Trip Start Apr 05, 2006
Trip End Apr 17, 2006

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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Swiss Easter bunny visited the apartment; I awoke to my first Easter basket since elementary school. We couldn't pack the basket, but Craig and I received teacups, tea, Ricola, Ayurvedic throat medicine, and chocolate chocolate chocolate. More than enough sugar for a while.

Since last night, Oliver has checked weather reports incessantly, trying to determine if a trip to the mountains would be worthwhile. He investigated the options of places with cable cars or gondolas to the peak, given our limited time. Many of those places have websites with live camera feed, where you can see the current weather conditions. Despite less-than-hopeful prospects, we layered up in hopes of some moments of clarity in the countryside.

In the first half hour of our journey, however, the drizzle turned to rain. Oliver decided to detour at the home of one of his co-workers, Barbara, the cooking teacher. Although not expecting company, she made us white tea and served some fresh molasses bread. Although he teaches every day in a regular classroom, Oliver thinks her job is much more difficult (even though she only teaches three days a week) because her classes have so many potential disasters, with teenagers cooking. She practices yoga and is vegetarian, so she often teaches vegetarian cooking.

Eventually the weather broke and we continued to Unterwasser (translation: underwater). At our arrival, blue sky was suspended over the narrow peak. We rode a cable car about a third of the way up the mountain, then transferred to a gondola. Although the bottom ground was dry, people were still skiing and snowboarding on the higher slopes. I had moments of vertigo in the longer gondola ride - at times the ground was about a hundred feet or more below us as we passed over uneven rock.

We stepped out into a small snowstorm on the peak. I immediately went inside the restaurant/lodge to add layers. Once I was sufficiently bundled up, Craig tried to show me a village below in the valley. In the minutes I spent adding clothes, the valley was no longer visible, in the now whiteout conditions. So we trooped inside for soup and warm drinks. The next return gondola trip, about 45 minutes later, was cancelled due to 100kph winds, and we joked about coming so far to hang out in a snowstorm. Om shanti. On the next trip, we rode the swaying gondola back to our cable car connection. Oliver was a bit disappointed that we didn't have the full Swiss mountain experience, but now we just have another reason to return.
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