BootsnAll Travel Network

Josh’s European Adventure: Day 15 – belalp – Sugiez – Bern – Zurich – Prague, Czech Republic

Today was an extremely long day.  We got up at 830AM and was skiing by 930AM.  We ended up having a great day of skiing even though the weather wasn’t so great.  It was mostly overcast but since it was during the week and there was no holiday the slopes were open and free.  It was fantastic, the snow was like baby powder and we all felt like we had the entire mountain to ourselves.

At around 1130AM it was time to say goodbye to Belalp, return the skis and head home.  Once we dropped off our skis Linda and I had to climb all the way up the mountain to Sarah’s Chalet.  When we finally got there I thought I was going to through up.  I could definitely feel the thin air on Belalp and it was affecting my breathing.  Our stuff was already packed so we gathered everything up, and headed back down the cable car to where we parked Linda’s Mini just a few days ago.  Luckily this time it started and we were ready to go.

We got to Naters and dropped Sarah off at home.  It was sad to see her go, but I am hoping that she will come to New York with her family and visit real soon!  She also owes me a CD of all the photos from skiing as she was too quick with her camera and snapped all the great photos.  Sarah’s mom again tried to get us to stay for lunch,  but we politely declined and instead she handed us both a bottle of water and a special desert made from nuts.

From Sarah’s house Linda and I drove back to Goppenstein and on to the car train.  I forgot to mention this before.  But basically going to Belalp we drove on to this train and basically it is like a cattle car where you drive right into a compartment, open air and get taken to another place through a very long tunnel (takes about 15-20 minutes) and to the other side.  So going back to Linda’s we did the same and it was fun.

Before arriving back in Sugiez, Linda decided that we should stop in Bern (Bernie) for a short visit to the train station where there are a lot of nice shops.  Here we exchanged money for Czech Kronas, got chocolate and pasteries for Linda’s mom as it was her birthday, some drinks for the train and snacks.  After about an hour and fifteen minutes it was back in the Mini for the rest of our journey to Sugiez.

We arrived in Sugiez in the early evening.  I immediately crawled into bed and relaxed.  We had several hours until our 840PM train left from Ins, Switzerland starting our long journey to Prague.  At around 630PM we headed over to the hotel attached to Linda’s home that her parents own for her mother’s birthday celebration.  I wasn’t dressed so nicely and was even wearing flip flops since my feet hurt from skiing and I was a little embarrassed compared to how everyone was dressed but after several glasses of nice champagne I was over it.

For the  next few hours I chatted mainly with Linda’s father, brother, mother and Linda herself.  The rest of the guests didn’t speak English and it was tough to have a conversation with Linda translating on both sides.  Her father is really cool and introduced me to two great bottles of wine.  One red and one white both seemed very nice and probably very expensive.  Linda’s family owns vineyards in Switzerland that produce anywhere from 500-600 bottles of wine.  They even make champagne.  As a parting gift her father gave me two huge bottles of champagne and a bottle of red wine from their collection.  Also downstairs in their home was a pretty extensive wine cellar and apparently Linda said that her father had much more in other cellars around.

Before we knew it, it was getting late and Linda’s brother driving very fast got us to the train station with one minute to spare.  We jumped out of the car grabbed all of our stuff and ran to the train.  This would happen again when we got to Bern as we only had a few minutes to catch the second train.  Catching the third train wasn’t so bad and then we were on the train in Zurich on the way to Prague, Czech Republic.

When we first got on the train the berth looked real small.  In fact it is supposed to fit 6 people and Linda and I could barely fit with 2.  I must admit I have a lot of crap with me, none of which I bought in Europe but all stuff I brought with me from back home to wear.  It has been very cold so far on my trip and I have worn it all.  What was weighing me down was all the alcohol in my second backpack!  After rearranging some things we finally got settled in the berth.  I hooked up my mini speaker to my mp3 player and started playing some tunes.  The rest of the night was very nice.  We chatted, had some drinks and listened to music.  Very relaxing


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