I am finally somewhat catching up on my blog!
Last weekend I was in Switzerland. Locarno, Switzerland, to be exact. At first I was a little iffy about the trip, for a couple of reasons. First, we were all tired from traveling throughout Italy the week before. Second, Stephanie’s dad’s friend, who we were supposed to be staying with, hadn’t contacted us until the day we were set to leave (Friday) at like nine in the morning. But, we decided to head out that afternoon anyway.
Once on the train, we hit an immediate speed bump. Eugene had forgotten his Eurail pass at home! Luckily we were only ten minutes away from Bonn, so he made the decision to jump off the train and go back home to grab it and meet up with us later. So, a man down, we continued traveling until we arrived in Locarno nine long hours later.
We were greeted by Robby, our gracious host for the weekend. We headed to a nearby bar to grab a beer while we waited on Eugene to arrive (in two hours). After the beer we went to a sort of bar/disco place where Robby saw some of his friends. It was crazy and loud and sort of a strange start to a trip that promised to be filled with serene mountains and beautiful nature.
But, my worry was soon to be for naught. We left the loudness soon after, and picked Eugene up from the train station a bit later. After heading back to Robby’s place, we were tired from traveling and called it a night. Boring, I know.
The next morning, Robby prepared a big breakfast with bread, cheese, coffee, ham, pastries, eggs, etc. This guy was seriously a great host.
Before rambling on more, let me show you a picture so you have some sort of visual clue as to where we were and where we were staying.
Nice and pink. Although it was an apartment, it was actually quite spacious. Eric and I shared the master bedroom, while Robby took the couch. I’m telling you, this guy was an amazing host.
After breakfast, Robby took us in his car out to the mountains. We actually had no clue where we were going or what was in Locarno. It’s actually a pretty small town, about 15 minutes from the Italian border. The only reason we were there was because of Robby and the shelter he could provide for us free of charge. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Imagine my surprise, when he brought us to the dam that was used in the beginning of Goldeneye! GOLDENEYE! This movie was a building block of my childhood. I watched it dozens and dozens of times.
So crazy! If you don’t remember what part of the movie I’m talking about or have never seen it (shame on you), watch this clip and ignore the terrible music they put in it:
Pretty cool, eh? It just blew my mind seeing it in real life. It’s totally random that they have such a massive dam in a tiny town in Southern Switzerland. But hey, I’m not complaining.
This is a view from the dam in to the mountains. Upon further thought, I think this blog post will be composed mostly of pictures.
This is Robby. Now you have a face to put to the name, which will undoubtedly be coming up often later on in the post. He has a little dog, Palomita, which he carries everywhere with him. Probably one of the coolest little dogs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Also, Palomita apparently means “popcorn” in Italian, which could be one of the best dog names ever.
Anyway, after the epic Goldeneye dam, we continued into the mountains, where we stopped at this old bridge.
Said bridge. It crossed this really pristine river that was almost crystal clear. The river was also covered with huge rocks, which we immediately started climbing and crossing.
Rocks like this. Nature of this sort was exactly what I wanted to see in Switzerland. I was growing weary of seeing large city after large city. It’s amazing how refreshing the outdoors can be when you’re stuck in a city for months on end.
After the river and bridge, Robby drove us further into the mountains. We passed lots of small mountain villages that looked so picturesque and perfect it was ridiculous. In one village we passed a little outdoor shop/cafe selling cheese and salami, and the guy working there apparently knew Robby (who apparently knows EVERYONE). So, we took a break from driving around and sat at this outdoor cafe, eating two year old goat cheese, salami that was aged in stone huts on the mountain, and sweet onions, all the while drinking delicious wine and admiring the view, which was something like this:
It was all sort of surreal. I never thought I’d ever be doing anything like that. But, like all good things, the moment had to end. Luckily, Robby was taking us even FURTHER into the mountains, on a road that was very seldom used. The result was ever more stunning scenery.
We also found a huge patch of snow, and decided to climb it. Sadly enough, it was only about the fourth encounter I’ve had with snow while in Europe. Needless to say, I was pretty excited.
Snow! Despite the initial comfort and playful feeling you get when seeing snow, this particular snow was sort of scary and dangerous. There was a little river flowing underneath that had melted some of the snow, so when you were walking on it the ground would collapse randomly without warning and you could fall into a little icy cavern. Good times.
After the snow adventure, everyone was a little worn out from all of the sight-seeing. So, we headed home, where Robby cooked us all delicious spaghetti. I love that guy…
Well, that about sums up our weekend in Switzerland. Sure, it was a short trip, but it was one where I enjoyed every minute I spent there. I will leave you with this picture:
This is a pregnancy test in a vending machine. The kicker? It’s called “Maybe Baby”.
Until next time, sleep well my darlings.