Monday, June 19, 2006

Back from Switzerland

Grüessech! We have just returned from a week in Switzerland, where we stayed for a week in the chalet Niesenblick in Waldegg (Beatenberg).

The weather was gorgeous the whole time, and we had a great time.

Friday: A traveling day. We left a little later than we had hoped, but by 10:30, we were on the road. The plan was to drive via the West Rheinische Autobahn to around Baden‐Baden and find a hotel there. While there was quite some road work, and we hit a few delays, we still made good time and eventually decided that we would continue to drive all the way to our final destination in one go. Around 21:30, we started the 828 m climb to the chalet where we would be staying for the rest of our vacation.

We had noticed it before when we went to Wiesbaden, but it has to be said again: German rest stops (Raststätte) belong to the best in the world. Bathrooms are generally clean, and the baby rooms are excellently equipped.

Saturday: Since we had not packed any food or other supplies, we had to go down to Interlaken on the first day. That turned out to be a shockingly expensive trip: basic grocery shopping for two days amounted to around 270 Swiss Francs.

After dinner, we went for a short walk to enjoy the view of the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau.

Sunday: Initially, we had planned to head to Grindelwald to do some walking, but we decided against that. A day without driving sounded appealing, and we were afraid that with the weather that we were having, Grindelwald would probably be swarming with other tourists.

Instead, we ended up hanging around the house a little. After lunch, we did end up taking the car, but only for a short drive. We drove up to Hohwald, and hiked up the mountain through a forest trail. The trail wasn't very hard to take, but when you're an carrying 9.5kg of baby on your back, it does make it more challenging.

On our walk, which took us past a few very nice viewpoints again, we ended up staying at a site that is used by Paragliding Interlaken to launch paragliders and hangliders for a while.

Monday: We thought it would be nice if we prepared a nice dinner for my parents. After lunch, we set out to the store, where we were about to get heart attacks again. This time, it was over the price of fruits, vegetables and meats. The dinner selection was determined to be stuff artichokes as a starter, and pasta with chick peas (and sauce, of course) for main. For desert, we made a Tiramisu (from a bag; just add milk, lady fingers and coffee).

All in all, dinner was nice, and we had a good (but expensive) day.

Tuesday: Hans and Ineke arrive; hanging out around the house. Not much done; just enjoyed being with the three of us, and straightening up a little before my brother and his sort-of-wife arrived.

Wednesday: After spending a few days at home, we felt it was time to set out once more. This time, the destination was the Trümmelbachfälle. The Trümmelbachfälle is a collection of water falls in which the melting water of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch mountains join up. The special part about it is that most of the falls are actually in caves in the mountains. It was a very impressive tour to walk/climb up/down the paths and experience the brute force of lots of water.


Thursday: The last full day in Switzerland. Not much to do today. Packing, cleaning up, last trip to the store to stack up on real Rösti and get some traveling food.

One interesting thing: Outside the Migros supermarket, people from the Denner supermarket had set up a booth, at which they were selling Swiss bread, a half-liter bottle of sparkling water, and a real Bratwurst. The price? Only 1 CHF! It was good, too :)

Friday: Driving home. We set out around 10:15 and had a very good ride home. We did not encounter any traffic worth mentioning, and after taking a couple of long stops, we were home at 21:45.

All in all, we had a good vacation, good travels, and nice weather. Definitely worth a repeat.

Photos will follow at a later time

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