Guten morgen! As promised the
Switzerland anthem by Hannah Emma and Olivia: to the tune of "enchansia anthem" from Sophia the First - Hannah says you can google it if want!
From the green lush meadows to the tallest mountain peaks
from the dragons on the cliff tops to the sparkling water gleam
o Switzerland o Switzerland come here our humble call
o Switzerland o Switzerland a land for one and all"
So we all got off to a great start accept Aida who had fallen asleep yesterday afternoon and didn't wake up till this morning- after quite a tantrum Ronnie somehow managed to get her dressed and to breakfast. Our trip was beautiful but hysterical because Ronnie insisted on using the car GPS and google maps on the phone who were arguing with each other! Thank goodness we sided with google maps who got us there in 45 minutes including the traffic detour while the car GPS was still saying " please make a U - turn and drive back an hour" when we arrived!
When we arrived at the base of Titlis mountain we started our first of many climbs to the top in a 45 minute small gondola. The ride was gorgeous with lush green pasture and of course cows ringing their bells. Next stop was another gondola, this time a crowded one filled with Asian and Indian tourists with no understanding of personal space which made us all claustrophobic and nauseous- especially Aida who still hadn't recovered from the morning and was dizzy from the altitude- have no fear the spinning 360 degree gondola was next! We crowded on to that next and tried to enjoy the beautiful view but were distracted by the overbearing Asians and the moving floor!
At long last the journey was done and we collected ourselves at the top of the mountain where we put on 2 more layers of sweatshirts and jackets and watched Emma and Olivia get their faces painted at the ice festival which happened to be today ( a one day only event at the top of the mountain which thank goodness made the kids and Ronnie's tickets free and Teta and I half price at 50$- otherwise the day would have cost us over 500!) we walked out to the beautiful view and started making our way towards the Titlus cliff walk and ice- flyer chairlift. The snow was wet and slushie and everyone's feet got wet and frozen. It was windy and freezing and we walked/ ran across the shakey bridge called the cliff walk the highest bridge in Switzerland at 3041 meter altitude and just beneath it is a 500 meter drop. The view was what else but spectacular!
Next we convinced Teta to come on the ice flyer chairlift over a glacier which I have to admit was kind of scary without wearing skis and other gear- she was very brave and we all got off to go on the tubing hill- we got to choose from snow tubes and three different types of sleds called shlitlepist, shlupsee and dodendorph or something like that! ( those are our made up names for now until I get back to the hotel and check the brochure.) In any case they were three different types of sleds that looked like lots of fun. Addendum- the names are balancers, snake glisses and zipfelbobs) Hannah Emma Olivia and I attached four together to make a train down the mountain but got stuck In the middle. After pulling them back up we took the ice chair back and met Ronnie at the beginning.
Next we took an icy walk through the glacier 50 meters below the surface in a gorgeous dark and cold with ice carvings on the wall.
Now here is where it gets good- to go back down the rotair rotating gondola and as a matter of fact to get into all the lifts of the day there were turnstiles which we each had to walk through. As brilliant as my husband is, and he is in many ways, he chose to do something completely idiotic as jido would say and go through the turnstile forgetting he is in a wheelchair for some reason getting completely stuck in the turnstile- please reference the pictures from today's album to enjoy for yourself. After a few minutes of maneuvering by taking off his wheels and lifting his legs in ways even I've never seen before he squeezed through and made it into the gondola. Next stop was a quick pizza lunch in the middle of the mountain with kosher cheese that Ronnie had checked on a month ago made from the local monastery in Engelberg. The pizza was a normal price but the water was 18$ a bottle!!!! We grabbed some free chocolates from a new chocolate store that just opened and got on the next gondola down to lake trübsee ( see means lake in Swiss German). It was a gorgeous paradise on the middle of the lush green Swiss Alps with what else but sounds of cow bells in the background. We took another steep walk down to the lake and walked around it taking pictures and playing in the rushing stream melting from the top of the mountain. The girls stopped to play on another playground and we rushed to the last gondola down Mt. Titlus to start our afternoon adventure on Mt. Brunee. We stripped off our layers and after another parking lot exit fiasco trying to figure out where to pay we decided to make a quick stop at the monastery/ cheese factory to learn about how they make cheese since the 1700's and traded it with Italians for silk. We bought some kosher cheese and bread and got back In the car to Mt. Brünee.
Let's call this next section " Ronnie asking-can I get through there? I think I can do that..." You'll soon see what I mean... The bottom of Mt. Brünee was beautiful and warm and the gondola up was brand new, huge and gorgeous with what sounded like Nordic music playing on the speakers. When we got to the top the next step was taking a chairlift up to the "tickle trail" when Ronnie asked " can I get on that chair?" He ran ahead to find out and after a short conversation in German with the chairlift operator ( one sided of course) he hopped on the chairlift and held his chair next to him hoping he understood the German directions. Again reference today's photo album.
The tickle trail was a blast. We took off our sneakers and walked around a lake through different surfaces massaging our feet as we walked. We walked on everything from small pointy rocks to wood logs to large smooth rocks, pine ones, in cold water to our knees and warm mud to our knees. Teta yelled most of the way "how can this be healthy?! The next step is walking in cow poop!" Emma squealed with glee the whole way and did it twice while Olivia avoided the mud completely. If you had to picture the most cliche scene of the Swiss alps you should imagine the blond Naked Swiss children walking the trail behind us with the wild flowers and Swiss flag waving in the wind with the snow capped Swiss Alps all around us.
Again came Ronnie's question" can I do that?" When we had the option to take the chair lift down or walk down to the next gondola station. Of course Ronnie convinced us all that he had a long conversation with another chairlift operator about the hike down who assured him the path was paved and easy and strollers do it all the time. The only difficult part was at the very top where the first few feet were rocky and steep and the rest was straight and paved. After about 20 difficult minutes of me holding Ronnie from the back on the steep rocks so he wouldn't roll down the mountain we started questioning Ronnie's conversation again. Ronnie revealed that he did speak to the chairlift operator for a while but it was in German and then somehow turned into a poor Spanish by the operator and then back to German. Again Ronnie assured us that it was definitely only a 25 minute walk and the paved part would be coming up soon. Did I forget to mention that we were surrounded by electric wires designed to keep the cows off the trail that all of us accidentally touched and got shocked by on the rocky steep way down? After another 15 minutes And the girls and Teta getting antsy and naggy Ronnie revealed that it was really a 45 minute walk and again assured us the paved part would begin soon. We finally got to the paved part and walked another 30 minutes to the gondola. We stopped there so the kids could play in another park with a great trampoline and made the last gondola down of the day at 6:00.