Day 13: Hiking in the Alps

This day was my favorite day of our entire vacation.  And although the Swiss Alps are remarkable and memorable, what made this day so wonderful were things that could easily be recreated in nearly every place we’ve lived, and likely will live.  Richard and I are Idaho people, we love the mountains, we love lakes, we love being IN them.  

We packed a lunch and left in the morning and drove to a little place called Isenfluh.  (See more amazing pictures here.) The drive to get there took us up, up and up into the mountains, and we didn’t see any other cars on our way there, which made me wonder if it was a real place.  But sure enough, we found the little cluster of homes, a restaurant, and the cable car.  

The older kids (especially Cameron who is not a fan of heights) were nervous about riding in the cable car, as you can see from their faces, but it was a Swiss must-do. The younger kids, were just excited as can be, as you can see from their faces.  So typical of our troop. 

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Behind me is the Jungfrau, one of many snow-capped, magnificent Swiss peaks.

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I took this picture for perspective, you can see how tiny the houses are, giving some idea of how expansive the mountains are.

So after driving up into the mountains, and then taking a cable car even higher into the mountains, we went for a hike, even HIGHER up into the mountains.  It was a tough hike, high altitude and steady uphill the whole way, but the kids were all-stars.  We only saw a few other people, and the scenery was distracting and invigorating. 
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We did have to take lots of breaks. The temperature was cool outside, but the hiking made us all warm.

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No words for this girl. If you know her… you just know her.

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There was a woman inside here making cheese that she sold from her house close-by. It was really cool to watch.

We only passed this one farm/house on our hike.  There were pigs, and of course cows for the cheese.  It was so quiet and serene. I know it’s easy to romanticize, and I’m sure it gets lonely, but it certainly seemed to me like the ideal place to live.

Finally we reached our destination, this peaceful mountain lake.  We ate our lunch, skipped rocks, and played hide-and-seek.  It was the most perfect afternoon with my family.  Absolutely perfect.  The kind of perfect I wish I could carry in my pocket and pull it out and relive it again and again.  

Despite the kids running down the trail at frightening speeds, we made it back to the cable car without major incident. And much to Cameron’s delight, our cable car ride back down the mountain was also uneventful.  The drive back to our Eurocamp was a quiet one, with exhausted children, but as soon as we were back in the camp the kids disappeared to play with friends.  We ate a quiet dinner, and Richard and I read and relaxed while the kids played until dark.  

If I was a better writer I would try to capture more of the details and heart-warming moments of the day, but it’s just too daunting of a task.  They will just have to remain tucked away in my memory, hopefully a core memory, that I will hold on to, just like this.    

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