Friday, July 6, 2012

Schloss Spiez

Thursday started out as a nice day so we decided to get going relatively early for another Swiss adventure.

Plan A - Top of the Niesen

It was a clear day and Laurie had not been to the top of an Alp as of yet so we decided to ride the funicular to the top of the Niesen, a.k.a., "The Pyramid" as seen in the distance from Helvetica's front window.

I loved this movie

By the time we got ready and walked down to the Bahnhof to jump on the train to the Niesen funicular, guess what?

A storm front blew in from the North making the trip to the Niesen not a good idea as the black storm clouds would indoubtedly obscure the wonderful vistas of the Lake Thun-Interlaken-Lake Brienz area that I had enjoyed seeing on a clear day before Laurie arrived in Thun.

In a cruel twist of fate, the German word for weather is "wetter."

The weather has indeed been wetter for the last month.

Plan B - Spiez

True explorers are never stopped, only sidetracked occasionally.

Thus we changed our plans and trained it to the delightful village of Spiez that sits on the Lake Thun's shoreline.

The View of Spiez
from the Spiez Bahnhof

The Eiger, the Mönch and
the Jungfrau 

Toy Library

We saw one of these in Murten and I think that it is a great idea. Parents can check out toys for their kids to use and then return them just like checking out a book at a regular library.

Spiez has a Castle

How could we resist?

Saw a fiddler along the way

As well as vineyards on the
walk to the Schloss Spiez

Schloss Garden Fountain

Skyline of Schloss Spiez

The von Erlach Family Crest 

The von Bubenberg family also owned the Schloss.

No Sun = No Time

Grapes growing on the
Schloss Spiez Wall

Still No Sun = Still No Time

Hunting Trophies are a MUST
in any self-respecting Schloss!

Schloss Spiez Chapel
through the wavy glass

Castles were built as both a residence and a place to defend yourself from invaders. Thus, a castle needed to have a state of the art armory inside of its walls.

Crossbows are a good choice

As are pikes and . . .

BIG Swords

Riddell has been in the helmet
business for a LONG time

Victory Parade for Bernese Troops

The Schloss Kitchen

A 269 year old copper cooking pot

Paw print of an old family pet?

Of course, one way to show off your wealth is through the use of stained glass in your Schloss.

Here are some examples that the von Bubenberg and/or von Erlach families added over the years.

Drums and Armor

Bugle Boy

St. Mark?

The von Bubenberg Family Crest

The Spiez City Crest

The von Erlach Family Crest

I love these two hairy guys!

Schloss WC

Another way to show off your wealth was by displaying excellent wood working throughout the Schloss.

No, I don't mean the WC's wooden seat.

The Bernese Bear

von Erlach and Bern canton Crests

Beastly Ram

Laurie's got mine

Wonderful Chest of Drawers

Lions are big in most Schlosses

A Vineyard through Wavy Glass

As if stained glass and wood craftsmanship displays were not enough to express the depth of your pockets, the Royals also spent a ton of Swiss Francs on elaborate hardware for their doors.

Nice Knocker

Security Lock

A Hinge as Art

Another nice lock

And another hinge

The Schloss Spiez Chapel

We would discover later today that our good friends Philipp and Martina Baumann were married in this very chapel.

How romantic is that!

Unicorns and Castles
always go together

A Winter Sled and some
VERY heavy Chain Mail

Adrian von Bubenberg
The Hero of the Battle of Murten

He led the Swiss troops in 1476 during the decisive victory over the forces of the Duke Charles of Burgundy.

This was a HUGE day in Swiss history. 

Even this old bell is a
Work of Art!

Schloss Spiez even has
its own little harbor

Schloss Spiez Chapel Mural

The Chapel's Lone Parishoner

How many baptisms here?

As a segue, our youngest grandson Jacob will be baptised on Saturday, July 28th in Oxnard's Santa Clara Catholic Church.

If only . . .

I could borrow this Red and Black outfit to wear to the Italian Football League's Super Bowl on Saturday when the Parma Panthers and the Catania Elephants meet.

Catania's colors are Mt. Etna Molten Lava Red and Black.

Winged Death at the Chapel

The Chapel as seen
from its harbor side

Ancient Schloss Spiez outer wall

We were Schlossed out by now, so we started our slow trek back to the Spiez Bahnhof for the return to Thun.

But first . . .

A quick stop at the
Spiez Reform Kirche

Laurie liked the Kirche's
Stained Glass Roses

Ueli Sutter & Cindy Güntensperger
Philipp & Martina Baumann
Laurie & George Contreras

The six of us went out to dinner at Casa Iberica Thursday night and had a delightful time.

One of the difficult things at the end of any EuroBall season is saying goodbye to your new friends, as we may never see many of them again.

The Tiger family has made our five and half months in Thun so very pleasant and wonderful indeed!

And the food and wine at Casa Iberica was SO good for us too!

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