Nearing the 6 week mark of our arrival in Switzerland and we are just starting the very last week of so-called vacation. Manolo has a trial run at a job tomorrow and the kids start school one week Monday. Life will be very different by then and we’ll begin to once again settle into our new normal.

The back to school vibe here is pretty casual. Uncomfortably so… I can’t figure out a bus schedule, school supply list or the hours of school each day.  It’s totally nerve wracking but I’m doing my best to maintain a “no big deal” persona in front of the kids because if I’m freaking out, they will totally lose their sh*t. Everyone keeps saying “I’m sure it will all get sorted on the first day.” Let’s hope so!

I do have mom-guilt about deep ending them into this school situation but I’m also so excited for them to get really solid German language lessons. It will improve their ability to find friends immensely.

As far as the language skills go, I can proudly say that we are improving the English language skills of every Swiss person we meet. Unfortunately this is doing nothing for our German skills. With the exception of the crotchety lady at our local grocery store, everyone speaks English and seem to be keen to do so. The result is that these Canadians are being pretty lazy when it comes to becoming German speaking citizens. It’s just to easy when everyone speaks English and painful, for everyone involved, when we stammer our broken German.

This weekend brought hot weather once again so we were introduced to the local swimming hole. A very short bike ride from our house and you find yourself in a lovely forest where locals pretend to be outdoorsy. The swimming hole was very little, very popular and completely unprepared for the Canadian kids who jump in at any opportunity despite being fully clothed. Pretty sure this rule & order society isn’t ready for our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants style.

There is no limit to where you’ll find a water fountain. Many are an artistic installation, similar to this one. And evidently a perfect beer cooler.
A lovely bbq facility next to the swimming hole so that you can make a real day of it. crazy that both this and the hustle bustle of the main train station are both a 5 minute bike ride from our house.
One of the highlights of this weekend was taking in a soccer match at the local stadium. Our neighbourhood team (Veltheim) against the team from Bern. There was a 4 division difference between the two teams so it was expected to be a runaway and it was. But seemingly a nice “all in the name of sports” event. The Bern players all handed over their jerseys to the local players at the end of the match, clearly the celebrities in this relationship. 

Our local guys in blue. Bern in yellow with a huge cheering section.
The stadium with a building that used to be the tallest in Switzerland until fairly recently. It’s about as tall as the Calgary Tower…
The other big highlight was finding some kids to play with, both the animal and human variety.

This baby goat has captured the kids hearts. Both are now begging for a pet goat of their own. We were happy to see a baby bell for this little guy.
Helena scored the ferrari at the go-carts, racing with her cousin.

With our final week of summer vacation here, we plan to make the most of the days and hope we can build a strong cushion of happiness to help absorb the stress of the first week of school. I just plan on having lots of gin & tonic…

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