Travel

31 Discoveries – Switzerland

After Hungary entered the European Union on May 1, 2004, the first time I exited teh EU was in January this year, when I made a trip to Switzerland with some friends to visit the Bern Switzerland Temple. Temples are sacred places for us, Latter Day Saints, and it had been over 15 years since I last had the opportunity to go to a Temple! Because we love to complicate things, we didn’t go to our assigned Temple in Freiberg, Germany, but to the Swiss Temple–via Bergamo, Italy.

And this is where the problems began. The day we flew into Bergamo, and were supposed to catch the evening train to Bern via Milan, a deadly train wreck happened near Milan. We didn’t know about it, and by the time we found out that we can’t get to Milan by train that evening it was too late to make any alternative arrangements. So we exchanged our tickets for the next morning…only to realize that the train we were told to be running for sure was cancelled, and after a lot of prayers and running we almost missed the train to Bern again. Fortunately we didn’t, and after several hours of travel we finally arrived in Zollikofen, Switzerland.

We got off the train and after crossing the street this is what we saw: img_5975

As we walked closer to the Temple we realized that it smelled like Heaven should–like chocolate! After a quick lunch and changing we could go to the Temple and spend the whole afternoon and the next morning participating in various ordinances. I also had it confirmed that the world is small, but it’s even smaller in the Church when I realized that there were several people serving there with whom I had some connections either from Temple Square or from home.

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The Bern Switzerland Temple, formerly known as the Swiss Temple was the first truly multi-language Temple and the Temple experience as most of us know it now in the Church is the direct result of having to find a solution to present the endowment sessions for a multinational audience. I think Bern’s beautiful celestial room is my favorite one.

Rather than taking the train home, one of the sisters from Bergamo drove us back. We saw some beautiful sites on  the way. Even gas stations looked impressive!

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Catching Up Part 1 – Balatonföldvár

2015-08-15 11.29.34After our annual Vonyarcvashegy vacation we had a wonderful opportunity to spend another week at lake Balaton in August. This time we went to Balatonföldvár. It is located on the south shore of the lake, where the water is shallow to the extent of having to walk over a hundred meters in knee deep water to reach a spot where one can actually swim. Because of this the southern shore is popular with families with young children. Except, of course, our family.

2015-08-13 08.57.29-1My niece was about to become an independent swimmer, and the super shallow lake just didn’t cut it. Good thing our hotel had a pool! It wasn’t very large, but it was just funenough for all of us. Surprisingly enough there was hardly anyone else using the pool, so after two attempts at the lake we just went to the pool three times a day. We even convinced my Dad to take a dip! That was two for two this summer. My sister very carefully instructed her daughter on how to breathe while swimming, and by the third morning she managed to swim twice the length of the pool without stopping. 2015.08.14 Balatonföldvár 193354 Katafotó eredeti

We managed to find an exellent restaurant on the first day, and we kept going back every day to try their various fish dishes. It ignited the Great Hungarian Fisherman’s Soup Debate in the family, but finally we settled on everyone liking the Szeged style soup–possibly because that is what we know rather than the Baja style.

One day Dad and I went on a long walk in the village, through some of the tourist paths, in search of a different beach from where we usually went, and we discovered a small rest area with wild berries and beautiful floweres. It was in a secluded, moderately difficult to access area, and we only found it because we got lost. Twice.

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While I took my hooks and yarn to Földvár, I have to admit my creativity kind of decreased while enjoying the sun, time with family, and a few good books. This occasionally happens when life intervenes.