Friday, April 15, 2011

A Swiss Hike

 The week following our Rome and Assisi break flew by quickly as we dived back into our studies and prepared acts for the impending talent show. Before I knew it, a new weekend was upon us, and I decided to go on a hiking trip to Switzerland that Annie was organizing. 

The six of us- Annie, myself, Jaci, Kelly, Brian, and Emily, took an overnight train to a town just over the Swiss border. We arrived about six-thirty in the morning, and the weather was cold and rainy. Despite this, the hike was very enjoyable, especially after we had conquered the initial ascent and the way became less steep. The silvery, misty fog drifting through the trees lent a feeling of quiet and mystery. We stopped several times throughout the day, sometimes for snacks and once to say morning prayer. There were majestic trees, a few lovely waterfalls, and hills rising steeply all around us. As we climbed still higher, the rain turned to snow and the trees and slopes about us were soon covered in a light powder. 

We passed several farmsteads perching on the sloping hillsides. At one such farm, we stopped to ask for directions because we were slightly lost. I approached the farmer, who was out feeding the animals, and asked if he could help us find our way. I used my German as best I could. As it happens, he was from Mongolia and did not speak German at all. I could not have been more surprised at this revelation. Although we did not get directions, we pressed on, and soon discovered that we had been on the right path the entire time.

 The hike took several hours. When we finally reached our destination, a town called Weisstannen, I felt very cold, very damp, and very accomplished. In town, we stopped at a little cafe and ordered drinks. I got a delicious drink similar to cider, which helped warm me up after the hike.

We took a bus back to the trail's starting point. Then we made the ill-fated decision to cross the border into Liechtenstein. The busride was a mere thirty minutes, and we were excited by the prospect of spending the afternoon in another country. It was raining heavily when we arrived in Liechtenstein, and to make matter worse, we were hungry and practically all the restaurants in the country were closed. So, still hungry and more than a little disgruntled, we left the grand country of Liechtenstein after a mere thirty minutes.  

Back in Switzerland after that failed endeavor, we found a hotel restaurant. We must have been a sight in our mud-caked boots, mud-splattered pants, tangled hair, and overall disheveled appearance. We didn't care, though, because we were tired and hungry. Everyone ordered delicious Italian food, which we ate slowly and savored. We talked, played riddle games, and enjoyed each other's company. Finally, after scrumptious ice cream desserts, we left for the train station. We had a bed compartment for our ride back, which helped us to get a good night's sleep.

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