Monday, November 08, 2010

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Phil and I spent two weeks in Switzerland in September. He went there for work (of course), and I had the pleasure of traveling there also to keep him company. :-) We recognize that we are greatly blessed with pleasures and opportunities we would not have were it not for Phil's work for IBM and with IBM clients.

Phil's work took place in Basel, Switzerland, where the world headquarters of Roche Int'l are located. (By the way, Roche now owns Genentech in S. San Francisco where Phil is on an engagement presently, and where he has been on several other extended engagements.)

During our time in Basel, we stayed at the Hilton in the center of town.

Cute bed coverings; mattresses that felt like rocks! (And, oh, our aching backs! We could hardly wait to get home to our Select Comfort -- now known as the Sleep Number Bed.)

The view from our window at the Hilton included ground cover that was growing all over the roof of the building located next door to our hotel and other roofs nearby.

One evening, we took the city train for a short ride (farther than I could walk comfortably due to my knee "issues"), and then walked about two blocks to a Basel restaurant that had been recommended by one of Phil's Roche colleagues. We had a great meal while sitting outdoors, and enjoyed watching the constant parade of shoppers as they walked by.

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As we walked along the streets from the restaurant back to the train stop where we would board the train bound for our stop near the Hilton, we stopped at a window where this creation with the name JW Janvier above it. From what I understand, JW Janvier was responsible for building a steam-powered carousel.

Beautiful steeple, Basel, Switzerland

Very interesting tree canopy, Basel, Switzerland.

This fascinating mechanism, a creation of Jean Tinguely, is just one waterworks sculpture in this particular pool located in the Old Town section of Basel. The sculptures are "animated" by water pipes in constant motion. (There is another pool with lots of other "animated" sculptures on the Roche campus.)

Once Phil's work at Roche was completed on September 24th , we rented a car and drove to Zurich where we would spend three nights at the Hilton Hotel near the Zurich Airport. Above is a roadway sign...I would say that the translation for flughafen is "airport." :-)

The arrow provides the international translation: Exit :-)

Above and below: a cow outside the Zurich Airport Hilton Hotel. This cow (fiberglass, I suppose?) reminded Phil and me of the cows that have lined the Chicago streets in years past.

We spent Friday night, September 24th, at the Zurich Airport Hilton Hotel. The next morning, 9/25, we arose in time to take the shuttle from the hotel to the airport where we caught a train that would take us into Zurich providing us with the above lovely view along the way. We would stay on the same train and travel an additional 3+ hours to Grindelwald, a beautiful town high in the Swiss Alps. We were excited about the fact that we would spend the entire day in Grindelwald with Phil's brother, sister-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law. :-)

PJ smiling at MJ on the train instead of watching the Swiss scenery fly by! :-)

The first house I happened to see from the train with flowerboxes. :-)

In Grindelwald: cowbells, and Impatiens in flowerboxes.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Amazing view from the home where Paul, Jean, Priss and Neal spent a week, Grindelwald, Switzerland. It's not viewable in this picture because of the clouds, but there is a glacier straight through that "V" between the two mountains in the photo!

Phil with his brother and sister-in-law, Paul & Jean White. Paul and Jean had spent the month of August volunteering at an OM house in Belgium before sightseeing (again) in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.

Us'uns, outside the home where Paul & Jean, as well as Priscilla and Neal Hamilton (Phil's sister and brother-in-law), spent a week in Grindelwald. :-)

Beautiful geraniums, Grindelwald, Switzerland

View from balcony, Grindelwald

Adorable house seen from the home where the Whites and Hamiltons stayed for a week in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Looking out the kitchen window of the home where we visited with Phil's siblings, I could see the roof on the house next door. There were "globs" of a sort of moss growing on what appeared to be a slate roof.

It rained the entire day we were with Paul, Jean, Priscilla and Neal in Grindelwald, but the inclement weather only added to the pleasure of visiting and eating indoors. :-) Jean and Priscilla are preparing a delicious lunch for us.

Jean White on the balcony of the Swiss chalet where she and the others stayed for a week, Grindelwald, Switzerland. (Note the flowerboxes.)

View from the balcony of the chalet, Grindelwald, Switzerland (note the gondola that takes sightseers to the top of the mountain).

Paul and Jean White

Neal and Priscilla Hamilton, Paul and Jean White, Myrna and Phil White
Grindelwald, Switzerland, September 25, 2010

"Downtown" Grindelwald, Switzerland

Another fiberglass (?) cow, this one on the sidewalk of Grindelwald.

Grindelwald street and sidewalk

Brothers White with Jean

Building downtown Grindelwald...with, of course, flowerboxes. :-)

We went to a restaurant in town for dinner. Above is a delicious salad that included tomato chunks and tofu that had marinated in a vinaigrette dressing.
After dinner, we returned "home" and spent more time visiting. Paul would kindly take Phil and me to the Grindelwald train station in good time to catch the 9:14 PM train for the 3-hour ride back to Zurich where we would get another train to the Zurich Airport, and then a taxi to the hotel. Whew! Long, but wonderful, special and memorable day! Imagine having to go to Switzerland to see our family members who all live in the USA! ha

The photo above of Jean White, as well as the three pictures that follow, were all taken by Jean & Paul during their time of sightseeing with Priscilla and Neal in Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

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