I have wondered during the past few days if Switzerland can really truly be this idyllic, or whether it’s just starry vacation eyes that make it seem so. So many meals are enjoyed with groans and cheese-coated smiles; so many mornings I wake up in awe of the mountains that must have awoken much earlier, so über-alert.
Yesterday Daniel and I completed the mountain bike ride to trump all mountain bike rides (Grindelwald to/from Grosse Sheidigg out of Interlaken). Definitely for me my most difficult with about 25 km in length and 1200 meters (~3600 feet) of height gained in the first 10 (consecutively, unrelentingly, painfully). It was cloudy when we started, disappointing for Daniel who knew what amazing things were hidden. For me though it was more exciting getting a peep show of clouds, light, glacier tongues and sharp ridges from the sky, little by little.
By the time our whining legs carried us to the top, the sun was indecisively coming and going, taking turns with a cold, cold wind. Two cups of hot chocolate, rips of cheese and bread and we decided that surprisingly the downhill was more to be feared than the up given our pingpong ball goosebumps and summer outfitting. “I am not a vinter biker!” Daniel had protested earlier, but here we were anyway—setting our gears so that we could still pedal on the downhill while braking, slowing in every sunny spot, taking more breaks than we did on the uphill…perfect for sucking scenery that was now dramatically unveiled.
Warmed and wasted, on the drive back into town we stopped at one of the best establishments in Switzerland—a small dairy shop. Loaded with supplies and instructions, we made our way back to our cow-ringed campsite for the best after-workout meal I’ve ever had: creamy cheese fondue scooped and dunked with bread……pause, breathe, activate second stomach……then a chocolate fondue dipped with raspberries. OHHHHH, I like Switzerland.
Tags: Europe, Interlaken, mountain biking, Switzerland