Nom de Plumage

April 3, 2012

Yo Da Lay He Hoo _ Ok, In Other Words, Welcome To Heidiland

Filed under: Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 8:23 pm
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With winter approaching faster than ever and even that much faster in Switzerland, we were blessed today with a spectacular warm day. We just had to take advantage of this rarity and decided to go for a hike in the mountains with Nadine’s good friend Lisa. The mountainous region of Chur, has been aptly named ‘Heidiland’ and it is this region that Lisa spent her childhood in. Lisa was kind enough to come with us on the day to show us this amazing part of Switzerland and have some fun along the way.

The Swiss have this ingenious idea of carving freeways through mountains, beside mountains and alongside lakes. We meandered past open green fields, barren mountains, mountains dusted lightly with snow and lakes that flowed with pristine cold water. We stopped midway through our two hour journey to drink coffee at this restaurant that sat nestled into a mountain and that overlooked the freeway and a lake. By lunch-time we had arrived at our magical destination.
Nadine parked her car in the local town’s tourist car park and with our supplies on our backs and my camera around my neck, poised always for that special photo, we set off on what would be a pleasurable and easy walk.
We were all dressed in warm clothes, long thick pants and jackets, for one can never really trust the weather in the alpine region, but we were soon to discover our mistake when we started stripping off our jackets and cursing the sweat that trickled down our backs. But in all honesty, the breath-taking scenery past traditional Swiss houses and through vineyards, lessened our discomfort.
After an hour of walking and laughing, we arrived at a beautiful village that was typical of Switzerland. Narrow cobblestone streets, weaved through the village and past shops, restaurants and homes. We were all hungry and Lisa directed us to her favourite restaurant. It appeared to be everyone else’s favourite, for there was not a vacant table to be had. We continued walking trying to find a restaurant that we would like, but to no avail, so we walked back to the first one with the hope of luck coming to our rescue? Sure enough, luck was with us and although an alfresco table beside a vineyard and looking out towards the alps would have been preferable, beggars cannot be chooser’s so we ate inside. Lisa met two of her friends, Margaret and Monica and the five of us enjoyed a wonderful lunch together. Over a wonderful mushroom risotto and robust red wine, I had the difficult task of trying to keep up with the conversation. My understanding of German is quite good, but my communication skills are lacking. But the Swiss speak in a dialogue called ‘hock-deutsche’ and that is a different ball game altogether. But, with a bit of German, Hock-Deutsche and English, we gals understood each other through laughter and great stories. The restaurant itself was very beautiful and so traditional in a modern way. Very warm atmosphere and stunning location. With our bellies blissfully full, we decided to continue our walk via a different path back to the car. Monica and Margaret came with us.

In our respective cars, we followed Lisa’s two friends to a nearby town for some drinks. The bar was ordinary but we only came for a beer. The Oktober Festival comes late in Switzerland because beer banners line the walls and the bar crew are dressed in traditional costume. When I lived in Germany, I came to enjoy their beer and still do. Afterwards, we all drove back to Margaret’s home for more drinks, snacks and gossip.

Overall, I had a wonderful day! Although my understanding of their language was very limited, they all still made me feel welcome and we somehow understood each other. Unfortunately, the sun had gone down and the weather cooled, it was time to go home. Tired but happy, it would be my last sunny day in Switzerland and happiest moment.

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