Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Adventures in Switzerland ..... Part 1

You may have noticed that I have been out of commission for a couple of days, well that's because Chris and I went to visit my sister in Switzerland. We had a fab time and I thought that my blog would be a great way to capture the long weekend. Here is Part 1!

On our way, me looking like Scott of the Antarctic
On Friday morning and fortified with a corking breakfast of egg and cheese muffin, Chris and I made our way to Manchester Airport en route to Basel, Switzerland. I get notorious giddy around airports, I love watching the planes land and take off and when I see the departure board, my mind whizzes with possibilities. As always, happens whenever we fly, Chris set off the metal detectors, despite removing his belt, shoes and coat. Chris had the obligatory pat down and was swiped with the hand held detector by the zealous security guard. The guard was great and explained that he was still in training which was why his face lit up with glee at the prospect of a search. Thankfully Chris was allowed to continue before the zealous guard began to snap on the latex! 

After a smooth flight, we arrived in Switzerland and met my sister, Helen. Basel is located in Switzerland, right on the border of France and Germany, so we quickly  hopped over to France and popped in to the supermarket to pick up supplies. Ahem. 

Right pair of alkies!
French supermarkets are great and the array of produce is dazzling. We then returned to Helen's apartment in Basel and after a yummy tea of steak and chips, caught up over a bottle of wine and episodes of Grimm. 

We awoke to blue skies and sun, perfect mountain climbing weather! We travelled to Reigoldswil, took the cable car to Wasserfallen to walk the Passwang mountain pass of the Jura. (I swear I'm not making these words up people!). The Passwang pass has an elevation of 1204m (approx 3900 feet) and is made up of a mix of trail, rocks and grass. The pass runs along the ridge of the mountain and at times was hard going. I sometimes suffer from a touch of vertigo and struggle if there are sheer drops to the side of me, so at odd times found myself humming 'just stare ahead, just stare ahead', trying to avoid looking at the sheer drop. We passed many walkers and Helen explained that it is quite common for people to climb the pass as a day out. Helen walks it quite often and said it was lovely watching a mum teaching her 7 year old boy how to walk the pass, picking routes to follow and placing feet correctly. I did none of that and scrambled, crawled and staggered the distance! Meeting one Swiss couple and facing the wrong way, looking into the pass rather than out at the views, the husband said that in 15 minutes time, the climb would be worth it. Only when I had passed did I realise that the poor man had my bum in his face the whole time.! 

And do you know what?... The view was worth it! (Those are Alps that you can see in the background!). We stopped for lunch on top of the pass. Cheese and ham sandwiches never tasted so good and the water was very refreshing. Even though there were about 20 people also lunching, there was an air of quiet as people just took in the views and enjoyed the moment. 

The descent was more arduous than the ascent, but the scenery was just breathtaking, the fields looked like they had been clothed in green velvet and through the whole climb, we could hear the tinkling of Cow bells. Heavenly. Switzerland really is a very beautiful country.

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