Friday, September 17, 2010

Europe is a good teacher…

I’ve learned a few things in my first several days in Switzerland, especially up here in Lauterbrunnen in the heart of Swiss Alps. One. Hiking here is not hiking in Montana. In Montana you have trails in the forest, through the forest or you just bushwhack up a mountain or its face. Here, you hike through towns on cements paths, along railroad tracks with trams shooting by you every half hour or on your traditional trails through the woods. You crisscross properties and hike beside and with goats, sheep and a lot of cows, all of which are belled up and make pleasant little noises to hike with. Two. Old people with hiking gear are major posers. James and I hiked up probably 14 or 15 miles today, but every town we went to was heavily populated by older folks, mostly American, geared up ready to top the Jungfrau. You’d see them pour out of the trams and gondolas though and then you’d understand why so many old people were apparently hiking the same stuff we were. I felt a little bit like a local with my nose in the air but I felt good about earning the elevation. Three. They ID for beer purchases here too. Same rules still apply when you don’t have your ID on you. Four. Most of the Australians in the hostel with us seem like and dress like total bro’s. Nothing against them, but they look like total hipsters. Five. I wish I could speak German here. But this is, I can honestly say, the only time I’ve ever wished that. It was funny to see the change from obviously French side of Switzerland to obviously German side. The languages on the stores and in the streets were different and the people a little bit different as well. I want to go back to the French side so I can actually function halfway decently again. One more day here with James and then its on to Aix.


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