Updated: Jan 7, 2019
by Rae Richen
The German and Swiss trains are sleek and comfortable.
Catching the correct part of the train was a trick we learned with the help of the station staff. Look in the right corner of each car for your train car number which is printed on the ticket.
The mountains hid from us that first afternoon and night.
As we arrived in Frutigen Valley, in Switzerland, we were hardly aware of the mountains because of the fog cover.
The church in Frutigen has a conical cap. I looked to see if it had curly-toed slippers, too. But no...
Behind this lovely old church, we found a graveyard with new and old graves containing all the names similar to those of my husband's family in Helvetia and Portland, Oregon.
Behind the church, we found the headstones for many Reichens and Jungens.
The headstone for Margrit Reichen-Schmid reminded us that family stayed behind when the Reichens left for Portland, Oregon.
Our name, Reichen, was changed to Richen. My husband's grandmother once told me the name change was the result of hatred for Germans during World War I. Note the log cabin and fir trees carved above the name. Margrit was a beloved mother, but only lived to be 45.
This bear was carved from wood. A wood carver lived nearby.
Whimsy in decoration seemed to come out in the gardens of the residents.
Ceramic black bull is rummaging for the last berries of June.
This fellow is dressed for company. Note tail accommodations in checked table cloth pants.
This wooden trough sat near the library.
What may have been a water trough has become garden art, or perhaps a deterrent to curious dogs.
The pink lines on this map are two tunnels under the mountains.
The tunnel where we found this map/sign takes off from Frutigen and heads for many miles in to the surrounding alps.
The mountains finally peak through.
On our first morning, we awaken to find the mist of yesterday lifting. The fresh air of the first morning felt warm and refreshing. The sudden sight of the mountains, forced us to sit on the curb.
Below is the town of Frutigen and the foothills of the Alps.
Frutigen is a walkable town. We climbed to this view in a half an hour.
The Enslige River begins in this waterfall out of this snowfield that can be seen from high up on the road to Adelboden.
Climb higher and you can see the waterfall coming from the snow field.
The contrast of dark rock, green moss meadow and icy water from the long snowfield is beautiful and cooling. This view is spectacular because the enormous mountains are so close and the drop of waterfall so long.
Small spring flowers make June a lovely refreshment.