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Published: August 6th 2007
I've had a fantastic first few weeks in Kandersteg so far. For those of you who don't know anything about it...
It's a little village at 1200m up in the mountains in Switzerland, about 45min by train from Bern, the capital of Switzerland. It's a popular tourist destination for hiking & mountain climbing in the summertime. I'm proud to say that there is no Mc Donalds, KFC, Starbucks or any other disgusting American food chain! There are 350km of walking trails around the village, so there's plenty to do - unless you're a couch potato, then you couldn't pick a more boring place! The population is about 1500, but there are 25 hotels and there's an international scout centre. This year is the scout centres 100 year anniversary so it's busier than usual. At the start of July over 1000 people arrived, all part of the scout centre! There are even a few other kiwis working in Kandersteg, who are suitably nutty of course!
My work hours are wonderful - 3.30pm-12.30am. That leaves almost the whole day to walk, swim, run, bike and base jump. There are countless mountains to climb, and new places to explore every day. But
on the down side, however, summer seems to have taken a hike. There has been far more rain than sun & it's not very warm. It has even snowed down to 1500m. Everyone is talking about how bad the weather is in Germany, Switzerland & Austria - very unusual for this time of year. It's meant to be in the 30's this weekend, so fingers crossed it sticks around for a while!
Klettersteig (via parata in English) is a permanent route up a huge slab of rock with a big waterfall gushing down. My dad, 2 cousins and 2 uncles all helped to put it in 2 years ago. I've only done it once so far, but hope to do it many more times before I leave.
Working in Flugeli
It's a little outdoor bar, part of the Hotel Adler, right in the centre of the village. It's a bit of a local hangout, but tourists are often popping in for post-hike beers. I still haven't aquired a taste for beer...nor am I trying to! People here spend much more money on drinks than in NZ, & there are a few regulars that drink far too much!!! I'm still
waiting for their beer bellies to magically appear one day!
The trains in Switzerland are not 5 hours late like in India. Nor are they 3 minutes late. But I'm not impressed with the toilet fees in train stations - $2 for a woman to have a pee & just $1 for a man!
Daniel sums Kandersteg up perfectly; "Life is great here. It's a fairyland"
I'll write more in the next month or so...but for now the pictures speak for themselves!
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