Monday, September 29, 2008

Swiss Wedding

Saturday morning, I was off to my friends Alex and Ruth's wedding in a remote area of Switzerland. I took the train and 2 buses to get to the Golzern Talstation Seilbahn (gondola). Picture below shows the incredible road built out of the mountain that I saw from the train.
The 2nd bus ride was from the village Bristen up an insanely steep road built on the side of the mountain. I was sitting on the side of the bus that gave the high view of the steepness. It was scary! At the last stop, there were pre-arranged shuttles for the wedding guests to transport us up the mountain goat road to the church and hotel Maderanertal.
The hotel was the Swiss version of the Banff Springs hotel on a super small scale and in a very remote location.
View from my top floor room with the mountain Bristen. The hotel was age-old, wooden and creaky kind of like the Old-Timer's Cabin in Edmonton. It made the whole wedding event cozy being far away at this place.
The teeny church up the hill.

Alex and Ruth - post ceremony. The service was both in English and Swiss-German. Some of the songs were sung at the same time in both languages making it unique to listen to. I didn't understand Alex's vows as he spoke in Swiss-German. Ruth's vows were in English and were the most touching interdependant vows I've heard. Very cool!
Alex's triathlon group Tri Uri rode their mountain bikes up and gave them their wishes!

Rare pic of Marg in a dress (and those darn nylons!) with Alex and Ruth. It had been nice weather earlier. A fog blew in and it was super cold at photo taking time. Alex and Ruth posed with each guest for a photo.

Alex, an accomplished Swiss mountain guide, was encouraged to show his skill with his mountaineer climbing gear over his suit. His Swiss guide friend set up ropes for him to use ice-picks and crampons to climb high up the tree for the wedding guests.

The dinner at the hotel was great. Each guest had a teeny rock "cairn" with their name on it marking where we were to sit at the table. There was an English translation and a Swiss-German translation for all the British, Canadian and Swiss-German guests.

After dinner, there were many entertaining games played which had Switzerland (Alex) versus England (Ruth) in competition. It was good fun and with many laughs. The dance started with Alex and Ruth, then they split off and gathered more partners until almost everyone was dancing. I had a great time meeting Ruth's relatives and friends from England, and more of Alex's family and friends.

It was an adventure to make my way to Alex's and Ruth's wedding, and I'm super glad I went.

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