What we've been up to...
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TKD Training Camp
In May we both had Taekwon-Do exams - Brian passed his 3rd degree and I my 2nd degree exam with Master Hwang. Around the same time, I had finals for school and had to finish my thesis (it's all handed in now. Didn't get any feedback yet, but with all the work we put in it better be food!).
We also (finally!) found time to hike one of our favourite Swiss hikes in the Bernese Alps. It was especially beautiful this time of year with many alpine flowers in full bloom. The views were great, too and I even got my first real sunburn of the season (the little cog wheel train on the way up to the starting point was so cramped that I couldn't reach my legs when I was putting on sunscreen. I figured I'd do it once we got off the train, and then of course forgot. The skin on my calves is still peeling...). Usually when we do this hike, we get to First (the station where the hike ends) too late and end up having to walk down to Grindelwald, which is another 3hrs and an extra 1500 vertical meters. Not nice on the knees... This time, we were even there in time to catch a gondola down. We thought we were making great time and even joked about the signs that tell you to keep your calm in case the gondola stops, which of course it did. We were stuck up there for nearly half an hour in the scorching heat.
I also did a day trip to the Rhine falls, Switzerland's biggest waterfall, with my Grandma Mimi. I had seen it when I was little but didn't quite remember, so I decided I wanted to see it again. I thought it was really impressive, but was bummed because you can only see it for free from the bottom. From the top, you can only see it from a castle which you need a ticket for. They barred the path through the forest so that tourists could only see the falls if they paid the entry fee to get into the castle. Booh! It's not like they own the waterfall! Since Mimi and I both have public transit passes for all of Switzerland, we took our time on the way home and got on whichever train we fancied to explore some new scenery. In Winterthur, where we had to change trains, we ran into my brother (he goes to school there) and bought him an ice cream. All in all, we had a great day!
I'm probably forgetting some things, but the next big event I can think of is our first Swiss TKD training camp, which took place in southern Switzerland last week. We invited Master Hwang and his wife to train with him and so that they could have a holiday here. We had a great time training and even had enough time for other activies, such as minigolf (where I kicked Brian's butt), rock climbing, swimming and lying in the sun. On Tuesday, the weather was supposed to be nice, so Brian took the whole group out for a hike to the Aletsch glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps (24km) and a Unesco world heritage site. We had lunch up there and then changed into our uniforms to take awesome TKD photos. On Friday, it was Mrs. Hwang's birthday, so we gave them the day off and presented her with a Swiss souvenir and a flower bouquet. In the evening they brought back two bottles of champagne which they made us drink with dinner (before training!). Master Hwang is really proud of his wife's acupuncture skills, so he really wanted one of us to try it. Since I've been going to an acupuncturist (to cure my allergies, which were particularly bad this year, and I was sick of swallowing antihistamines) and already knew what to expect, I volunteered, as did our instructor, Peter. We both had a bad shoulder that Mrs. Hwang could cure for us. She was pretty mean and stuck about 7 needles in my left ear and a bunch in my neck, arm and shoulder... it looked pretty funny. She also put some tiny bandaids with needles on them in our ears for long-term treatment.
When we got back fromt he camp, we went to see Harry Potter 7 part 2 in 3D. It was okay, but not super awesome. Sunday we did laundry all day until I left for French Switzerland to spend some time with the family I used to nanny for. The girls were stoked to see me! Even though the weather has been crappy, we've been using their swimming pool every evening before bed (except today, because we went for a bike ride). Thursday, I'm heading home again, and Friday afternoon we're off to the Czech Republic for a few days for some more training with Master Hwang.
Anyways, I should probably get some sleep. The girls get up pretty early and will want to play all day... ;-)
P.S. I just noticed that some of the image titles are moved by one... will fix it in the next few days if I find the time...