Thursday, February 11, 2010

Swiss Roots

Justin has blogged about my fictitious life that was in a book.  Sometime before that I blogged about my book roots in Ireland.

Now here are my book roots in Switzerland.
This is Cal and I in front of a superb children's bookstore in the city of Thun, located on Lake Thun in Canton Bern at the base of the Swiss Alps.  Thun is amazingly beautiful.  Though fewer than 100,000 people live in the area, it not only has Kinderbuch Paradies, but two other bookstores as well.

Thun is the closest city to my ancestral homeland in the beautiful, bucolic Emmental Valley.  We were there on a somewhat rainy day.

The Shallenbergers presumably lived in the area near Schallenberg Pass.

One wonders what might have prompted them to leave this region, taking the treacherous trip abroad in 1727, settling in Pennsylvania and purchasing land in what would soon become Lancaster County.

The Shallenbergers were Mennonites, a group frequently subject to persecution.  Many Swiss Mennonites fled to the Palatinate section of Germany.  Many more to America.  We became a land of religious tolerance.

Cal likes to do stupid things, like climbing a Via Feratta high above the town of Stechelberg in the Swiss Alps.  I'm the idiot right behind him, taking this picture while shaking in my boots.  This was an easy part of the climb that included three cable bridges.

Reilly, who operates at my speed, enjoys a playground.
That's Eiger Mountain just to her right.
She could be Heidi!

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