Renewing Friendships

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July 24th 2011
Published: July 25th 2011
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Off to Grimentz, SwitzerlandOff to Grimentz, SwitzerlandOff to Grimentz, Switzerland

Lady and Tramp ride on the back of the bus up to Grimentz, a beautiful little town in the Alps.
In 1996, Bill and I traversed the US for the first time by bicycle. In Cut Bank, Montana, we met a young German man who was cycling across the US alone. For a number of days, we cycled with Christophe. He was much younger and much faster than we were -- he often cycled ahead of us, stopping to read the newspaper while we caught up. You may ask: How is this information relevant to today's blog?

Let me explain -- the following summer, Christophe's parents invited us to their home near Frankfurt, Germany. Five years ago, we visited for a second time, also spending a week with them in their chalet in Grimentz, Switzerland. Today makes our third trip to visit them, again in the chalet way up in the Alps.

So today we left Els in Sion and cycled less than 20 kms. to Sierre where we boarded a bus for Grimentz. Lady and the Tramp, I dare tell you, rode up on the mountain on the back of the bus, securely fastened but a bit frightened, nevertheless. We arrived in the small village at about 12:30. Depending on our five year old memory, we strived to
The AlpsThe AlpsThe Alps

The view from our bedroom window!
find Casa Lupus, which the Hasses have rented for three weeks. An hour and a half of wandering and a trip to the Office of Tourism finally brought us to their lovely, lovely home with an unbelievable view of the surrounding, snow-capped mountains.

As in the past, Manfred and Maria welcomed us with open arms. Almost as important, the sun welcomed us, making its first real appearance in several days and allowing us to enjoy some croissants and hot tea in the yard before a relaxing session in the sauna, which was, of course, followed by wine and an absolutely delicious dinner. More important than the meal or even the hot shower is the continued friendship this family has offered us over the past thirteen years.

Christophe is now married and unable to spend time with his parents at the chalet this summer because he and his wife are expecting their first child soon. It is difficult to believe that the young man we met in 1996 is now almost a father himself. Hopefully, we will get to see the couple and their newborn before we leave in mid-August.

But meanwhile, Bill and I are falling asleep
A Little Swiss VillageA Little Swiss VillageA Little Swiss Village

Another view from our bedroom window!
tonight in a bedroom from which we can see the lights of a small village below us. Tomorrow promises sunshine and a long hike around a high mountain lake. Lady and the Tramp can sleep all day if they wish. And maybe, just maybe, Bill will clean them up a bit tomorrow.


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