We arrived in Zurch at 11 at night. Dave said we were just going to walk to our hotel since it was only a couple of blocks. Myrna had told us how clean Switzerland was. It truly was. And I felt very safe walking at night. The next morning we went for a lovely walk to find our tour bus. The Switzerland landscape was again so beautiful. As we all know, it is very mountainous. The roads go right through the mountains. We went through tunnel after tunnel. Our guide told us that the longest tunnel in Switzerland is 57 km long. Wow!
We stopped in Luzern to pick up a few more people and continued on to Interlaken. Here we stopped for a toilet break and snack if wanted. We later learned that snacks should not have been optional. We had taken apples, buns, croissants, and water and thought we would be good. Before we left we had read as much as we could to prepare, one of those things was the money used. We had been told that all the countries in Europe use Euros except England, which used Pounds. Guess what? Surprise!! Switzerland uses Frances. We did not have any. So we had a bit of a scramble to use the toilet as we had a short time to exchange our Euros for some Franc coins. That was fun.
When we first met our guide, I wasn't sure I liked him. But through the day I learned to. He was so funny. It was hard to understand him with his thick accent. After Interlaken we started climbing the mountain. It was so tree lined that we literally had one second to take a good picture. He would shout out, 'Camera...1...2...3 click!!' We quickly learned we needed to be ready or we would miss the shot. He was very efficient. At the Eiger he would get us all lined up and grab our cameras, pose, snap, say, 'done, go away' and on to the next person. He wanted each person in his group to have the best experience and the best pictures possible.
That rock overhang was fun to drive under. Back in March when we were still just kidding around about going to Europe, Dave mentioned a book called The White Spider. When he was young his dad read and shared lots of stories from it. Later he read it. Dave said that it was out of print and he was sad about that, as he would love to read it again. I got right on Amazon, found it, and ordered it for Father's Day. It was the first presentsince we got married that he has been truly surprised with. (I'm not good at presents) We were so excited to give it to him and he loved it. It is a true story about climbing the Eiger in Switzerland. That book inspired our trip to Switzerland. From Interlaken we wound around the mountain until we got to a little village at the base.
All the way up the mountain it was so pretty. There is no wasted space. Dave loved that at the top right before rocks the lawns were groomed, the fields of cows. He said at one point we were so high that here it would be considered the wild and he saw a wheel barrow and shovel on the side of the road.
At this little village we got in to a cog-wheel train. Our guide was packing us all in and we got sat with a girl named Grace. We instantly hit it off. She was on a 28 day trip across Europe by herself. She is a pharmacist from rural West Virginia. Grew up on a cattle farm and loved Disney movies. My girls had lots of fun with her the rest of the day. Grace and Cora have stayed in contact a little through Instagram. Anyways on this cog-wheel train we go straight up inside the mountain. We tried to get a picture of Blake standing in the train, it was so funny, he was bent right over to stay up. We stopped at both the windows on the way and got to look down. Then we went to the top. We were 11333 feet up.
You can't tell in this picture but we are looking straight down. There were a few levels for us to go through before we went out side at the top. I really enjoyed the Ice Palace.
Cora and Grace.
At this point Leah and I were starting to feel a little woohooo. We were up so high, the air was thin. This is were before hand knowledge of snack would have been helpful. We were told we would eat at 1. Actually we arrived at the top at 1. The was the center is set up you get off the train, make your way through all the sites, and then to the canteen (cafeteria) to eat. So by the time we ate it was closer to 3:30. One lady passed out just as she was getting her food. Leah had a liitle nausea she was so hungry and the altitude. We knew she needed to eat, but hard to get food in her. Blake and I started feeling the same way. I was sure I would be the next to pass out.
We got some food in us and waited to go back down. Dave and Cora felt it a little, but not to bad. In the visitor center was Chocolate Heaven. I had really wanted to go. It was a Lindt store. They had a lot of flavors that they don't sell very many places. But the thought of food and moving was not good. I was very sad to miss it. As we started back down, we got better. Kid, our guide, took this picture of Blake and Dave.
The whole thing was so amazing. I wish I would have eaten earlier and walked slower to fully appreciate it. Dave was excited to see all the places he had read about in the book. He was pointing out so much to us.
I loved all the cows. Every single one had a big cow bell.
We traveled by train and back to bus till we got back to Zurich.
We had eaten so late that all we felt like was bread and apples. We got a few at a store and went back to our hotel. A short time of relaxing and talking about the neat things we had seen and how cool it was to be up at the top of the Eiger, than early to bed for our early flight the next day.