Wednesday, December 18, 2013

31 Days in December #18: Time in Thun

L drops us in Thun, the nearest town, before lunch. He teaches music to high-schoolers in a reform school on the other side of the lake. D is working all day. W and I wait at the train statin; we pass off a rehearsal CD to Leanne, who will sing Sunday. (She and I will rehearse again Friday.)

A castle above Thun
Thun has Switzerland's big military school with specialized tank training. Military trucks have rumbled by in convoys while we've been here. D says tanks also drive by on the roads, which thrills her grandsons.

Tree bark
I love the old trees, pruned into knobby faces overhead. The tree bark adds texture to the side of the streets as we walk by.

Trees laughing overhead
W and I find the Christmas market and browse the regular market booths lining the streets. We taste sausages and cheeses, admire home-crafted wares, and marvel at the skilled tradespeople - from candlemakers and bakers to woodworkers and jewelers. L meets us in Thun after noon, on his way home to Oberhofen. He takes along our few purchases to lighten W's bag.

Founded in 1133
W and I decide to walk home (5km or 3 miles). It seems further because our feet still feel yesterday's walk around Bern. There's a wide walkway along Lake Thun (Thunersee). White swans paddle past, along with ducks and turns. Older couples stop to feed the birds and sit on the benches along the lake.

Many swans a-swimming
Above us, castles tower against the blue sky. Bells in clock towers chime the quarter hours.

W pauses on our walk
We snap a photo of a staircase with feet instead of posts at the bottom.

Funny footed stair
L has made tortellini, and by the time we're home at 3, we're hungry. Deeelicious!

When we're done, he takes us to a new suspension bridge, 5 minutes away by car. The bridge connects the villages of Aeschien and Sigriswil. Children walk from their village to the next village's school over a 340 meter (375 yard) span and above a 180 meter (200 yard) chasm. The bridge also connects the hiking trails the Swiss love.

The suspension bridge
W doesn't like heights but he pays the 8 CHF (about $9) to the ranger so I can walk across and back. Every time someone treads on it, the steel bridge sways. It's like walking in a moving bucket. I remind myself that if the Swiss have engineered it to support their schoolchildren, it's probably safe. How amazing to lean over the canyon and the breathtaking surroundings. The trees below look like matchsticks and the houses like dots on the mountains.

Villages along the valleys gouged out
by mountain streams
W stays home to finish grading (papers from students back in Seattle), but L and I leave about 6pm to pick up D from work. We go straight to church to rehearse for Sunday worship. About 15 musicians show up to sing and play, ending with prayer at 9:30pm. We relax together, eating a slice of toasted Panettone after the half-hour drive home.

The evening view from the hills above Oberhofen
Read more:
*I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Exodus 6:7 ESV

*Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago). Luke 1:68-70 NIV

*He has put all things under Christ's feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God, you are the one to whom we belong. Help us to trust your word, made flesh, in Jesus the Christ. Enable us to see the fullness of Christ in all. Amen.

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