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Josh’s European Adventure: Day 13 – Sugiez, Switzerland to Belalp, Switzerland (Swiss Alps)

I woke up feeling refreshed after having a nice sleep in the guest bedroom on the top floor of Linda’s home.  I was really excited that I would have a chance to ski in the Swiss Alps.  Back home the concept of doing so always seems like a dream and was never a possibility, until today.  The three of us got somewhat of a late start and after breakfast we packed up the car and then Linda started the car.  She slowly backed it out of her snow-filled spot in the driveway and then turned it off so we could get in.  Unfortunately when she went to turn it back on the car wouldn’t start.  She tried and tried and then eventually we all realized that her battery might have died.  So she went inside to call her friend Loulou, who was like a father to her, and was this old Swiss dude who spoke French and walked to her car with a huge cigar in his mouth at like 10am.  After trying to push the car and start it Loulou realized that this would not work and so he decided to pull Linda’s tiny 98 blue MiniCooper, Montecarlo edition which meant that the car had two really cool white racing strips down the center of the hood.  So after about 15 minutes we heard Linda’s horn from down the block and we all cheered because it was time to head for the mountains.  I was nervous that the car would be dead and that we would have to take the train to the mountains.  But lucky for me Loulou got the job done and the Mini was ready to go.

The ride from Sugiez to Naters would take about 2.5 hours.  Naters, Switzerland was where Sarah lived and was her world famous village.  Her parents lived in marvelous home up on a hill with huge windows facing the incredible Swiss Alps.  After we meet her father and mother, her mother prepared some Raclette (cheese) with some other side dishes and we had a very nice lunch.

After lunch we got back in to the mini and headed for Belalp.  Since it was getting late we decided that skiing today would not be a possibility but that we could ski on the morning of the day we were heading back to Sugiez.  I was fine with that as long as I got my 1.5 days of skiing in.  Once we got to the base, we bought some groceries to bring up with us.  Sarah and Linda also picked out some chocolate that I had to buy and bring home with me, so I did.  After getting the groceries, it was time to put the Mini in the garage and head up to Belalp via the cable car.  The weather wasn’t so nice so you couldn’t see a lot but we were hoping that the weather for the next few days would be nicer.

Once at the top we had to climb up the snowy hills to Sarah’s Chalet.  It was really nice, made all out of wood with a really nice fireplace in the middle of the living room.  There was a bedroom for me and a bathroom, which is always good and once we got there and was settled in we just relaxed.  After a few hours around 430PM or so Sarah wanted to go sledding down the mountain back to the base where we got the cable car.  I said I would go with her and Linda stayed back in the Chalet and watched some TV.  Sledding was much more difficult then I remember it to be from when I did it down Mount Pilatus only a few years ago.  Maybe it is because I am getting older, who knows?  Anyway after several falls, none of which hurt we finally got to the bottom of the mountain, and then took the cable car back, schlepped the sleds back to the Chalet and then it was time for dinner.

Linda and Sarah prepared a Swiss feast that I watched being made and ate.  It was fantastic.  There was meat, vegetables, bread and wine.  Oh before that the three of us played Mario Kart on Nintendo 64, what a flashback that was.

We all ended up passing out on the couches around 930AM.  I was so tired and tomorrow it was time to ski!


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