A Trip to Masein, SW
Andreas (Andy) Juon from California sent us an article and pictures from his trip to Switzerland along with a very generous contribution to help with the costs of publishing and research. Many, many thanks, Andy!
A TRIP TO MY PLACE OF ORIGIN (MASEIN GR, SWITZERLAND)
Last September, early in the morning, I took the train from Bern to Thusis through Zurich and Chur. The weather was good. With no plan and a small backpack, I started walking up the hill to Masein. My roots were calling me.
It was hunting season. After a long walk, my dinner was fresh deer meat and Swiss beer. It tasted great as I meditated on the mountains where my ancestors probably also hunted deer. The waiter directed me to Schloss Tagstein for a room. It was an old castle which is a youth hostel. I was the only guest.
From there I telephoned Rita Juon. After work she showed me her house, which she is restoring. It was built by Philip Juon (1790-1826). He had two sons Johann (1817-1889) and Simon (1814-1864). Simon, my Great Great Grandfather, immigrated to Russia where he worked as pastry cook. My Grandfather, Edward (1874-1959), escaped the Russian Revolution and came back to Switzerland with my Dad. My Dad immigrated to San Francisco. Rita’s Great Great Grandfather, Johann, stayed in Masein.
I hiked up the “Hoch Buel” high above Masein. Meditating on the view, it almost seemed as if I was back in time. The “Buranglage Hohen Ratien” is an ancient monastery on the other side of the valley on the edge of a 2000 ft. cliff. Inside the monastery I wondered if any of my ancestors ever prayed there.
The next morning, I said goodbye to Rita. It was a pleasure meeting her, seeing her house and having wonderful conversations about our ancestors. Then I took the Glacier Express to Zermatt and back to Bern.—Andreas Juon