A whole heck of a lot of our adventure over in Europe happened in cars trying to decipher signs like these:  
We had five in each car (four women and baby Dean in one), and we switched around at each stop.  
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip included the discussions we had in those cars.  And at dinner each night.  Or late at night gathering in one room with our pj’s on.  
And at any time in one of our discussions there would be an interjection: “look at those trees!”  “Another onion dome on that cathedral over there!” or “can you hear those cowbells?”  I don’t know that that countryside could have been more appreciated as we wove through it on tiny roads.
Sometimes we stopped, other times we just gaped at the beauty from the road.

Anita took us to Julier Pass where they have found remains of a Roman temple and cart tracks…this pass was really important crossing during the Roman Empire way back when. 
It was beautiful (I know, I’m sounding a little redundant on the beautiful thing…let’s try to figure out some more adjectives…)

We were quite taken with this place.

Aja even found an old cart and tried to demonstrate how the Romans would have been so frustrated at the rocky terrain trying to get through those mountains.

We couldn’t stop taking pictures, the light was just so beautiful.

I have to pause right here right now and just give a shout-out to my sister Saydi.  I’m usually the sole picture-taker and I LOVED that Sayds may have surpassed me on this trip.  Lots of these pictures are from her and I meant to put her little photography emblem on each of hers but it got too complicated.

Let’s just go ahead and say that probably all the really good pictures I’m posting are from her ok? πŸ™‚

Thanks Sayds!

Here’s an ancient Roman mile-marker:
After soaking in all that magnificence (note the new adjective:) of Julier Pass, we headed over to Morteratsch where we got to watch them make cheese.  
Check out the wall of the cheese house:

This guy is the cheese expert.  It was pretty cool to watch the whole process as that humongous cauldron bubbled over the crackling fire.

Then of course we had to sample all the cheeses.

Bread and cheese.  Can’t get enough of it over in Europe I tell you.  Why is their bread so much better than ours?

We took a gondola up to Diavolezza and took in the stunning views at the top.

After those adventures we got to a little town called Pontresina where we had dinner in one of the very gondolas they had used at one point on the mountain.

This picture is kind of out of place right here, but I want to remember that every night we talked until late, and then huddled around wherever we could get internet (IF we could get internet) and tried to communicate with all our 27 kids and all those great husbands we left behind.  Kind of fun to overhear all the facetime conversations and hear little snippets of what was happening back at home.

That night we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in what was unanimously one of our very favorite towns, right in the Italian part of Switzerland: Zouz.

Wow.  The little place we stayed was up what seemed like ten flights of super creaky old stairs winding around in a circle.  At the top was this perfect little gathering place filled with warmth and little beds that reminded me exactly of how the house of the seven dwarfs would have looked.  We adored it.

The next morning we walked around oooing and ahhhhing at the charming detail around every corner.

Cobblestones as far as the eye can see.

Everywhere you go in Switzerland there is drinking water like this:

Who the heck decorates it all so beautifully with flowers is what I want to know?  It’s as if everyone in the whole country has a pact to never litter and to always, always exhibit at least ten thousand flowers.

I didn’t get many pictures of the next town but it was equally as beautiful.  It was a town called Guarda and it’s where the famous Swiss story “A Bell for Ursli” originated.

It was the perfect spot to try to find my “bell” I had been looking for the whole trip (I loved loved loved the melodic sound of all the cow and sheep bells everywhere we went and wanted to bring an authentic one home for my kids.  I thought it would be a good way to link them to their Swiss ancestors from back in Schmiedrued.)  I figured the cheese making guy would know so I asked him where I could find something authentic, and he sent us to this house where this guy makes bells.

It was pretty awesome and we found a perfectly authentic sheep bell which I didn’t get a picture of, dang it.

Now a whole slew of pictures of Guarda because it our cars kind of got lost from each other and one didn’t have keys and we were trying to get situated, but it was gorgeously beautiful just like the rest.

Plus the bell story made it into an extra fantastic memory.

We drove away on to the next adventure in Germany…

…but with Switzerland and all it’s glory, ancestor stories, paragliding, bonding, and a home to part of our family taking up a gigantic part of our hearts.
Part 4 is HERE.

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  1. Beautiful pictures of what sounds like a wonderful family adventure! You and your sister are great photographers!
    Which places in Germany – my home country πŸ™‚ – will you visit?

  2. I hope you drank from the fountains! I was hesitant at first (germaphobe here) but succumbed to the pressure of my family. The water was ice cold and refreshing! So glad I did it and love the picture my husband took of the occasion πŸ™‚

  3. I just wanted to say that last night I was at the BYU you game and I saw your son on the big screen several times. I don't want that you sound stalker like but I thought I would let you know he looks like he is having a wonderful time and is doing well.

  4. So pleasant to relive these halcyon days! The pics are simply fabulous! You're saving me a lot of time trying to put up pictures I took this with my little IPhone 4S! Every photo here is a treasure . I love seeing things I missed while I was there. It all seems so far away now that I'm in Japan!

  5. I love reading about Switzerland and your trip. It's the land of some of my ancestors too that left when they joined the LDS church. They ended up in Santa Clara, Utah by St. George. I can't help be imagine their found memories and occasional longing for green mountains and cool lakes and so many trees compared to the barren red rocks and sage brush of southern Utah. It was probably a huge blessing they didn't have the wonderful pictures we have today.

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