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Published: August 3rd 2010
So we left the best breakfast buffet in Milano 5 minutes after it opened so we could catch our train to Switzerland. On the up side, we stuffed our faces, and our packs, before we left!!
We traveled in, and arrived to, rain. We got ourselves some ambitious mountain passes to see the Swiss alps and headed up the mountain to our auberge. It took a train, a bus, and a gondola to get to the town of Gimmewald...then there was a cute 5 min "path" to the auberge...it was more like a decent ski hill of stairs with 30lb bags on our backs. We were more than happy to leave our backpacks in our room and head off to explore the area!
Our host sent us off on an "introductory trail" through the valley along a gorgeous river. As far as mountain hikes go, it was pretty fair...but starting at 1500m was certainly a solid reminder of where our lungs were! We did really well for the first hour, the rain hadn't bothered us too much, before the second hour steams started to overtake our path. We got to a valley that looked to be too muddy to be worth it...turns out quicksand has a close relative in mountain mud...my first step sunk my foot past my ankle...my other foot took one for the team to pull out the other...it was a sqooshy trip back!
We were back in time to warm up under the blankets with some assistance from our aforementioned Italian wine and liqueur. Consequently, our bodies haven't adjusted well to the switch from 40• to 10•...the heat doesn't kick in at our auberge until 10:30pm.
Anyway, we warmed up in time for a homecooked dinner and wonderful conversation with friendly people from various parts of the worlds.
Today, we set out to see how many gondolas and mountain trains we could ride to see as much of the alps as possible. In between rain and in the literal midst of the clouds, we debated about when and where to start our hike. Having made our decision that the clouds were here to stay, we got off the gondola and began to hike down one of the mountains. It promptly began to hail. They say if you can't beat them, join them... So we ran down the mountain with the cows. They didn't like the hail either. The bells the cows wear, however, make a lovely sound as they motor down the mountain 😉
Once we got down to the next gondola and got aboard, yes...the hail and rain stopped. We got back off and tried these super fun scooter/bicycle things called trotti's and flew down the feat of the mountain into town. There was lots of braking and turning involved, but another cool experience to chalk up on the board!
After more than 9 hours exploring the mountains we made it back just in time for dinner and exchanging experiences with our neighbors.
We're exhausted, but looking forward to a hiking course for tomorrow morning hat will involve harnesses and being attached to the cliffs!!
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