Switzerland and Germany
We are enjoying our week RCI accommodations in Switzerland. Getting use to the altitude is interesting. We decided to take a hike in the mountains and search for the illusive “Moufflon”. To us English folk, this is French for mountain sheep or ram. See pictures. We took a tough hiking trail and were fortunate enough to see them. We were determined to get as close as we could and began scaling up the mountain to get a close encounter. Interestingly, the males stood their ground protecting their herd until we approached, but at approximately 150 yards from them and then they ran and the herd disappeared into the mountain bush. That was cool and would have to rate as one of the most memorable events we have experienced so far, as it was just them and us, at 2000 feet in the Swiss Alps.
Next day we went to the city of Geneva for the day. We walked the old part of the city and drove by the United Nations building. The highest fountain in the world blew straight up in the air as we arrived but was turned off due to windy conditions. Strange.
The following day we went to a triple tour attraction. The first stop was the Nestlé’s chocolate factory where we gorged ourselves in more free chocolate samples this time in Switzerland. Drew had so many chocolates in his hand that they all melted in his hand and he ended up washing them down the drain them. Next was Gruyere Castle from the Twelfth century. It was pleasantly well done, as we have become sort of experts in castle refurbishing and presentations. Then it was off the Cheese Factory in the pretty little town of Gruyere. Again the tour was very educational and interesting. More free samples! Cheese and chocolate! Yummy!
During the trip, the kids keep asking us would we ever consider living in the place we are visiting. Montreux, Switzerland was the first we answered “absolutely!” Beautiful, beautiful small city pressed between the Alps and Geneva Lake. This was also the home of deceased rocker Freddie Mercury of Queen. There is a cool statue of him right on the boardwalk. All this wonderful touring has been accompanied by perfect weather, with sunny skies and temperatures ranging from 21 to 24 C.
On our final tour day we went to the largest mountain in Europe called Mount Blanc. It was not that far from the resort and proved to be a well worth the 150 km trip. Over 4800 meters tall, Mount Blanc’s peaks are covered in snow (hence it’s name). We decided to pass on the Gondola ride to the top of the mountain and opted for a trip to the nearby glacier called La Mer De Glace, which is 400 meters thick in the middle. Each year, they actually drill giant holes in the glacier and create and art like gallery inside. Inside there was a old Swiss man with an acting Red Cross St-Bernard dog who was selling photographs of tourist posing with his dog. The kids really thought that was great. Check out the pictures once we get them on our blog, it was really neat. The Glacier is re-drilled every year because it moves a centimeters an hour and eventually destroys the existing tunnels. The glacier is in an alarming 10 meter a year recession. They have a sign were it was in 1980 and it is inconceivable how much it has melted.
Switzerland and our accommodations was fantastic, we loved it all and hope to return someday. We are now departing for Germany to spend a week in our second RCI accommodation in Mitterfels Germany. Stay tuned for Oktoberfest updates! Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy Hoy Hoy Hoy !