Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Room with a View

Often you'll see chalets like this with down comforters draped on the windowsill to air out. Just imagine what the night sky must look like from one of those windows! Around back, you'll find livestock including pigs, sheep, and yes- those wonderful Swiss cows!

On the Way to Eggli

This picture was taken in the Rougemont area of Switzerland in September of 2005, near the border with France. It started with a gondola ride to the top of Mt. Rubli, where the vistas were just superb.

On this day trip to Eggli, our day packs included small loaves of pain rustique (whole grain bread), some cheese (both in a zip lock), a bottle of apple juice, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, sunscreen, hat, raingear, camera, passport and Swiss currency.

We returned that night to a feast of raclette and fondue at the Hotel Valrose in Rougemont. C'est si bon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

So, what do the trails look like?

This picture, taken in July 2006, shows a typical hiking trail in Switzerland. Well, OK, the trails DO go up and down, too, which adds to the fun. Trails throughout Switzerland are very well maintained and well marked. The Swiss, being...well... Swiss keep everything in order, including their trails.

As you're walking the trails, be sure to leave gates as you found them (open or closed) and let the person behind you know. We don't want cows, sheep, pigs or goats getting loose!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Your Fearless Leader, Fred Kollmann... the tall one, on the right, 1050 feet above Oeschinensee, in the Bernese Oberland, in 2007. Along with Fred, his sister Alice, and Alice's son, Michael will be helping out with the tour. Fred is newly retired after 30 years with USDA/NRCS, and is consulting with Ducks Unlimited in Morris, Minnesota. He's finding Western Minnesota's constant wind a challenge in his biking routine!

What To Wear??

Here we have a picture of an Old Frau in front of the Jungfrau (and the Munch and the Eiger) in July 2007, wearing proper attire for the occasion: hiking pants that zip into shorts, wash and wear top, well worn hiking boots, sunglasses, sunscreen. Scarf is optional, but nice to have. Daypack, not shown, has a bottle of water, a cheese sandwich in a ziplock, a passport, a Swiss Pass (train pass), more sunscreen, a camera, lightweight fleece shirt and a hat.

Oh yes- a small coinpurse, too! Swiss currency includes ALOT of coins, so bring a small coinpurse along.

On the Hoher Kasten Trail, 2006

This year, we'll return to the Appenzell Region, noted for its rolling countryside, pre-Alpine peaks, as well as delicious Appenzell cheese, local crafts, costumes and music. This picture was taken along the Hoher Kasten Trail, in 2006.

Getting Ready for the trip...

It's now only a couple of weeks before the group heads out for our big Swiss Adventure! This will be tour #4 for me, and I can't wait to get back on the alpine trails once more; smell that wonderful morning coffee; enjoy muesli and yogurt for breakfast; and yes-!, those wonderful, two hour long, evening dinners... Did I mention the chocolate? The wine? The cheese? The cow bells in the valley?

Food, hikes, good company. What fun!

Last year, I found it fairly easy to find internet service so that I could continue to teach my online nutrition course from Switzerland. This year, I'll go one step further, and try blogging. I won't have the nutrition class to worry about this time, so I can put all my effort into this Swiss Tour blog.

When it comes to packing for the trip, it's good to keep it simple. I start with a suitcase on wheels that measures approximately 22"x14"x10" deep. Dennis does a great job of listing the essentials; follow his guidelines closely! As Dennis mentions, DON'T overpack. I'd add a ziplock bag (not a box:) to the list, in case you find something that calls for one (like... chocolate?!) but nothing more. I'm always tempted to bring a small stash of peanut butter, because it's hard to find in Switzerland, but I'll be fine without it. Oh, a light pair of shoes for dinner, too; you won't want to wear hiking boots to the table.