guys didn't want their picture taken among the flowers...
We warmed up in the museum while investigating the displays. Most prominent ws the one about diet. There was an exquisite platter depicting the life of Achilles; petrified food scraps; spoons; vessels; even a video illustrating the difference between a nobleman's meal and a peasant's meal.
House gods (or pocket-gods, since they wer between 2 and 8 inches),coins, pottery - an excellent exhibition.
Around 18:00, we returned home. Considering the fact we had 1.5 hours to kill, we actor-children converged to complete a second night of Readers' Theatre. Because there are so many roles in "Much Ado About Nothing", we've doubled up on characters, and sometimes nearly have conversations with ourselves!
Dinner ensued - delicious fare of salad, pizza, and spamoni (sp?) ice cream. Conversation on our end ran along like this: Who is the prettiest actresss? (no answer was reached) What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite book? Why don't you like mushrooms?
All being physically (not to mention mentally) exhausted, we deteriorated rapidly. Someone started making his/her glass sing, so we all tried. A couple sour notes, but it sounded pretty cool. Then someone broke a glass. After hysterical fits of laughted, we decided to desist, but not before one of the hotel staff gave us a subtle hint by turning the radio on full blast...
So, we called it a night. I came up here to write this. And now I'm done. Tomorrow promises great fun, and today will provide terrific memorires. Gute Nacht.
* On the Drammli
* Roman ruins
* Basel art
* Haus zum kirschgarten museum
* Stroll through the woods
* Basilisk fountain
* journal time on the ipaq
Day Four: April 20,2005
After another morning of eating and talking, we all set out for another museum. This next museum was called ''The Sculpture Hall'' museum which was filled to the brim of different kinds of Roman and Greek well sculpted statues. The first thing the group saw was the a small copy of the building called '' The Acropolis'', which Mr. Hinrichs gave us a little summary of how perfactly the Romans built it. Then we went downstairs where we saw amazing statues of Aphrodite, Zeus, Athena, Apollo and many more! But my personal favorite was the Statue of Athena. The reason why I liked this one in particular is because the way the unnamed sculpter designed her with wisdom and poise which to me brought the stories I have read about her came to life.
After an hour it was time for us to go to our next museum, the paper museum. I was very surprised when I learned that we were going to a ''paper museum'', because I haven't thought about paper as important as I should have. But sadly the museum wasn't open yet until later, so we only got to visit the gift shop. But while everyone else was picking out what they wanted to buy, I happened to find some old paper dating back to the 1300's. I also found very old tools for making paper, lets just say I've learned my lesson of taking paper for granted.
After that experience the group then visited St. Elizabeths Cathedral, and listened to these men play these instruments called ''basoons''. While I heard them play and echoing through the church, it sounded beautifully. Not to mention the inside of the church was also very beautiful, due to its great architecture and paintings.
Then after visiting the church came my favorite part of the day, lunch! The group met at Markplatz and we all had a famous brautwurst. Very delecious! After filling our bellies we took the tram to one of Mr. Hinrichs old friend/tutor named Ellis Potter.
* Sculpture museum
* Bassoon concert
Listen to eight bassoons plays Bach fugues.
* Visit with Ellis Potter
* Colmar, France
* Eight course French dinning
Thursday April 21st
Thursday, April 21 was spent mostly in France. My Dad, Mr. Alanis, his daughter Sarah, and I went early to the Colmar area of France. We arrived at our destination after an hour of driving though beautiful sunny fields. After about five days of rain, it was really a blessing to see the sun over the fields of France. We arrived at the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg, the castle was first mentioned in literature in the early twelfth century. The castle was fought over countless times and was constantly changing hands as wars changed the boarders of the kingdoms. It was destroyed in 1633 from a fire and was left in ruins until the early 19th century when the architect Kaiser Wilhelm II was commissioned to rebuild it, and then it was opened to the public as a museum. The castle was atop of a large steep hill to make certain it had a good view of the flat French and German fields that it watched over. Much of the castle had furniture from the sixteenth century. Most of the rooms seemed to be sparsely furnished; a small desk, and an oversize heater was all that filled most of the rooms. The larger rooms had a wood floor and many tapestries and paintings covering the walls. After touring the castle we drove into Colmar itself to meet up with the rest of the group-- to find a really nice multi-course dinner. There were three meals on the list, an eight-course meal for 58 euro, a six-course meal for 36 euro, and a five course for 28 euro. Only the first two meals were ordered at our table. The meals started off with a mild curry and clam soup. I don’t normally enjoy curry but this soup had only a pinch of curry for flavor and had a very buttery taste to it, this was the first course on all the meals and used to tempt your stomach. This was followed by lobster soup, oysters, or goose pâté depending on the meal. I had the oysters, which I really enjoyed. You really could not taste them. You just let them slide down your throat. For those who did not like the oysters there was a rich lobster soup Those who ordered the more expensive meal got pâté or goose liver. It was really hard to describe the taste I enjoyed it, but most people didn’t really like it. This was followed by scallops and tomatoes for the eight-course meal, which had a buttery taste to it. The next course was smoked salmon and a small salad for the six-course meal and sole topped with white asparagus and mushrooms. The salmon was very well done and freshly smoked so it had a nice flavor to it. After this was a plum sorbet for the eight-course meal. It did not go over very well with most people because it had a strong alcoholic flavoring to it. This was followed by the main course, the larger meal had pidgin (a type of small chicken, not the flying rats). The flavor was a little hard to place. It was almost like the dark meat off of a turkey. The rest of us had pike and sauerkraut covered in a green herb sauce. This was followed by our choice of some of the best cheeses that I have ever had. The last and final course was an excellent desert, light cookies topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and whip cream. It took almost two hours to eat the entire meal. After this the group split up again, Mr. Hinrichs group left for Basil by train and the four of us took the scenic route across the boarder to Germany and through the black forest which is home of many fairy tales and legends, including Little Red Riding Hood and Werewolves. As the name suggests, the black forest has so many trees that no sun can get through the branches. It was hard to see more than 10 feet into the forest, but the entire area was very beautiful.
* Renaissance concert
Listen to renaissance music played on
* Paper grading on the Rhine
Swiss trip journal 4.23.05
This morning we all took the tram out to the border and walked over to Lorrach Germany. We stopped by the home of the Wollins, a missionary family in Germany, and added a few of their 8 children to our party. We then proceeded to the local shopping center and spread out. On the inside, the stores seemed to be largely the same as those we have in the states (aside from the German signs). However, on the outside the buildings look much different, they are much older than most buildings in the U.S. and are quite interesting to see. Almost all had slanted tile roofs, shutters on the windows, and drainpipes down the 3-5 stories. Anyhow, enough of the architecture. In the first store we entered we looked around for a while, and soon were spending Euros. Among the items purchased by our group were chocolate, music CDs and toys. Mr. H got some Legos for his children, a good investment in my opinion. Next we went to an ice cream shop and tried out some German ice cream. As we munched on our cones, our group dispersed further among the various stores. I liked seeing the cutlery with its German made knives, which were quite nice. I would have stayed longer, but the time was growing short and our group moved on. We said our goodbyes to the Wollins, and walked out of Lorrach and back over to Switzerland and got onto the Basel tram. On the way back, some of us got off to go to Wenk, what we would call a hardware store, to get a little Swiss shopping in. There I purchased a Swiss army knife, and others picked up some souvenirs. After that, we went back to our hotel and had some lunch. After lunch, we met at Marktplatz, took the tram to the end of the line way out of the city, and went hiking in the countryside. Our party started up the hill, walking through a residential area and admiring the scenery. On the way, Mr. H brought us through a community connected with anthroposophy and Rudolph Steiner that used some interesting architecture without any straight lines or right angles in the buildings. I thought it looked strangely similar to the houses in the works of Dr. Suess, but I guess the people in the sect take it seriously. After a while our group made it to the hiking trail, and we started up the mountain. We soon heard bells clanging and around the bend we found cows, who were sporting the aforementioned bells. A little ways up the path, lay the remains of a 13th century castle. The ivy covered stone walls went up about fifty feet at the high point. The others and I went up to explore the stronghold, and from the top we could see Basel city. We climbed back down and resumed our hike. Not far from there were some much more recent defenses including a long row of concrete tank stops that extended across the forest for wars in the 20th century. We continued through the countryside and saw a lot of farms, cows, sheep, trees, and banana slugs. As we trudged along up the mountain, we conversed about politics, society, banana slugs, and exchanged anecdotes. We finally made it to the top and enjoyed the great view of the green valley below, and some appreciated rest after an arduous walk. Soon we were back on our way down the mountain, quite ready for our dinner that awaited us at the hotel. Overall, this has been a productive day. Auf Wiedersehen.
* Walk to Schloss Dornach
Listen to these beautiful Swiss cows
* Basel choir
Listen Basel singing group
Sunday, April 24
Left on a rainy morning from Basel to go up to Wengen, in the Alps. We checked into the Hotel Edelwiess after wheeling our way through town. There were many remarkable sights near and far, including waterfalls, steep cliffs, titanic glaciers, and an overall spectacular scene. Many of the group took the cog train to view the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. It was a little foggy, but pretty neat, snowy but not too cold. The hardy ones hiked back down to Wengen. The dinner that night consisted of salad, beef, vegetables, and tater tots. For dessert we had some delicious slab of ice cream which topped off a great day.
* To Wengen and the Alps!
* Walk down from Kleine Scheiddig (Highest point in Europe)
* Music time
Listen Listen Listen Listen Listen Listen
Listen - The famous mystery singer!
* Beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley
* Trummelbach falls
* All done!