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I have started to make plans for a big trip to Europe this summer. I may have already mentioned that my Swiss cousins have invited me to visit. In August three of my cousins will be celebrating their 60th birthday, and a celebration is being planned. I have already met two of the three... Brigitta and Hans Peter. Brigitta is organizing the party, and it will be held at her home in Uster, a small city near Zurich. She has graciously invited me to stay at her house. I will probably stay there for about a week.
It will be wonderful to see my Swiss family. Many cousins will be coming to the party. Werner, the cousin with whom I first made contact through my genealogical research will be flying in from Madrid. Birthday boy, Hans Peter, will be coming from Bergen, Norway, where he currently lives. There is also Walter and his family who live in the Swiss city of Aarau, and Ruth who still lives in the ancestral town of Othmarsingen. And I am sure that I will meet other cousins that I have not met before.
Since Switzerland is a small country, many places can be reached in about an hour by train. After the celebration, from my base near Zurich, I will be able to hop on a train and take day excursions to do some sightseeing in other Swiss cities.
Obviously, I am not going to travel all the way to Europe and spend only a week. I am trying to decide where I will go after my stay in Switzerland. Hans Peter on previous meetings has said that I should visit Norway. I have e-mailed him to see if he will be returning to Bergen after the party. If so, I might fly there, spend a few days visiting him and his family, and then do some sightseeing on my own in other parts of that country.
Of course, August is the month when Europeans take their vacations, so Hans Peter might have other plans. If a trip to Norway doesn't pan out, I am thinking about other countries in Europe that I have not visited. It is just a short hop from Switzerland to Germany and Austria. I would love to go to Munich and Salzburg. Although most Europeans speak English (most of my cousins are fluent), between now and August I should teach myself a few phrases in German or Norwegian.