Thursday, August 7, 2008

The thing I am finding about Switzerland is that it is so universally picturesque that once you get your camera out it's hard to put it away. Yesterday I took the train to Zermatt from Chur, which was great, but long. It is called the Glacier Express but it actually doesn't go very fast at all. But due to being overwhelmed with picturesqueness I think I took maybe two pictures over the course of six highly picturesque hours.

Today I rode a funicular up to Sunegga and hiked around to Riffelalp, which is one of the "easy" hikes in Lonely Planet's book Walking in Switzerland. It was a good hike. It was pretty steep (up) at first, but the view of the Matterhorn is so unbelievable there's always a good reason to stop and take a picture and catch your breath. The second half was a nice gentle downhill. It was bright and sunny most of the way, but it started to rain a bit towards the end. Then when I got to Riffelalp, the cog train that I was planning to take down was just leaving, and there was a sign that said, "Zermatt, 55 min", so I thought, why not just walk down? That was a mistake. It was very steep. My knees are sad now. It didn't take much more than 55 minutes, but that was a loooong 55 minutes.

Still no photos -- I took lots of pictures today, and I found my memory card reader, but I can't put it into this computer. Hopefully I will have WiFi again soon. Also, then I'll be able to use my laptop's nice American keyboard where all the keys are just where I expect them to be.

A quick story from the train yesterday. Warning! Contains bad language! There was a family sitting across the aisle from me, parents, two kids (a girl of about 9 and a boy maybe 12 or 13), and grandmother. The man and the grandmother appeared to be American, but the nuclear family clearly lived in Switzerland. They were mostly speaking English, since the grandmother didn't speak much German. The kids were getting seriously antsy by the end -- unsurprising, since they'd gotten on in St. Moritz, two hours before me -- but they were pretty entertaining on the whole. The little girl especially cracked me up, because she kept swearing in English. She said, "Shit!" once, and "Jesus Christ" a couple of times (she kept losing to her brother at Connect 4), which clearly offended the grandmother. Then she said, "Oh my gosh!" and apologized, then said to the father, "I learned it from you!" I guess it is especially dangerous to swear around your children if it's not in the native language of their peers, because it's much harder to claim they picked it up at school or something. Also apparently they can get the wrong idea about how offensive different swear words are.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Matterhorn! Not just a mountain-themed ride at amusement parks!