Chronicles of a writer abroad

I’ve been coming around the mountain

1 Comment

Have you been looking for me? I’ve been occupied with a variety of things, including buying and returning electronics (a separate post on this is forthcoming), working on writing projects, and running up the hills like a person who’s never run before.

Also, I was away in the mountains again. Okay, that was only yesterday, when we rode the train for an hour and a half with some friends to Canton Glarus, which is south of here. We arrived in a valley surrounded by mountains — it’s so nice to have this kind of wilderness within a couple of hours’ travel!  We rented both snowshoes and sleds (aka: sledges) and rode a gondola up the mountain. Then we immediately ditched all of our equipment and went to eat at a restaurant on the mountain, where I had my second dose of Alpermakkaroni — I think I enjoyed this one even more than the one I tried in Saas-Fee.

We spent part of the afternoon snowshoeing, before we turned to sledging. When we arrived at the top of the sledge trail, we had to decide what to do about the fact that we were each carrying two snowshoes with exposed metal spikes on them, and that we were going to be hurtling down a slope a fairly good speeds, going over bumps and around turns. Stelian felt comfortable to tuck his under his arm and descend that way, but most of us attached them to our backpacks instead.

When I arrived at the bottom of the sledge trail, having thoroughly enjoyed my ride, I realized that one of my snowshoes had fallen off (alas, I am not much of a winter mountaineer — you may recall that I lost a ski pole, and could not recover it, in Saas-Fee). We had already decided to ride the gondola and descend the mountain via sledge again, though, and happily my missing snowshoe was found when the leader of the pack rode his sledge over it (yes, for those wondering, I was the last of the pack in the first round. But don’t call me slow!). The snowshoe was returned to the rental hut intact, and we declared it a pretty satisfying day and travelled back to Zürich.

Though I brought my camera along on this excursion, I didn’t take pictures of our activities because there was a fair amount of fog and snow that obscured any real views. But I did have the opportunity to snap some shots of this vending machine at the train station (sorry for the quality of the photo: I am not much of a photographer, either):

Do you think of the Swiss as uptight? I used to. But this vending machine would suggest otherwise. In addition to containing the usual chocolate bars and drinks, it sells Swiss-made Cannabis Ice Tea (slogans, according to their website: “Feel Free” and “Drink it”) a 3-pack of lighters, and next to each other and forming their own little section, condoms (5 CHF) and a “Maybe Baby” test (15 CHF). I love the wackiness of Europe sometimes.


One thought on “I’ve been coming around the mountain

  1. I like the idea of attaching the snowshoes to the backpack too … and having never sledged down a mountain, I can imagine one of those unruly snowshoes popping loose from its binding to the backpack!

    The vending machine is so interesting and such a variety of helps to one’s day. Somehow, it conveys some meaning to ‘oh, that’s sooo European.’

    In Ontario, our snow is turning to corn snow and we may have been out on our snowshoes for one of the last treks of this season. The spring rains are on their way. Yesterday, Heather and I were out on Bruce Trail and the forest smelled different. The buds are nowhere near budding and aren’t even visible yet. But, something was stirring and we could smell it in ways I haven’t noticed in other years.

    Combining great Swiss food, snowshoeing and sledging makes for a great day. We hope you have many, many more adventures like these!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s