Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Switerland's Top 4!

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Fun Fact #1: We had to drive through 112 tunnels and two countries.

Fun Fact #2: Americans, and other non-natives, can only stay in the country 90 days without a visa.

Not-So-Fun-Fact #1: Flies. Everywhere. They invade your table. They follow you while you hike. They constantly land on you. Probably the only reason why I wouldn’t want to have a nice summer home here.

And now…                           
4 for Swiss!

4. Hiking in the Swiss Alps. I think the Swiss Alps are one of the most beautiful places we have been to. We stayed in the valley of Stechelberg, which is home to our hotel and about 5 houses. No joke- it’s called a hamlet. From Stechelberg, you can take the gondola up to the other towns. Most of us from our group to the gondola up to Murren and Lisa led us on a hike down from the mountaintop back to a larger town, Lauterbrunnen. Of course, the rain had followed us to Switzerland. So while it had cleared up that morning, it was still very misty and cloudy. Despite the heavy mist and fog, it was beautiful winding down the muddy path of the mountain. The fields were brilliant green. The cows were belled and meandering in the fields. The wildflowers were plentiful and colorful. It was the definition of serenity.

3. Sleeping in the Swiss Alps. The first night in the Alps, Colette, in a fit of whimsy, whipped her mattress out onto the balcony to sleep in the cool Swiss air. I, a little more weary of the rain that had just lightened up, stayed in. The second night, however, after an increasingly clearer day, I decided to join her. Bundled up in a few extra clothes to keep off the cold, night air, I took my mattress onto our balcony and snuggled up for the night. While it wasn’t my best night’s sleep, it was pretty wonderful sleeping in the cool air. And now I can say that I’ve slept out in the Alps.

2. Frolicking in the Swiss Alps. Yes, you read that correctly. Frolicking. Inspired from the pictures of Brad and Sherri after their hike, Colette and I knew we had to do it. So we found an open field, with a beautiful background of the Alps, and we twirled and frolicked. We spun and laughed, and I felt a bit like Julie Andews in the Sound of Music. I would burst into song more often if I was around those hills. Twas’ magical.
Frolicking in the meadows of the Alps
1. Waterfalls in the Swiss Alps. By far, this experience has been one of my best highlights of the entire trip. The Trummelbache Falls are a series of 10 waterfalls within one mountain, supplied by glacial water. They are truly ah-mazing, awe-inspiring. Pictures do not do it justice. You have to experience it. Now, I have been to Iguacu Falls in Brazil, and while those are far larger, I still find every waterfall equally amazing, in its own way. At Trummelbache, it was more compact, but the force of the water as it gushes down the mountain is immense. It weaves and corkscrews throughout the mountain as it cascades down into an eventual brook. I could have spent hours mesmerized by its power and beauty. The falls were a definite #1 highlight for Switzerland, and a definite #3 highlight for the entire trip. Ah, the hills are alive with music...and frolicking, and hiking, and wonderfulness.   
Does. Not. Do. Justice.

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