Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday - Another day out, this time by bus

Friday was another one of our offsite days. Once again, we were taken to another place by bus. So after breakfast, we gathered and then had to load the bus quickly. We saw the bus arriving as we were walking down the hill and so we had to run quickly down the hill because once it stopped, it could only sit for 2 minutes. You would not believe how narrow these roads are here in the mountains. No wonder they drive very small cars, vans, etc... here. Nothing big could fit on the roads, plus all of the people that are hiking here.

Today was our day to go to Niessen first where we took a funicular railroad to the top of the mountain. The mountain was over 3200 meters high. It has over 11,600 steps next to it and they have an annual race to see how fast people can run them. The winner last year ran them in under an hour, AMAZING! It was cloudy, so we ran through the clouds on the way up. Once we were on the top, the clouds were moving and so we could only see different things below. We could see Lake Thun that we would be taking a boat over later to Thun. On the top of the mountain is a restaurant and hotel. A lot of the stuff is expensive in the restaurant, but the staff told us that the french fries (or would they be Swiss Fries here, Pomme Frites) were good and you get a bunch, so we split fries and had drinks (soda). Then we walked the rest of the way to the top of the mountain. It was cool to be on top of the clouds. It was like being in an airplane without the airplane and trying to put the view into words is difficult. I am not sure that even pictures will do it justice. We spent over an hour on the top and then took the railroad back down. The railroad has been there over 100 years and takes you up in 2 sections.

We we got down, we climbed on the bus and headed to Spiez. There we ate our lunch by Lake Thun. The water is so blue and beautiful. They call the lake and the area the Swiss Riviera. The houses around it are really nice. There was a good ice cream place nearby and so we had ice cream before we caught a boat to go across Lake Thun. We had two choices for today, either visit Old Thun Town or see a castle, Oberhaven Castle. We chose the castle. It was interesting. It was built to provide security for Thun. They have it furnished for the time period. There was one room of stained glass windows that were beautiful and told the family history. Another room that I liked was connected to the main house by a bridge and was a turret over the water. The last room I liked in the tower was a library that was a couple of floors high. I need one of each. After touring the house, we walked through the gardens. They were beautiful. They had several weddings while we were there. After a couple of hours at the castle we got back on the bus, picked up the people in Old Thun and headed back to Our Chalet.

Last night dinner was Beef Stroganoff and salad. For dessert we had berries and cream on meringues. It was really good.

Tonight, we had two choices again for the evening activity. One was to hike overnight up a high mountain and see the sun rise. We did not choose to do that activity. What we chose to do was to do the sunset hike to a waterfall. We could go up to the waterfall and stand on a rock under the falls. It was fun. We got really wet. It was hard coming back down from the falls because the rocks were really slippery. It was dark when we headed back and we used our flashlights to find our way. It was a great experience and we had fun.

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