SwItaly II

We Went Back!

We Needed Some Do-Overs

Our SwItaly 2015 trip (seven people, two weeks in Switzerland and Italy) was great! But when it was over, we decided that NEXT time, we would do things a bit differently. There were two days for which we’d like a “do-over.”

The first of these was in Tuscany. On that trip, we stayed 4 nights in Florence, and one of our days was dedicated to a driving tour of Tuscany hill towns. It was a fantastic day – we saw 3 different towns, and in between we viewed beautiful rolling hills full of grape vineyards, olive trees, and fabulous villas. We asked ourselves “Wouldn’t it be great to rent one of those villas for our group?”

“Next trip!” came back the answer.

The second do-over is in Switzerland. On SwItaly 2015, we stayed in three different cities in Switzerland, but it seemed that Lauterbrunnen was everyone’s favorite. We had three days there, and one of them was planned for our excursion up to Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe, and the place we had most looked forward to visiting. We got halfway there, only to be turned away – the station was closed due to bad weather. So we couldn’t go, and we had no more days to try it again.

“Next trip!”

So on THIS trip – SwItaly II – eight of us rented a villa in Tuscany for the first week, and then ten of us spent a week in Lauterbrunnen.

Who Are the Travelers?

Karen and Dave

This is our “messy hair” photo from a windy day in Tuscany, with the SwItaly I tour group. We’ve recently retired, and love to travel. We’re not professional tour guides, but it’s fun to travel with friends!


Joyce is a friend of Karen and Dave from church. She is our most experienced European traveler. SwItaly II is her third trip with Karen and Dave. Joyce loves scarves and adds to her collection on every trip.


Steve and Dave used to work together on IT projects for the State of Oregon. Now Dave is retired, but Steve is still working, except when he is traveling with us. This picture was taken in Florence during the Switaly I trip.

Jan and Gary

Jan and Gary are friends of Karen and Dave from church. They have been on several trips to Thailand, where their kids are serving in ministry, and have spent several months living there. SwItaly II is their first trip to Europe.

Arden and Janet

Arden and Janet are friends of Karen and Dave from their previous church. They are serving as pastors at Cherry Grove Friends Church in Washington, and have chosen to make SwItaly II part of their sabbatical.

Ken and Sue

Sue is Dave’s younger sister. She and Ken are traveling with us for the first time. They’ll be joining our group in Switzerland for our second week.


Times to Unpack

Travel Day

day trips

Our home in Tuscany: Villa Rosa

Our home in Switzerland: Hotel Staubbach

Recent Blog Posts

Our latest posts will always be found here.

Lake Brienz

Today we decided to use our pass on a boat crossing Lake Brienz, or the Brienzersee (as they call it). Brienz is one of the lakes that Interlaken is named for, and the boat dock is right by the train station.

Murren & Gimmelwald

On our way down from Schilthorn we walked through Murren again, then took a paved path over to Gimmelwald before heading back to our hotel.


From Birg we took a gondola up to Schilthorn (SHILLT-horn). The building on top of the mountain is called Piz Gloria, and was strongly featured in the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Travel Gallery

Here are some of our favorite photos from SwItaly II. For more photos, see the blog posts.