No need to dream of a white Christmas
Trip Start Dec 16, 2008
42Trip End Feb 06, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Sadly the snowfall significantly thinned and slowed down by the time we stepped outside with our skis. On the other hand, the clouds were beginning to part to reveal another sunny day in Switzerland.
The runs here are coded differently to Australia, and in fact runs are called 'pistes'
Naturally, I initially stuck to the blue runs near the bottom, but then I thought of venturing a bit further. I found a cable car that would take me to a blue run that merged into others which eventually ended at the bottom. As the cable car travelled closer and further up the rugged, steep mountain, I developed an uneasy feeling and my stomach began to churn... The conditions up there were suboptimal; it was snowing and windy, so I made sure that I asked for clear directions to the blue run. I'd just picked up my skis to walk to the run when I bumped into Hernan. His craving for more challenging runs had separated us about 1 hr earlier. Our plan was simple and clear: take the blue runs to the bottom in time to meet Steph for lunch. As much as the conditions were shocking (I've never felt more cold than when we took the T bar up), I enjoyed the beautifully powdery snow; my skis effortlessly swished through the snow
I was glad to be on solid, flat ground for lunch! Hernan and I decided to indulge in the Swiss German way and had schnitzels for lunch, which was a bit of a luxury, but we felt that it was something not to miss out on in Switzerland. The restaurant had the most high tech toilet I've ever encountered. After flushing, a little square jutted out from above the seat which disinfected it as the seat rotated! Only in Switzerland, I thought.
After the morning's adrenaline-soaked adventure, I decided to sensibly stick to the cluster of blue runs at the bottom which I hadn't yet been acquainted with. That was definitely my place! There were so many runs and variations within the runs with the bonus of never making the mistake of ending up on an unwanted run. I stayed there until the T bars and pommels were closed.
On the way to the hotel after dropping off my skis, I congratulated myself in avoiding falls and fractures
When I looked at myself in the mirror back at the hotel, I saw a stranger staring back: she had a blotchy, bright tomato red face! I was puzzled; I was certain that I hadn't gotten sun burnt. Later that night, as my face returned to normal (albeit my read nose from the blowing), I realised that this was either due to irritation from the harsh wind I'd come across on the slopes or reaction to abrupt change in ambient temperature from outside to inside.
Hernan had suggested going to the 5 pm Christmas church service, and Steph and I agreed. What I smart time to hold the service - after the runs are closed! The entire service was in Swiss German, so we just sat there, completely lost. At least the carols sounded familiar! There had been no sign to indicate what denomination the church belonged to, but it was eventually evident when the priest swung incense over the altar and offered communion to the congregation. As you're all aware, I'm not Catholic, instead I'm a Seventh-day Adventist, so we do things very differently, but it was still nice to attend church on Christmas day - something that SDAs don't do unless Christmas day falls on a Saturday.
I had Christmas dinner number 2 tonight, this time with both Hernan and Stephanie. Again it was a 5 course affair which unfolded over two hours. Although a different menu to yesterday, the food was still good and elegant.
While on the topic of food, I've noticed that the Swiss (and Europeans) love particular things. I'm going to assume that the extensive array of breads and cheese on offer at the hotel (both breakfast and dinner) is a monument to their love of these. My head would spin when deciding what bread to slice a piece from! Writing this in retrospect while in Italy, the love of bread in Europe is so evident - no meal is complete without it and most restaurants will deposit a generous bowl of thickly sliced crusty bread on the table free of charge. With my insatiable love of bread and pastries, I'm definitely not complaining! And the European's love of Nutella is starting to influence my breakfast spread choice.