Friday, April 10, 2009

Swiss for the moment

Scott and I went to bed around 1 am last night the floors here are very squeaky and I think we woke up our Chinese roommate. He got us back this morning around 7 when he woke up, packed and left. We got back up around 9, when we opened the curtains a wonderful view awaited us. We got ready and went out to the tourist office . They were very unhelpful when it came to good hikes in the area (girly females). But they did give us a map which gave us a good idea. We hiked up a ridge on the edge of Interlaken. The Swiss Alps are everything pictured and some. The scenery was breathtaking and so was the strenuous hike way above sea level. On the way up Scott and I noticed a girl hiking alone behind us with a full backpack on. We did our best to stay in front of her and thought we had succeeded when we turned a corner and there she was chilling at a lookout point (we think she passed us at a point where we paused to take photos). Anyway, it would be nice if the tourist office here hired people like that, but o-well.
Scott and I made it to a wonderful lookout up top and we were hoping for water because we had been stupid and not taken any with us. We were unlucky because they don’t officially open up for another two weeks (there is a steep mountain train that takes people to the top that opens up then as well). Scott and I took to melting mountain snow in our hands and drinking it (three cheers for potential parasite infections later). The funny thing is that even though there was some snow on top of the mountain it was almost 80 outside and we were sweating a lot. I also got a light sun burn today. Anyway, we hiked the ridgeline a short distance…this involved trying to step in the footsteps of others because the snow was pretty thick. We came across a really steep but open meadow and just sat there and enjoyed the mountain breeze, light smell of pine trees and the beautiful view of Interlaken and the lake next to it. Around 2:30 we headed back into town and grabbed some ice cream in a nice little outdoor café that let us enjoy the mountain views from the town. Then following a brochure’s advice we went to a chocolate show.
Ever since the chocolate show I’ve been pondering what I enjoy most. The guy who showed us everything was amazing, he spoke lots of languages and was doing all the pieces of the presentation in French, English, and German (all the languages his customers spoke). Scott said he looks a lot like Harvey Dent (from Batman) and I agree. The man is genuinely passionate about chocolate and very much loves his job (He didn’t say this it was just absolutely visible). The milk chocolate he had there won 1st place at some world Italian Chocolate event two years ago. He shared with us two 70% dark chocolate’s he had created, both were very good. We also learned a lot about making chocolate and good truffle dipping techniques. His Apprentaces have made some amazing chocolate sculptures, my favorite was a goat that only got second place. I ate way more chocolate than I should have and overall the whole event was very worthwhile. Scott and I spent the rest of the day relaxing here in the hostel (The Alpine Backpack’s Hostel in Interlaken) with the exception going out and finding dinner. We’ve noticed that prices here are very high, it’s probably because the rich tourists come here and go skiing. Tomorrow we are heading off to Geneve where we will enjoy an Easter service somewhere then continue on to Nice (France…again).

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