The past days have been as eventful as usual, and it seems almost impossible that we arrived in Switzerland only 8 days ago! In only the first 2 days of Switzerland we saw Zurich, its charm and peacefulness, as well as the view from the top of Mount Pilatus, which was amazing.
The next day all of us girls took a train to the beautiful city of Locarno, where we are staying now. Instead, my dad and Juergen (we were staying with the Hassloechers, friends of ours) hiked up 1899 meters… and back down again. Meanwhile, we arrived and settled in the house of Juergen’s mother. It is a house from the 60s and really charming, and the living room has an amazing view of the lake Lago Maggiore and the mountains across from us. We went down into Locarno since the house is in Orselina, a small town directly above it, and enjoyed some gelato. It was probably the best gelato I’ve ever had! They had flavors all the way to Lychee sorbet and rice pudding. I had Mozart, which was chocolate and marzipan with pistachios. We took the bus up and met Juergen, my dad, and Jakob (who was at his hockey game) back at the house to start our adventure in Locarno.
On day 5 we did a gorgeous hike by taking a train to Verdasio. From Verdasio you can take a “seilbahn” (train that dangles in the air by a rope) to the other side of the river and to a little town named Rasa. From there we hiked all the way the Bordei, a quaint village on another mountain. We walked all the way down and then crossed a river with giant boulders. We had tons of fun climbing from boulder to boulder, although I got both of my shoes wet due to some slippery ones! The beauty of the foliage, the dancing shadow spots in the air, and the sound of the rocky trail and rushing water is an amazing, and purely simple experience… In Bordei almost all of the houses are made entirely of stacked rocks. This gives the overall effect that you are in an entirely different decade: with stone ovens, firewood stacked against the house, roofs stuffed with hay, and tiny passageways through the maze of little houses. The little restaurant we went to was incredibly delicious! We walked back down a different route and encountered more little brooks and their stone “men”, which hikers build on big rocks. Oh, and of course, some yoga had to be done in a peaceful place… right in the middle of a stream in the woods! Once we came home I realized that the funny thing about mountains is that when you come back down you can’t imagine you were all the way up there!
The Hassloechers left for their house in Zurich the night before and therefore we were left to our own devices on Monday. So a full day of homeschooling was on our agenda and our classroom is the patio downstairs. We did a geography project using all of the old maps and, of course, science, math, reading, writing in our journals and all that… It is pretty cool to be schooled by your parents!