Over the Rivers and thru the Woods

Well, as you can tell, I didn’t do as well as I thought I would with blogging from Europe. It was very much a whirlwind trip. We didn’t slow down long enough to even write. We would wake up in one country, and be four countries away by the time we went to sleep. It was great fun. If I could share just a few highlights.

After a couple nights in London, my siblings (Jamie and Kyle), my mother, and I took off for our trip. We flew from London to Rome. Hopping countries in Europe is like hopping states here. It is strange how far you can go in such a short time.

We landed into Rome and there had our first meeting being in a country that didn’t speak English regularly. I do say that ALOT more people knew English then I anticipated, but it was still an experience.

Our first matter of business was to get into town and then find the Coliseum. When we finally found the right trains and we got off at the Coliseum subway stop, we were anticipating a bit of searching to find it. We were absolutely wrong. Right when you come out of the station doors, it is there in absolute majesty. I have written before about things that do not disappoint when you experience them for the first time. The list is short. But along with hot air balloon rides and the Grand Canyon, the Coliseum does not disappoint. We got there just as the sun was setting and illuminating the Coliseum walls.

The next day we visited the Sistine Chapel and the rest of the beautiful buildings in Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel was nice. (Good work Michelangelo) But the hallway leading to the chapel was magnificent.

We came out of the Vatican to a crowd of people in the big square. After going thru a couple shops, we saw the Pope riding around on the Pope-mobile . He was waving to the crowd and making his way to the front. It was pretty interesting and great timing.

That evening we took a train up to Venice. Now that was an interesting city. We walked thru the whole island, following the signs to the cathedral. When we got there, we were so interested in the birds that we didn’t spend alot of time looking at the cathedral. The birds were fun. Jamie wouldn’t play with them, But kyle, mom, and I had a few bags of seed each and we threw a bird party. I put seeds on Kyle’s head and birds went in for the meal. We were surrounded by hundreds of birds. It was fun.

We took the busboat back to the train station. The boat stopped every couple blocks and picked people up from floating bus stops. How strange that people actually live there.

We took the train thru the night and woke up in Bern, Switzerland. After finding out that there was a big music festival in town and all hotel rooms were filled, we got back on the train and went to a town out of the story books.

Interlaken, Switzerland has got to be the most beautiful place on earth. Surrounded by the towering Swiss Alps, divided by rivers of water pure as diamonds, and decorated with green plants and flowers everywhere. I wondered if people there feared death because they would have to “downgrade” to heaven. Just being there and walking the streets was a very neat experience.

The next morning, back to Bern. The streets were bustling and we were ready to explore. My family comes from this area and we were very excited to see how common the name was there still. We visited a big cathedral that towers over the city. We went inside and found a plaque and there on the list of the remembered were two Stucki names. Dated 1798. That was exciting. Oh yeah, the chapel was neat too.

Switzerland is such a neat country. Everything is clean, organized, and effective. We visited the beautiful LDS temple and felt proud that our family were among the early pioneers that built faith that matured to a temple.

After Bern, we flew back into London. We had a day there so we watched “The Phantom Of The Opera” in Her Majesty’s Theatre. We took in the sights and sounds of London and then the next day we were ready to have the pleasures of America again.

As you can imagine, we did much more and saw alot. These are the things I enjoyed the most. We ended up with 540 pictures. (Thank goodness for digital cameras!!) I will attach a few pictures here and I plan to make a hard cover book out of the rest of them.