Family from Switzerland visits
the Highland Lakes of Texas

Fredi Kambli has Internet access in his home town, 15 miles east of Zurich, Switzerland.  He worked for Swissair.   While cruising the Internet for places to visit in the United States, he came upon the Highland Lakes Web Page and contacted us by email.

Fredi wanted to know of good places to see in Texas and we corresponded by email with him for over two months in preparation for his trip.  He had been to America once before and now he wanted to see Texas and see a ranch.  He would be bringing his wife, Rosmarie, and his mother, Elsa, with him.

On June 7th the Kambli family arrived and Carol and I met them in Burnet.  It was a nice cool day with lots of clouds in the sky.  Our first stop was the Catfish Barge on Inks Lake so they could sample the fish in an interesting environment.

Carol Baumbach, Rosmarie, Elsa and Fredi Kambli
having a catfish dinner in the Catfish Barge
.

Everyone enjoyed the meal and especially enjoyed the view of the lake and the atmosphere of the Catfish Barge.  Fredi and Rosmarie commented on how much Americans love ice in their drinks.  Apparently in Switzerland they only use one or two ice cubes in iced tea or water and were surprised by the amount of ice we use.

After lunch, we drove over to Lake Buchanan and showed them a lake house.  They commented on the amount of land that we have with our houses.  In Switzerland a lot of the houses are adjoining.  The prices of homes are quite a bit more expensive also.  The home we showed them would sell for about $65,000 to $75,000 in the Highland Lakes area, and Fredi said it would probably be worth $300,000 in Switzerland with that much land.

They also said that gasoline is $3.00 a gallon and you can expect to pay $2.00 to $2.50 for a coke or cup of coffee in a restaurant in Switzerland.

Our next stop was the Fall Creek Vineyards and Winery....

In front of the winery

Signing the guest book.

Tasting wine at the winery

On the tour of the winery

We were able to taste several of the wines at the winery and buy some wine.  We were also taken on a nice tour of the winery and heard the history of the winery and the owners.

On the way back from the winery we stopped at the historic Bluffton Store and bought lottery tickets and a souvenier baseball cap.   A recent email informed us that they did not have the winning lottery ticket.

After the winery, we took the visitors on a tour of Horseshoe Bay.   They seemed impressed with how beautiful the area was and some of the fine homes there.  We were able to stop by our place and visit for quite a while before taking them back to pick up their rental car in Burnet.  We made plans to meet at the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls for breakfast the following morning.



Breakfast at the Blue Bonnet Cafe

At 9:00 am the next morning we met at the Blue Bonnet Cafe.   We wanted them to experience a good old Texas breakfast with all the extras.  The Blue Bonnet is famous for their generous meals and home style cooking.   Fredi and Rosmarie ordered an omeletFredie said that this was the best omelet he has had in the United States.  It was nice and light and he really enjoyed it.  In his latest email he even mentioned the omelet again.   Both Fredi and Rosmarie were surprised at the amount of food we were served.   They eat much less in Switzerland than we do in Texas.

After leaving here the Kamblis went to Johnson City, Fredricksberg, Kerrville, Bandera, San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, Corpus Christi, Kingsville and the King Ranch.  So Fredi was able to see one of the great Texas Ranches on his visit.

Another highlight of their trip was the rodeo in Georgetown on the way to the Highland Lakes.  This was something they were really looking forward to and they really enjoyed it.

We were able to  have a nice conversation about the differences in our ways of life while they were here and we really enjoyed their visit.  In a recent email from Fredi, he said that on his next trip to Texas he will plan on spending more time in our area in the Texas Hill Country.  They enjoyed it here. 

We would also like to see Fredi and his family return.  We had fun, too!

Hal Baumbach
Webmaster
Highland Lakes Web Page

Note:  The Kambli's trip was in June, 1999.  The prices of homes have gone up in our area since then and the Catfish Barge is now a center for conventions, weddings and meetings rather than a restaurant.