Friday, September 6, 2013

Suisse

I tend to get stressed with the logistics of travel. But travel is so good for the soul and well worth any temporary stress. Navigating the Deutsche Bahn can be a little nerve racking. When it says the stop is 2 minutes those doors are closing with or without you in 2 minutes. The DB train system is PRO. You can go just about anywhere in Europe.

We took the train to Switzerland for the second half of our trip. There is nothing quite like the mountains for me. I can't really put it to words but the phrase 'full heart' keeps coming to mind. When I stare out into mountain grandeur my heart fills up. Things taste and smell better. My mind thinks more clearly. For some reason I get inspired in the mountains. It's always been that way. It is the way they make me feel small. It is the way they make me feel connected to something bigger, something outside of myself and this world. The Swiss Alps are spectacular.

This is the most expensive Coke Zero I've ever purchased. 5+ USD for a 20oz Coke. That is off the charts expensive. Notice the receipt is in 4 languages. A lot of folks in Switzerland speak very good English. 

When the train finally hit the mountains we cracked open a bottle of wine to celebrate.

 I'm pretty pumped.

Checked in at the Chalet Rosa and headed out for some dinner with this glorious background.

Headed out for a 5 hour excursion the next day. My head on a swivel.

All thumbs. 

The Eiger is hiding behind the cloud. 

Alpine lunch. Summer sausage never tasted soooo good. Turkish figs are THE bomb. Let's Eat!

Full heart.

If you look closely on the other side of this lake you will see cows at 11,900 feet. What?

Yup. Alpkäse. This is the highest place the Grunnagle's have ever purchased cheese. You should have seen PCG try and haggle with an old Swiss (non English speaking) cheese farmer. Good stuff.

What does 10 francs get you? A brick of real deal Swiss cheese. Perfect timing to. I just started the all fat no carb diet. Cheese stays in the gut longer (if you know what I mean). The energy distributes more slowly more evenly. Perfect for endurance sport. Don't believe anything I just said. I'm full of cheese.

This region has places like this all over the mountain tops. You kind of feel like you can't get lost and that you can find beer anywhere.

 Super X, where are you when I need you?

Gondolas everywhere. 

You can take the gondola down or for the same price ride one of these. Yes. That is a scooter on steroids. Notice the disc brakes. Ben, the shop needs one of these for sure.

ATV tires. Sick..

No central heat and air in the alps. Just wood and lots of it.

We loved to see this sign. It translates to trail or (foot)path. My own translation is wandering.  

We lucked out on this trip with great views from our windows. 

Euro observations. They give you two buttons for flushing. One for..number one and one for..number two. Saves water. No low flush toilet crap in Europe. They really put the power of choice in the peoples hands. I felt mighty several mornings. 

Windows open in two ways. Tilting back vertically or opening laterally. This one I really love.

Okay back to the super scenery of Fabian land. 

From left to right. Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau. 

Dairy cows at 11,000 feet.

Seemed like all the trails in the alps crossed here.

Which way did he go George?

Full heart.

Even the urinal has a view.

Left thumb was feeling neglected. Dropping back into the valley.

Man, this is about the most wonderful thing. After many hours of hiking ice cold and I mean ICE cold water.

Full heart.

The Swiss version of Schnitzel is great. Served with Spätzel a type of egg noodle. Pretty delicious. Let's Eat!

This is what a typical Grunnagle morning looked like. Too many things to do. A sweet British girl named Sarah who works for the Chalet Rosa was awesome. She put us on some wonderful hikes.

We hiked from Lauterbrunnen to Interlocken on our last day.

I cannot convey how beautiful the alps are. You need to see it with your own eyes.

These fountains were everywhere. You can drink straight from the mountain. Probably the best water I've ever had.

Lunch in Interlocken. Notice the Swiss cheese brick is getting smaller.

I caught the infamous Euro beer mat coaster thief red handed. 

Her spoils.

We got a little tired of meat & tater dishes. So on our last night in Suisse we ordered this delicious Bombay chicken pizza. Very tasty. Let's Eat!

The local band came by to wish us farewell.

We chased the pizza with a little Swiss chocolate. Finger lickin gooooood.

Carol, operator of the Chalet Rosa was super. Direct and kind all at once. We really took a liking to her. If you are in Lauterbrunnnen for a couple days check out Chalet Rosa.

Auf Wiedersehen Suisse.

Bicycles everywhere in Europe. America has some catching up to do.

Artsy fartsy.

Purchased a Coke Zero before getting on the train this time. Lesson learned. Back to Frankfurt.

PCG makes friends very easily. Last night before heading home.

'Hold up now you just teasin me smalls.' The flight plan from Frankfurt was directly over NWA. It would take another 4 hours before we would actually get home.

Wheels Hot Fayetteville! I was checking out all the home routes from 30 thow. 

Travel is great, eye opening and heart filling. But at the end of the day it makes the heart grow fonder for home sweet home...