Monday, September 1, 2008

Day Three: Hiking at the First

Thankfully we knew enough about Swiss train stations and the tickets we wanted that we were able to avoid the LONG line at the train station and use the conveniently located self-service machine. We were able to catch the next train out to Grindelwald. We found where the gondola station was and bought tickets up to "The First". The boys were very happy to take the gondola ride up and the view on the way up was already impressive. A hike a few weeks earlier with an inopportune need for a bowel movement illustrated our children's reluctance to go au natural when nature calls. So, I tried to coax the boys into the bathroom before starting our hike.

The first bit of the hike coincided with cow pasture areas, which were delightful to look at, but the boys were less enthusiastic about the cow paddies we had to avoid. These are definitely city boys. Once past a gate enclosure protecting us from the cows and their paddies we continued on the way. As seems to be our custom, by the time we arrived at the beginning of our hike it was time for lunch. We found a nice spot with some rocks to sit upon and enjoy our picnic lunch where I took the photo for this post. This is also where the nice warm temperature decided to plummet and the wind definitely picked up.

An impromptu photo op had me turning in the alpine field and starting to sing "The hills are alive..." Then I saw another stretch of hikers approaching and decided that the hills were NOT that alive for me to be singing about it in front of other people, the moment had passed.

Bravely we marched onwards and were just about to turn towards our lake destination when I heard a small voice cry "I have to go caca". Ugh. We were above the treeline. I searched for some bushes to crouch behind...nothing. And the wind was picking up, and the clouds were rolling in. A passing gentleman informed us that we still had quite a way to go before reaching the lake (it was supposed to be an hour walk, without kids). We turned around and started hiking back to the gondola station. Of course once were were back within reach of toilets the moment had passed for Michael too.

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