Friday, December 11, 2009

Switzerland 2006/2007

Three Dreams of The Jungfrau

Three dreams that I’ve had while sleeping over the past three years have led me to the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. The Jungfrau is one of the three large mountains one can see from the city of Interlaken. The other two are the Eiger and Monch.

The dreams:
1)The family and the Schilthorn.
2)Wengen and where I missed my stop.
3)Slipping down and climbing up to obtain the rings.

17:00 23 December, 2006 Miami International Airport

Alberto couldn’t come get me to drive me to the airport but he said that I could drive to his parents’ house and get a cab –which is exactly what I did. He told me that his mom doesn’t speak English. She actually did wish me a Merry Christmas in English and I did speak some Spanish to her and wished her Felis Navidad.
Man, what a mess it is getting through airport security! They even took my toothpaste because the tube could hold more than three ounces. It was almost empty, though. There’s an item I’ll have to buy at some point in the near future.
Met a married couple on their way to Switzerland to ski –Natalia amd Mitchell.

09:30 29 December, 2006 Ringgenberg Sage, Interlaken

I’ve now been here for six days and since arriving I’ve made dozens of friends.

The overnight flight from Miami to Zurich was choppy but relatively uneventful. Installed into the back of the seat in front of me was an entertainment system that had games (I played mini golf a lot) and movies and music and even an indicator that showed where the plane was located relative to North America and Europe.
I used trains to get from Zurich to Interlaken with a changeover in Bern. The trains are quiet, efficient and on time. First Class cars are quite luxuriant if you can sneak onto one like I did from Bern to Interlaken.
Once the train approached Interlaken I starting getting glimpses of the Alps through the windows. The Alps are always breathtaking and I’m never quite prepared. It was no trouble catching the bus from Interlaken Ost to Ringgenberg Sage where I had prearranged to have someone meet me –a friend of and engineer who I’d worked with in Florida just before I left.
Ann was ready for my arrival by inviting to of her young lady friends over for Christmas Eve dinner Swiss style with meat fondue that included lots of sauces and vegetables, different meats, wine, rice, etc., etc. Went to bed full that night.
I should describe Ann’s place. Someone described it as looking like a cuckoo clock but that would describe half of the homes I see around me. Her property sits on a hill that leads down to Brienzersee Lake with snow covered Breitlauenen ridge in the background.
It’s the view from my bedroom. Can’t get enough of it.

Ann’s son and I have taken to hitting the town and meeting up with his friends. One evening three of us went for a sauna that’s located on the top floor of the Hotel Metropole
and the sauna essentially has four parts: a swimming pool, a steam bath, a small pool of ice cold water, and a relaxation room. You take a swim, then sit in the steam room for five minutes then jump into the cold water, then relax for ten minutes or so. Then repeat two more times. It certainly does wake you up!
Ran into some Aussies the other night from Townsville –Emma and Clayton. They had taken the train and elevator to Jungfraujoch which they said took more time than they had expected but it was still worth the trip. I personally want to go to Shilthorn which played a roll in one of the aforementioned dreams. It’s the revolving restaurant at the top of the mountain in the James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
Have had many pleasant conversations and met some interesting people. On thing that I should mention is that speaking only English doesn’t seem to be a problem here. I think everyone speaks at least four languages -German, French, Italian, and English and they change from one to one of the others effortlessly and fluidly. It’s amazing to me.
Yesterday I went with an English guy to Beatenberg which is a town located on a hillside and has the most amazing views of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch.

I’m attaching a rather large picture that I took yesterday. Hopefully it doesn’t overwhelm dialup connections or those of you whose servers have restrictive file sizes.
I think you’ll agree that, once you have it in hand, it was worth it.


17:29 31 December 2006 Interlaken

Went to a hockey game two nights ago in which Bern defeated Zurich 6-0. After the game I went to a nearby hotel bar with a Martin and Adriel, two guys who I’ve been hitting the town with. While at the bar I met young American lady who is in the US Air Force stationed somewhere in Germany. Her hometown is Manchester, Connecticut.
I bought a ticket for tonight’s party at that hotel. There’s a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band playing so I’ll see how that goes. I think I’ll be a harsh critic.
Sat in Ann’s hot tub Thursday night with no light except a half moon and a sky full of stars. I could easily see the snow covered mountains across the lake once my eyes got accustomed to the low light. It was one of those experiences in which time stands still.
Met some American folks while I was out last night. One couple is from Virginia Beach and another were from Austin. I asked the couple from Austin if Leslie still bangs his drum on 6th Street. They knew exactly who I was referring to –a transvestite with long stringy hair and a beard who has become something of a local celebrity.
I’ve been walking around Interlaken taking pictures and trying to somehow capture the beauty of the city and its surrounding mountains. Let me know what you think.
Got an email from Ivana yesterday. Those of you who read my dispatches from Scotland last summer may remember my mentioning a beautiful young woman from Slovakia. Well, she’s back in Oban but she’ll be going to Slovakia January 12th to the 29th. I wrote back to let her know that I’m renting a chalet high in the Alps from the 14th to the 26th and that she should join me. We’ll see if she shows up. It would be nice!
Right now I’m sharing a house in Interlaken with a guy named Andy who is a ski instructor here in Switzerland this winter but he also has a carpentry shop near Boston and his wife is there also. It’s good to have him around to talk to since he is familiar with both the US and his native Switzerland. The same guy (whose nickname is “Yeti”) who owns the chalet in Wengen also owns this house where I’m staying. Yeti emailed me a couple of weeks ago to let me know of this house and that I might want to get in touch with Andy. The house is in a very weird location. It’s essentially in the middle of town but it’s also on a farm. The main drag through town is a one minute walk away but you’d never know this place existed unless someone told you about it. It’s a “Twilight Zone” kind of place by the river behind an old farmhouse next to a big open field but in the middle of town.

16:30 1 January, 2007 Interlaken

Last night’s celebrations weren’t all that exciting. I met up with Adi at the Caverne and watched the band. This evening there are fireworks in the park at the center of the city.
It might be nice to see them from a little distance. Maybe I should figure that out. Perhaps a balcony somewhere would be a good spot.

16:51 2 January, 2007 Balmer’s Interlaken

Thanks Debbie, Shirley, Sean, Mom, Michelle, and Duane for writing back.
The fireworks were pretty good. I watched them from Hooter’s where I was having some wings and a coke. There was a little dog that was fascinated with the show. It was more fun watching him watching the fireworks than actually watching the fireworks.
Ran into some more Americans last evening. Three are in the Air Force statione in Germany (a guy from Phoenix, a girl from Bremerton, WA and another young lady from San Diego) and also a couple of guys who are here to promote the world cup ski races. The Wengen races are from January 12th to the 14th. I plan to be there for sure.

17:41 5 January, 2007 Balmer’s Interlaken

Three nights ago I met a Swedish woman named Yvonne who wants to watch the races in Wengen with me next weekend. She’s been to the races before and said that they are incredible. It is the longest men’s downhill course in the world.
Went to Lucerne the next day with Adriel. His friend, Bruno, drove and so I got to see a little more of the Swiss countryside. Adriel and I walked around and explored the city. It’s a much bigger city than Interlaken. There’s lots of old buildings and interesting architecture. We took the train back to Interlaken and got back around 7PM.

We got something to eat and then sat in the hot tub for a while. Adriel met a girl New Year’s Eve and he had text messaged her the next day and had been a little dismayed when she didn’t get back to him. He’s been asking me advice about women. It makes me laugh to think that I would somehow be qualified to tell someone else what to do. I’ve made a lot of bad moves and haven’t been in a relationship for a long time. She eventually did message him back and it seems like they might be hitting it off.
I’ve been meeting more Americans –mostly college students. Played Trivial Pursuit last evening and had a real fun time laughing and joking around. I just saw one of the girls and she went skiing today. Apparently, she had a very harrowing experience during a fall off a 30 foot cliff. She’s okay, though and is now laughing about the whole thing.
Kaspar, Adriel’s friend told us that he has his parents’ house in Grindelwald next week and we are invited to stay there rent free. That should be a fun time. We plan on staying there from Monday evening to Friday afternoon.
Marty says that I should send more pictures and that’s what I’m going to do. I certainly have a lot of them. I think I’ll just crop then somewhat to make them smaller files. Some folks are using dialup connections so I don’t want to overwhelm them. Thanks to Linda, Christine, and Mark for writing back also.

22:35 8 January, 2007 Ringgenberg Sage, Interlaken

My writing has been sketchy at best and I must tell you that it’s not for lack of events and people who I’ve met. Maybe it’s time to rectify that. I’m now back at Ann’s house and she and Ted are still in France. Adriel had a class in Bern this evening so I have the house to myself. Did a soak in the hot tub and then went back into Interlaken to see who was about. Ran into Kelly and Neil at Buddy’s Pub. Buddy’s pub is a little cozy place owned and operated by an English lady named Rosie. Kelly is from Queensland, Australia and Neil is from the extreme north of England. Had a nice chat with them about a wide variety of subjects and exchanged phone numbers and emails.
Had dinner last night at Hooter’s with a Norwegian guy who I’d met at Balmer’s.
Also met some young ladies from Raleigh, North Carolina because one of them had an NC State sweatshirt on. By the way, I’m listening to a classical music radio station that I discovered when I lived in the Raleigh area.
There’s also a very pretty and bright young woman of Iranian and Pakistani descent who I’ve been talking to. She’s been living near Paducah, KY. My, how people get around!
Still waiting to stay in the place in Grindelwald –if it happens at all. My impression is that the town is infested with rich Germans, British, and Americans. We’ll see.
Adriel has become discouraged with the woman he met New Year’s Eve and is now excited by a Russian woman he met a few nights ago. I suspect this is partly my fault because I showed him one of the many websites showing Russian mail order brides. Personally, I just like to look. Having grown up during the Cold War, I was led to believe that all Russian women are fat and ugly. Pure propaganda as it turns out.
A couple of nights ago I met an American guy who apparently overcame his fear of heights by committing to skydiving –more or less because of peer pressure exerted during drinks the night before. There were three of them involved –a New Zealander and two Yanks. I don’t think any of them would have gone on their own but afterwards they all professed it me the absolute best thing any of them had ever done. I think the local scenery had something to do with the experience as well. I also suspect that the adrenaline rush for the one guy was extra powerful for the dude who had a fear of heights to begin with. The guy from New Zealand was texting his pilot friends back home and now they can’t wait to take him up and push him out.
As for the Wengen races this weekend, Adriel thinks that they are best seen on a TV screen. He may be right but I also suspect that there’s nothing like the atmosphere and excitement of actually being there even if you don’t actually see all that much.
Besides, I’ll have a tall beautiful Swedish woman to watch the races with –skiing from one location to the next.
Yesterday I was walking through town and I saw a red husky and a Samoyed together on one leash. The woman who held the leash was as stunningly beautiful as the dogs. Those of you who knew my dog, Cody, will know why I stopped in my tracks at seeing the Samoyed. He looked just like Cody. I had to ask the woman if I could pat her dogs and she said that, yes, I could and that I could watch them while she went across the street to do something. I feel like such a total idiot because I was so “in” and I knew it but I still blew it when she came back and I could have easily walked with her and her dogs but I just went the other way. My only excuse is that my objective was to get something to eat. I told Adriel about it and now he knows not to ask me advice about women.
Thanks to Karen, Dad, and Brian for writing back. Have fun in Hawaii, Shirley!

19:15 5 January, 2007 Ringgenberg Sage Interlaken

While I was walking through town today I noticed an inordinate amount of smoke coming from a place called Heidi’s Hostel. Being a little concerned, I went into the front office to tell the people and a little old lady came out. When I mentioned all the smoke, possibly from a fire, to her she explained that it was from a place behind hers where a man burns his trash even though he is not supposed to. She said that the neighbors have called the police before and when they come all the trash has been burned and he tells them that he was only burning wood. She said that he is not a very nice man, an Austrian, and he thinks that he can come to Switzerland and do whatever he pleases. Perhaps I should have then said, “Ah, an Austrian, say no more!”

23:06 10 January, 2007 Grindelwald

Got into town kind of late last night. Adriel and I met up with Kaspar in Interlaken and Kaspar drove us to his family’s place in Grindelwald. The view from the front porch is incredible! The Eiger is so close that you feel as though you can almost reach out and touch it. In reality it is a few miles away.
Today Kaspar and I took the Gondola from the center of town to a station called First (pronounced like “fierce” wit a “t” at the end). We hiked a some distance from the top of the gondola as well. Got some excellent pictures.
While we were having lunch at the restaurant at the top we sat outside and I fed some black birds little pieces of my sandwich and my apple pie. It always makes me laugh at how seagulls and other birds interact if you feed them. Seems like there’s always one who feels as though it should get everything itself and tries to fend the others off. Then while it is running a few birds off there’s always one who will sneak up from behind and take the food anyway.
As I was sitting on the deck and looking around I spotted someone I knew from Interlaken. It was Andy, the guy who I shared the house with. I’m glad I saw him because I wanted to get his email address. There’s a good chance that I’ll see him back in the USA.
After Kaspar and I returned to the house we watched some TV including “The Simpsons” in German. By the way, Homer doesn’t say, “D’oh!” He says,”Nein!”

22:29 13 January, 2007 Ringgenberg Sage Interlaken

My last night in Interlaken before going to Wengen for a week. It should be fun up there. Hopefully, I make it there tomorrow while the race is still going on. Also would like to take part in some of the festivities afterward.
Bode Miller won today so maybe I can tip a few pints with him and some of the other homeboys. The Swiss seem to like him for some reason.
Ok, folks, I expect to get a lot more writing done next week because I’ll be in a place with few distractions –a rustic chalet high in the alps.
Thanks for writing back Marty in Australia and Sean in Scotland.

15:50 15 January, 2007 Wengen

The trains from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen and from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen took only about 40 minutes total. I met a family from Long Island while still at the train station in Interlaken. Maria and Paul are the parents and Nicole and Chris are the daughter and son. Nicole is in college and Chris is probably in his mid twenties. They were just in St. Moritz skiing and are now here for the same thing. They are here for a week like I am. We separated in town and agreed that we most likely would run into each other again before the week is over.
I found the place where I’m staying without too much trouble. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from the center of town. It is a small cabin that requires a steep climb up the mountain after leaving the road. The view is awesome and the peaceful surroundings will make it difficult to leave to return to noisy America. There are no cars in Wengen except for service vehicles. One of the reasons I decided to come here is that I’m sick of cars, trucks, and motorcycles in the US that are modified to be as loud as possible. How do such pigheaded notions catch on and proliferate with the public in America. Whatever happened to concepts like social responsibility and respect for others? I can tell you that such concepts are alive and well here in Switzerland.

After I settled in and took a shower I went back into town in search of a good meal and a walk around. I went to a pizzeria restaurant called Da Sina’s. As I was waiting to be seated I saw Kelly, the Australian who I’d met a few days before in Interlaken. She was having a salad and didn’t seem surprised at all to see me again.
After being seated and while going over the menu I noticed that, seated a few tables away, were Paul, Chris, and Nicole. Only about an hour had passed since I had seen them. I had to go and say hello to them as well.

Kelly told me to stop in the pub after eating and she’d be there. I ordered spaghetti carbonara –which was delicious. In the pub, of course, I saw Kelly. Met an English guy named Nick, a Swiss woman named Esther, an Italian dude named Marco. There was a rock band that was pretty good. Eventually Marco and I went to another place –more of a dance club. There was Bode Miller sitting with one of the guys who I’d met in Interlaken a couple of weeks ago. You may recall me mentioning running into a couple of guys who were race promoters. I got to congratulate Bode on his win on Saturday and tell him that understand that he’s from New Hampshire and that I’ve been living in Vermont. I sat and had a beer with them.

Today I went into town for food again and had a cheeseburger. While walking around I saw a girl walking a black lab so I patted the dog and thanked her then introduced myself and she said her name is Rina and she is from Holland. We arranged to possibly meet this evening as she told me where she is likely to be at about what time. She’s extremely pretty with light blonde hair and bright green eyes. It’s that time and I’m off to see Rina.

It was nice to talk to you yesterday, Brian. I’m sure that you enjoyed your conversation with Adriel and Ann. Adriel told me later that it’s a little awkward talking to someone who you know very little about but seems to so much about you.
Thanks for writing back, Jim in Ohio.

18:30 17 January, 2007 Ledi Wengen

I’ve spent the past few days hiking and generally exploring the beautiful area around Wengen. Have had a good time testing the cuisine in the local restaurants.
The nightlife is good, too. Two nights ago I met Tony from England (not the prime minister) and Olli from Finland. Last night I rand around with a group of four guys –two from Germany, one from Austria, and one from Switzerland. They all work together at a hotel in Hamburg. Also saw Esther again and ran into Rina and she was on her way to watch a movie with friends.
Yesterday I met a woman named Deanna from Germany who served me at a restaur

ant then ran into her last night after she got off work and walked her to the Hotel Belvedere where she’s been staying. She told me that she will be moving into another place this week. She’s also going to Basel this week on her day off to her permanent home.
Had a good hike today up by where the Lauberhorn ski races were held last weekend. From the area there I could look back to the hillside where I’m staying. Didn’t have my camera with me but wished I had. It would have been nice to be able to show how steep the climb to my place is.
Thanks for writing again Debbie in Ohio. You know that you folks are welcome to visit wherever I settle –assuming that I ever do.
Thanks to Jeremy for writing back and helping me to perhaps gain a better perspective on my annoyance with “noisy America.” I did know that you and the some of your kids have spent some time in Switzerland. Thanks for the update, too.
Michelle, the last one I sent got sent back. Maybe you don’t have enough space in your inbox for some of the pictures.
This place really has been a “dream destination” for me in at least two senses of the expression. It certainly is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I know that both Ron and Michelle have plans to visit Switzerland this year. I guess you can consider this trip of mine as a “recon mission” for you. Seems like Brian is mulling it over, too.
I know that in some cases I should respond to your emails more directly and I certainly intend to when I think of it but my actual “online time” is very limited. This cabin is cozy but rustic. It hasn’t been set up for that yet and probably never will be.

17:25 18 January, 2007 Ledi Wengen

I ran into the family that I met on the trains here from Interlaken Ost .last night. This time Nicole wasn’t with them. Apparently she was too tired to come out. There’s an English pub run by a guy named Colin and he has excellent wireless internet and Chris had taken his laptop there so they could use Skype to phone back to the US and talk to his grandparents. It was good to get better acquainted with Maria and Paul and I gave Maria one of my email addresses should they decide to keep in touch.
Watched a soccer match with Tony there, too. Birmingham was playing Newcastle.
Tony told me that it’s karaoke night tonight at Sina’s and he will be singing crooner music like that of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, etc. Might be interesting.
There’s a guy named Freddy who has a little eight week old black puppy that I can’t resist playing with. I’d seen him and his puppy a few nights ago.
Phoned Yvonne today and made arrangements to watch a ski race called “Inferno” with her that will take place near Murren on Saturday. This race is purely an amateur affair and promises to have its own brand of thrills and spills.
Saw Deanna a couple of times today. The first time was when she was walking on the street and talking on her cell phone but she waved and said hello. The second time was when she was in a taxi coming from the direction of the Hotel Belvedere, presumably she was in the process of moving but she waved again when she saw me.
Saw Rina walking the dog again and she also smiled and waved.
Rang up Ann today to see if she’s coming for a visit as she hinted at before I came to Wengen. Seems like she’s perhaps too busy. She put me on with Adriel who may visit on Saturday –which I doubt because his schedule seems to be full, too.
I may take the train over the mountain to Grendilwald to try to look up a lady friend from Germany who I met there last week. I don’t write about the successes with women because that’s really nobody’s business but I’m writing this so that you know it sometimes happens. In fact, there are quite a lot of people who I’ve met and haven’t written about. Some of them have turned into rather good friends such as Philippe from France, Cody from Dallas, Simon from Interlaken, Fabio from Lucerne, Oliver from Germany, Heather from Zimbabwe, Marlise from Interlaken, Monika from Thun, Natalia from Russia, and quite a few more. Yeti’s brother, Fritz, showed up unexpectedly at the cabin a couple of days ago and had a nice chat with him, too.
Some of the food that I’ve been having is quite nice. I don’t remember the names of most of it. Yesterday I had a Swedish roast cooked with prunes served over mashed potatoes and covered in gravy with mushrooms. Had pasta for dinner served in a cream sauce. Today I had tuna with rice that was preceded by a leek soup. Speaking of leeks, Karen are you planning on revealing your “ramp quiche” dish this year? The season is fast approaching!

12:54 19 January, 2007 Ledi Wengen

Talked to Colin, originally from Wellington, New Zealand, last night about what he’s done in the past for work. He said that he’s worked on oil rigs in the North Sea. It was funny because at the same time a soccer match was on with Aberdeen vs. Hibernian. I told him what I do and that I wouldn’t mind working internationally. Gave him a copy of my resume and he told me that one of his mates would be getting into town that evening who actually does work all over the world. I might be hearing from him. Never know.
Karaoke was a total blast! Tony did a very good job with Sinatra and I actually sang three songs myself (Day After Day, Back in the USSR, and Friend of the Devil). Tony told me that I’m better than I think I am. I don’t know about that because I think I’m pretty good. I always say that I don’t sing karaoke because I don’t get paid for it.
Met Alice from Belgium and we exchanged email addresses but I apparently lost it on the walk home when I unzipped the pocket holding my flashlight –and the note.
Finished reading the 13th book in the “Dune” series and I’m considering leaving it for Yeti. If he doesn’t want to read it he can use it to start the fire.
Met a woman named Jana from Leipzig and another named Tanja from The Black Forest. They work with Deanna. I guess all of the people who work at the hotel and restaurant are from Germany.
I leave Wengen in a couple of days and I’m definitely going to miss this town.


20:54 21 January, 2007 Alpenruhe Wengen

Mingling with so many people finally caught up with me. I’ve had a cold for the past couple of days.
Went to the local Anglican church this evening and noticed that one of the hymns is “Morning Has Broken” –the same song that was one of Cat Stevens’ biggest hits and presumably before he converted to Islam. The hymn was written by an Eleanor Fargeon.
Moved into a hotel and delayed my return to the USA by another week. Yippee!

12:17 22 January, 2007 Alpenruhe Wengen

Watched the Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints game last night with Colin. He was definitely cheering for the Saints and I just wish it would have been a closer game. I also watched some of the Colts/Patriots game with Kelly and Neil. Looked like the Patriots were almost certain to win that one when I came home.
I just looked off my balcony to see the family from Perth (Linda, Keith, and Ellie) walking up the hill so I called out to them and asked if they remember meeting me at Sina’s and they said they did. I asked if they are going home soon since that’s what Charlie (from Gold Coast) had told me last night. “Tomorrow” is their response.

15:55 24 January, 2007 Alpenruhe Wengen

Ran into Linda, Keith, and Ellie later that evening at Colin’s place and snapped off a good picture of them all. We were able to pick out their house in Fremantle using Google Earth. I didn’t get an email address from them but I know where their house is.
Ended up playing pool with Charlie and Adam from Ireland. Also met a guy from Vancouver Island, BC but I don’t remember his name. While we were playing pool at Tiffany’s I saw the waitresses from Terrasse -Deanna, Tanja, and Jana.
Last night I met Sue and Roger from rural England. Had a few laughs with them at Sina’s. Saw Nick, Charlie, and Kelly at Tanne Bar. It was slick trying to walk up the hill to my hotel following the arrival of some fresh snow. The tread on my hiking boots is nearly gone but I think I can wait to get new ones back in the states.
According to the original plan I would have already been back but I have no real pressing need to return at any one time. The only thing is that my truck is parked in the front yard of Alberto’s parents’ in Miami. It’s nice of them to watch it for me but I don’t want to take undue advantage of them. Besides, if I don’t go back soon I might find a satisfactory reason to never go back.
At the Terrasse today I had the special (as I usually do). Today Ramona waited on me. I had “Wildcremesuppe mit Kerbelsahne” (game cream soup with chavil cream) –very tasty –and “Gebratenes Lachsfilet unter einer Haselnusskruste auf Topinambupuree” (roast filet of salmon with hazelnut crust and topinandue puree). A nice and satisfying meal. Jana suggested that we meet somewhere tonight.

19:16 26 January, 2007 Alpenruhe Wengen

Went to Schilthorn yesterday with Ann and we had coffee in the rotating restaurant. Later, on the way back down the series of four gondolas, we stopped in Murren and walked around town. Ann said that she had an old friend who runs the post office so we looked in on her. After that we went into a little shop and had more coffee.
We both came back to Wengen and had pasta at Sina’s. We went into The Caprice Hotel where Ann has fond memories of from years gone by. Apparently it has changed somewhat from what she remembered.

Ann ran to catch her train back to Lauterbrunnen and, in doing so, forgot her scarf. I’ll get it to her when I see her again in two days.
Adriel comes to Wengen tonight and we may hit the slopes tomorrow.
Thanks Dave, for writing back.

12:10 29 January, 2007 Ringgenberg Interlaken

Met a bunch more people from South Africa, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and England. I’m almost ashamed to say that I sang “Longview” on Karaoke night.
Adriel and I skied/snowboarded at Kleine Scheidegg yesterday. It was very sunny and conditions were near perfect. I sent a trail map a few days ago. You’ll find it at the base of the Eiger and it says “K. Scheidegg” on the map.
I’m back at Ann’s and I’m trying to decide whether to travel to Zurich today and stay there overnight. My flight leaves tomorrow at 1PM so I could also just stay here and catch the early train in the morning. Decisions, decisions!
My brother is having a Super Bowl party which also happens to be his birthday, February 4th. By the way, I found out on Monday that the Colts beat the Patriots in one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history. Colin had the repeat of Sunday’s game on in his place. I was able to watch the game after all. Personally, I’ll be behind Manning. He deserves to win this one.
Sorry, Sue in Cologne , for not calling you while you were in Switzerland this week. Believe me, I tried but I just couldn’t get through for some reason. Where did you ski? Did you have fun? Dad, that was a “sad song” wasn’t it? Only country music can truly convey such sorrow!


17:31 (Swiss time) 30 January, 2007 Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

Caught the train from Interlaken Ost to Zurich Flughafen this morning.
The flight left on time at 13:00 and we are now chasing the sun across the sky. The sun should just be dropping below the horizon as we fly into Miami at 17:45.
I’m lucky this trip because I have all five middle seats to myself and am taking full advantage of it. Too bad I can’t sleep on a plane, though. Still, it’s nice to stretch out if I want to.

09:05 (EST) 2 February, 2007 Richburg, South Carolina

I took a taxi from the Miami airport to Alberto’s parents’ house to get my truck. I paid them a little money and some Swiss chocolate. I have a feeling that my cache of sweets will come in handy.
Stayed in a hotel at Saint Lucie, Florida. The next day I drove to this hotel just south of Charlotte. The next morning it was snowing like crazy and so I decided not to try to drive. Stayed another night but now the roads look clear and I’m going to load up and head out. On the road again …!

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