Monday, July 12, 2010

Elysium (part two)

Gimmelwald (the town of 100 people that I stayed in) and I posing together

Be forewarned, this post will be heavy on the pictures because well .... duh!

The third day saw me leaving my enchanting lakefront lodge and heading towards the breathtaking Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. Along the way I stopped to admire deep valleys, high peaks and a series of both outdoor and indoor waterfalls. The indoor one was a group of waterfalls inside a cave. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Yes those glowing colors really are what it looked like

From there I took the cable car up to the town of Murren, that sits a little above Gimmelwald. At this point the phrase breathtaking became literal. It was so magnificent that I could (and did) forget to breath a few times. Trying to understand what I saw from the pictures below is like trying to appreciate Beethoven's 5th from only two notes. However I still suggest looking at them because even those two notes are still part of a masterpiece (the artist being God in this case)


After finally managing to shut my mouth (a process that many of you know can take quite a long time), I proceed to make me way to my hostel (pictured below). This was easily my favorite hostel anywhere. It had an open friendly atmosphere inside that reminded me of a gathering of old friends, not a bunch of random strangers. Within minutes I'd joined several conversations and had a host of new friends. Everyone who stayed there shared an adventurous spirit and a love of nature with non of the fratboy mentality that invades so many city hostels.

To top off an already wonderful day, around 9 someone came in and reported that a polka festival was happening in a tent in the village. A group of us decided to head over and we were treated to charming music with good drinks and a wonderful ambiance. As an added bonus, part of a traveling girls choir was with us and they performed the national anthem in honor of Independence Day (and it was a GOOD performance). I definitely fell asleep with a smile on my face.

The Mountain Hostel

Three accordions and yodeling. What more could you need at a party??

The next morning began bright and early at 6:30am. I and a group of girls from the previous night had decided to go to the revolving restaurant on top of the mountain near us if it was clear that morning. It was and we did. However there was one teeny tiny problem. While it certainly was clear at the bottom, the top was literally in the clouds when we arrived. The temporary breaks in the clouds we got revealed a gorgeous panorama around us. Sadly they were few and far between. To pass the time, we went to (and I am not making this name up) the "Touristorama" to watch clips from the James Bond movie that was shot there.

After a few hours of intermittent napping and going Mystery Science Theater on the film clips, we finally gave up and headed back down to do some hiking. Honestly though, when hiking in the Swiss Alps is your backup plan, you're doing ok. And so another day ended with blissful exhaustion :)

Murren at sunrise

See, I told you I wasn't making it up!

My final day began with the usual stunning views and proceeded into a scenic little hike through a nearby canyon. My friend Heidi from the previous two days decided to join me and we had a great time exploring and talking. She then made the extraordinarily kind offer to drive me back to Prague (rather than have to take the bus). In exchange I offered her a free place to sleep on the couch and the tour of a city she'd always wanted to visit. We did just that with two details of note along the way.

The view out of the bathroom window at the hostel

The first was that Interlaken had a grocery coop that had real, normal Dr. Pepper. Most of you are aware that I have some small affinity for this drink. And it had been a while since I'd had DP but I decided to show restraint. I only bought 14 bottles.

I'm a happy guy :)

The second item is that on our way to CZ, we passed through Germany on the Autobahn. Heidi was kind enough to let me drive the Mercedes she had rented there. I won't go into details except to say that driving that fast legally is unbearably awesome!!

No comments:

Post a Comment