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Monday, 25 August 2014

Switzerland August 2014 - the first leg

OMG it's finally happened. Our trip was always at some point in the far, then near, future. But now it is so actually upon us that we have already had 8 days of it. Around the World in 80 tantrums has truly begun!
First stop - wonderful Switzerland. It has everything - cable cars; beautiful climbs on near-impossible ridges which, yet, can be surmounted by 5 year olds in a pair of sturdy boots; soaring snow-capped peaks to gawp at; butterflies and flowers of every shade and hue; blue lakes and green glacial streams; and, as we discovered today, amazing zip wires that plunge 1km downhill over the heads of grazing cows and their cowbells while the countryside echoes with the joyful, and genuinely scared, screams of the zipwirers. Which today included us. Wow! And all this for only vast enormous sums of money at every opportunity.
We are staying in the cheapest accommodation possible in Grindelwald - the youth hostel, with all 5 of us sharing one room. All I can say is, thank God for earplugs and a kindle paperwhite. But today we found our budget majorly blown by a 20 minute bus journey costing 53 CHF (nearly £40)!
Here are some of our photo highlights so far. The last picture is of a killer cow we encountered and the tale of how we survived it...
First, the stunning view from our home exhanged chalet in Gryon commune, Dents du Midi the snowy mountain, as Rosie calls it.
Now that's what I call a mountain path. Joe hoped the cross had no significance of lives lost on the path which became ever tinier as we ascended.
Poppy shows the way.
She's made it!

Rosie leading the way home


Then Rosie gets a new hairstyle from Poppy, as Poppy discovers how to curl hair without the use of artificial curlers. Rosie announces she is the curly queen, and starts informing people they need to get her breakfast etc, because she is the curly queen...
It's such fun in a cable car!

The boy just loves to climb.
Wow, alpine splendour!
We made it! Top of La Palette over 2,000m.
I'm rather proud of this photo of Danny in his trademarked Kangol hat I bought him at Camden Market
My little Heidis.
And Llamas!!
Not quite sure why getting an electric shock from the electric fence that the Swiss are so keen on lining their footpaths with makes Joe laugh so much..
And the playgrounds all have such spectacular backdrops!

But.... you've got to watch out for the killer cows...

Yes, that one in the middle. Danny and Joe walked past this killer monster cow feigning insouciance and courage. I was with Rosie and Poppy and, admittedly, I may not have helped myself by taking photos as I was going - although on the positive side this does mean I have evidence of the particular cow who gave us the evil eye and walked slowly and very menacingly towards us. Well, suffice it to say that we ran away screaming. I shouted to D that he had to help us, but he and Joe were through by then. We ran to the back of a high alp cafe just next to us, and I said we should find a different way down. But then I realised the only other way down was through a literal cow field, and that definitely had cows in it. Poppy said we had to go back and face our fears, so we came back to the pathway laughing guiltily and a passing nice old blokey - turned out to the English - asked what the problem was, and then proceeded to lead us through the gentle cows, stroking their noses at every opportunity. Hmm. Feeling foolish? Moi? Well, we got down to the playground and kids and all had fun on the zip wire. Just as soon as I had found D who was cheerfully searching the paths around the high alp cafe for a Mum and her kids too scared of cows to come down. Defo not me huh.


Farewell Switzerland, you were great. Tomorrow it's France!





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