Monday, September 2, 2013

Up, Up and Away - By Zeke

Hello to every one who happens to be reading, please enjoy this blog. You most likely know that we are in Europe, so for the next how ever long it takes you to read this, I will be telling you about Switzerland. In a quick over-view of Switzerland I will tell you that there is a lot of very big mountains, cows with bells around there necks and once a year ski mad Europeans flock here.

A ski town is sprawled across this hill.

We were in Switzerland for about four days. We were staying in a ski village which for most of the year it is fairly empty. Our accommodation was Dad’s friends, Caroline and Kevin’s, ski chalet. Thanks Caroline and Kevin, your chalet was wonderful, with an amazing view. While there we spent two days looking around and the rest we spent relaxing, enjoying the chalet.

The amazing view from the balcony of the chalet.

Out of the Chalet, Day One
On the first day we drove up a valley for a sticky beak and we saw a glacier, one of many in the alps. The glacier was, I have to admit, impressive - this massive piece of ice moving slowly down a hill. The glacier stands out in the mountains, probably about as much as Europe’s largest dam, which we saw next.

Europe’s largest dam was big and bleak! The grey wall of cement spanned the valley and when standing at the base just kept on going up. The dam, as we understand, is used for hydro electricity, which Switzerland is investing heavily on judging by the installations which were saw many of.

A most impressive glacier.

A farmer’s or shepherd’s hut.

Europe’s largest dam.  See the flags and people way up the top.

Out of the Chalet, Day Two
Dad’s friend Caroline recommended we take the cable car and check out another glacier. Shortly after nine we had purchased tickets and climbed on a park bench suspended by a cable that would take us up the hill. After the chair lift, which took us past a herd of cows, we arrived at a ski station where we took a gondola to another ski station were we took, can you guess?... another gondola. It gave us a truly magnificent view of the glacier and surrounding alps. At the station we reached a height of 3,328 meters. For the rest of the day we rode up and down the various slopes, but never the same one twice. It was great fun!

The cable car that took us to the place shown below??

The Cable car station! We saw an absolutely amazing view from here, not only of the glacier but of the surrounding hills, or rather mountains.

That amazing view!!! and a glacier can be seen near the center of the picture. Mum says the mountain is the Grand Combin at 4314 metres and the glacier is Glacier de Combasserie.

Cows, Big black noisy cows. These cows are your typical Swiss cows They have bells round their necks and go up steepper hills then any car can possibly climb. See the shepherd.

While in Switzerland we sampled and bought chocolate, nougat and Swiss roles,
all of which I have to say were delicious!

Nougat, five Euros gets you one hundred grams.

Chocolate! I heard from these three guys it wasn't bad chocolate.

Leaving Switzerland
Leaving Switzerland we drove over a windy pass which took us to Austria. The pass was a stunner. Some snow was on the slopes left over from the winter and stubbornly staying there, along with a pinion wheel train that climbed the slopes slowly and with dignity.

Your number one train, with first and second class seating.

And here’s what it runs on. Anything unusual?

As we made our way up the valley we kept glimpsing the train track and its bridges.

And here is a bridge to do with cars and getting them up the hill.

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