The members of the Trefoil Guild have been having a great first few days in Adelboden. The sun is shining in Switzerland, the mountains are shining and the cows are making us feel very welcome.

After an early start in our respective airports, the two groups from London Heathrow and Birmingham met in Zurich and we started our transfer to Adelboden. Winding through the outskirts of the city, some of the members were a bit disappointed – until we headed into the mountains and they saw the beautiful scenery and the chalets. This made it real! We arrived at the Hotel Alpina and checked in our room. Then it was time for an early dinner and bed, ready for the adventures of the next day.

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Some of us were there for the first time, others were fairly regular visitors – however, for all of us, it was special in its own way.

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Today, our first stop was at the Trummer Woodcarvers, right up in the mountains. The views were breathtaking there, especially with the sun shining down on us. Karl and his family were there, and made us feel very welcome in the shop. And so many badges! Fortunately we were all able to pick up some badges of our own – just the first ones for today.

Money spent, it was time to head to the other side of the valley, and what, for many of the group, was the main purpose of the trip – our visit to Our Chalet. One of the four WAGGGS world centres, it is a dream for many involved in Guiding to visit their ‘home in the Swiss Alps.’ Some of us were there for the first time, others were fairly regular visitors – however, for all of us, it was special in its own way. One of our group even had her daughter visit just for the day, so for them it was extra special to share it together.

We started with a pinning ceremony, which included the raising of the flags, singing the ‘Our Chalet’ song and receiving a special pin, which only people who have been on the grounds of Our Chalet can wear. The staff encouraged us to look out for anyone who was also wearing the Our Chalet pin, and talk about our experiences. We then had a guided tour of the Chalet, the newer Chalet next door (including a bomb shelter!) and of course, the shop. It was very interesting to see how the culture and traditions of the Chalet were being continued today. Soon, it was time to wander back down the hill to the hotel – but not before we were treated to an impromptu alpine horn performance below. A truly Swiss experience!

Tomorrow we are off to visit two of those great Swiss institutions – cheese and chocolate. Yummy!