|church as it looks today|
|picture of the second church building|
|an old vestment|
|photo of the original altar|
We were able to climb the narrow, steep steps leading up to the bell tower tower. It was amazing to see the bells that close, but I kept thinking that here in the states no one would let anyone climb the tower due to liability. How refreshing that it does not seem to be an issue in Switzerland.
|steps leading to the bells|
|a few of the bells|
Then it was time for the main event, the Kubler family gathering at Neu-Thierstein Castle, located just outside of the town. The castle I believe is from the 1100s, and it had fallen into ruin. In the 1800s efforts were made to stop the dismantling that had been taking place. In recent years the village of Busserach bought the castle and has done restoration work, including adding a clear roof so that the castle can be used for events year-round.
Once the family members started arriving, we gathered in one of the rooms on the upper level where we would be able to not only eat but also watch the slide presentation that Rolf had put together about my family. It was interesting to me that a number of the attendees had to introduce themselves to each other. I guess I just assumed that in a town the size of Busserach (around 2,000 people), everyone would know one another.
The day ended with dinner at Rolf's house with his wife and two sons. We had cheese fondue, and it was very tasty. I think we do a pretty good job with fondue over here, but I have to say that their cheese is so much better. And it will be hard to ever top having it with a Swiss family in Switzerland.
The next morning Rolf picked me up at 9:00 so that we could drive to a high point for me to take some pictures of the village from up above. Unfortunately the morning was too foggy to do that, but we went to some land owned by a Kubler family and I got some interesting pictures there.
|spider webs capture the dew|
|orchard on Kubler land|
We then spent a little more time at his house while he burned some CDs for me, and I had an opportunity to say good-bye to his family before he took me to the Laufen station. From there I took several trains to Speyer, Germany where I met back up with my tour group. What an unbelievable experience, and I have no idea how to thank the person that made it all possible.