Atypically for TourMagination, upon entering Switzerland at Basel, we headed directly to Zurich in order to pick up another couple, the Chupps from Indiana. After meeting them at the big clock in the Hauptbahnhof and a quick lunch, we set out on a 2-hour walk in the historic part of the old city.
First, we reversed the departure of Blaurock from Zurich by walking up the Neiderdorfstrasse down which he had been whipped in 1527. Whereas he had to promise not to return to Zurich, we pressed onward past the old black Friars church, today the City Central Library. We know that in these archives are some of the earliest records. But we had keep moving past the Grebel
residence where our hero Conrad had grown up to the Grossmunster where the preaching of Zwingli lit the spark which fanned into flame the Anabaptist vision. Here we were urged by an elderly Swiss woman to be sure not to miss seeing the Froschauer Bible on the raised platform in front of the church. She also expressed regret of what her Reform Church had done to our people.
Next we stopped to dip our hands into a fountain near the site of the first Anabaptist baptism on January 21, 1525. Our last stop on the walking tour was at the tablet placed in 2004 along the banks of the Limmat River commemorating the martyr deaths of Felix Manz and Hans Landis.
The next day was extremely rich. First, a farmer in north Switzerland hauled us by tractor and wagon to a remote spot near Schleitheim where Anabaptists worshiped and formulated their first confession of faith in 1527. After lunch at the beautiful Rheinfalls, we hastened to Baeretswil where members of the Reform Church welcomed us with refreshments and then accompanied us on the 1.1 km. walk to the famous Anabaptist cave. Here we believe we
experienced a TM first as a teenage camp rapelled down the open mouth of the cave in front of us.
Then there was just enough time to drive to Einsiedeln to hear the Benedictine monks at their vespers singing Gregorian chants and their evening hymn to Mary, Hail to the Queen. It was an emotional and scenic and unique day.
~ John Ruth