Monday, June 10, 2013
The next morning we had a traditional Swiss feast of good bread, cheese, and a soft boiled egg.After some delightful conversation, we began our trip to Herisau. This was a fairly flat day weaving in and out of forest trails up to the town. our host famiky, the Hausers welcomed us to join them at a local music event, which turned out to be several bands including a highschool pep band! We were surprised to hear them start to play Gangnam style, which was very intetesting.
After another wonderful breakfast the next morning, we began our trio to Wattwill. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. That day we climbed and climbed, reaching 1094m at Sitz, a ski lift followed our path. Only then did we go down and then back up and down again and up. Everywhere we looked was an amazing panorama of rolling green hills covered in yellow and purple flowers. Houses dotted the open stretches of hillside and cow bells were ringing in the air. We made a wrong turn at one pt, adding 1.5mi to our trip. Once back on the trail, we walked through the small town of St.Peterzell and up a crossing to descend a steep slope into Wattwill. After 18 mi, we were ready for bed. Unfortunately, we couldn't find where we were staying and ended up being turned around by poor directions for an hour until finally someone offered to drive us there. When we get to the house, however, the family wasn't there! After much help from a friendly neighbor, we found a place to sleep in another house. The women greeted us with a homemade flower extract drink made from the elder bush that was absolutely amazing. She said it was her first opportunity to speak English because she had only read it before. While the day was exhausting, it ended on a highnote.
Our trip to Rapperswill was another18 mi day, but a little more manageable. There was a steep climb to get out if the city, but after that it was "flat"(at least for the Swiss). We came into the city with a beautiful sweeping view overlooking Lake Zurich.
Today we made our way to Einsiendeln ( about ten miles). We had a very steep climb out of the city (I think there is a trend forming here), followed by sloping meadows and a "plateau" which brought us to Lake Sihl. From there we made our descent into Eisiendeln, with the large kloster (abbey) looming on the side of a hill.
After only five days on the trail, I've picked up a few things: dehydration can make you do funny things, no matter how much moleskin you wear you will get blisters, I never want to rake hay along the hills these people have (absolutely crazy), its perfectly normal to walk into someones house to ask for water, and there is a littl old lady somewhere between herisau and wattwill who is the nicest woman ever ( she just kept chatting away in German, just happy to talk to someone even if we had no idea what she was saying).
In the next few days we will sleep in straw in Brunnen, then make our way to Stans and Flueli Ranft. It has been quite the experience so far!!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The hills are definitely alive with the sound of music in Salzburg! I don't have too much time so ill give a brief update on my Austrian adventures. The first two days were rainy and cloudy, but still turned out quite well! My dad and I walked along the cliff of Monchsberg to the fortress of Salzburg. We finished our first night at a beer hall, stuffing our faces with a smorgasboard of Austrian cuisine. We spent the next few days walking along the river, up kapuzinerberg, into a modern museum of art, eating sachertorte, watching the sunset from a roof bar and enjoying the city of Salzburg. Tomorrow we head to Switzerland via train!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I had a great time in Ireland, the land of fifty shades of green as my friend called it. I explored the city of Dublin: up and down the side of the river, past Molly Malone, through numerous parks, and into the Temple bar. I spent an evening at the merry ploughboy "having a crack" and "bantering" as well as listening to some good ol' Irish music. I spent a day exploring Malahide castle, deciding of course that one day I am going to have a great party in an Irish castle. I also ventured into the Wicklow mountains to see Glendalough. There is a lake centered in the valley of the mountans, covered in green, a beautiful spot! Now I am off to the city of Salzburg, Austria!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Saturday, November 12, 2011
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
- Raglan-- We took a weekend trip to the west coast, a little south of Auckland. Raglan is a small town known for its black sand beaches and surf spots. My friends all had long boards and I was borrowing a short board from my friend. It took me two days to barely get up on it until I caved and tried the long board, which was much easier. After a long day battling the waves and getting tossed into the sand, we went to THE pub in town and watched some rugby. Unfortunately, Ireland lost to wales :(
- Waiheke Island-- went to some wineries, walked along beaches, and explored underground tunnels from World War I
- Coromandel Peninsula--- We hiked the Pinnacles in one day, camped that night, and headed to Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach the next day. The view from the top was sweet as--you could see rolling hills on one side, and the ocean on the other. At the Hot Water Beach, we dug ourselves a hot-tub in the sand and water from the thermal vents poured in.
- My parents were here for two weeks. We tasted kiwi dishes, visited Motuihe Island, and my dad and I tramped through Mordor (Tongariro Crossing).
Saturday, September 24, 2011
On a different note, yesterday I went canyoning about forty minutes outside of Auckland in the Waitakere ranges. Our program coordinator from Australearn took about ten of us out there on the trip, so it wasn't commercially done. We were "just a bunch of friends having a good time"...in case the warden asked. We hiked about 40 minutes up a trail in our wet suits--we got some pretty funny looks. We walked down the river for a bit, occasionally reaching points chest deep (we had been warned of eels, but no worries, we didn't see one....until the end). At one point, Gavin, our coordinator, dug out some brush underwater, creating a tunnel we could swim through. Obstacle one, check. We slid down rock slides and jumped off several ledges. The tallest jump was about 10 metres. You couldn't see the jump until it was your turn and you walked up to the ledge--- I looked down, looked at Gavin said "Are you serious?", he nodded, and so I took the plunge. Not only did we just jump off a massive ledge, but we landed in a canyon. We had begun our descent underground. We stopped and ate Mars Bars, a local favourite, and tried to keep from freezing, as Gavin set up the abseil. We then repelled down a waterfall, water rushing in our faces as we went down the slippery rocks. Now, completely underground, we took one last leap off a log protruding out over a ledge. It was a pretty sweet day--although very cold!
While we were driving back to Auckland, Gavin said " You guys are pretty much domesticated now after two months-- regular bunch of kiwis." I have come to understand and love this kiwi life-style. Where else in the world do you go swim down a river on a Saturday with a bunch of friends just cause you can?
|About to abseil down the waterfall|