Thursday, March 18, 2010
Actually in Villars...
The Swiss Alps are even more beautiful than I imagined. The farthest I have ventured outside the US for a ski trip was in Banff, Canada back in 4th grade and I hate to say it, but these views kicked both Canada the Rocky Mountains’ butt. The first ride up the mountain in the gondola was unbelievable. I just sat there and stared out the window in awe while the other people in our gondola chatted in French. With my obnoxiously large sunglasses and Jordan’s backwards baseball hat and oversized headphones (strictly to keep his ears warm of course) we stuck out like two American sore thumbs. Since most Europeans assume American’s aren’t up to par on second languages, which most of us aren’t, our French-speaking gondola mates were making fun of Jordan’s headphones while we were sitting right there. He was obviously looking way too American for them to think that he would understand everything they said perfectly.
Once we got to the top of the mountain and left the French men behind, we had to stop to take pictures before enjoying the skiing itself. We could not have asked for better weather the entire time we were there. I didn’t get cold or break a sweat once and there also wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. These conditions made for excellent skiing as well as photography. Jordan’s camera is much better than mine (and both breakproof and waterproof) so this picture and any other ones you may see from this trip are stolen from him. He also was able to capture my one big wipeout of the trip on video which can be seen on facebook. I never did thank him for whitewashing me while lying down in defeat. Thanks.
Switzerland overall was absolutely amazing. The only downfall was that it was outrageously expensive. The guy in front of me in line at lunch had a small “salad” aka plate of lettuce, a bowl of pasta, and a coke and spent 45 Swiss francs which are roughly equivalent to American dollars. I stuck to a bowl of mediocre soup and a hunk of bread both days and paid 10 francs each time. Ugh. We also went out to dinner both nights so I had to order the typical Swiss food. This meant that the first night I had a crepe with tomato, onion, cheese, and an extremely runny fried egg on top which was eh. The second night we got cheese fondue which was literally just cheese and bread, split a crème brulee for dessert and half bottle of wine and spent 75 francs. Factor that on top of the outrageously expensive hotel, lift tickets, equipment rentals (including snowpants-best decision of my life because otherwise I would have been wearing my long raincoat over a pair of sweatpants), car rental and gas, and let’s just say I owe a big thanks to my dad for making this trip my birthday present!
The drive home was really fun for Jordan. We were going through stop and go traffic for about 2 hours through mountains while I dozed off. After driving for around 9 hours, we finally got home just after midnight and I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow. I feel like I still haven’t caught up on sleep since I had a paper due and about half of the kids on my program turned 21 this week. Except my roommate, Michelle. She turned 22 or as I am going to start referring to it as it happens to my friends and I, her second 21st birthday. Tomorrow, I’m off to Venice with AIFS. I’ll tell you how this Gondola ride is and hopefully they aren’t Italians talking behind our backs, or rather in front of our faces on this one.
P.S. Domani e la festa della papa in Italia. Auguri papa! Baci!