Tuesday, May 8, 2012

David and Gayle Hicks Visit Switzerland

Laurie's sister Gayle and her husband David Hicks are taking the Grand Tour of Europe this Spring having spent a few days in Venice before arriving in Interlaken, Switzerland late Sunday night. I joined them early Monday morning for two great days of sightseeing and catching up on the news from California before they continued on Wednesday morning for Bavaria's "Romantic Road."

 Laurie's trip to Thun draws ever closer 

The City of Interlaken Flag 

We met at the Hotel Du Lac where they are staying and after some coffee, we started to tour the streets of Interlaken.

Gayle and David at the Japanese Garden 

Digging through their backpack 

It turns out that they were missing a few supplies but Interlaken is a full service town.


Gayle loves gardening so
she was in Hog Heaven 

No David, Not Real 

Power Cleans, my favorite exercise 

Interlaken's Park 

After walking from one end of Interlaken to the other, we decided to go for a hike in the Alps.

The Swiss Train System's FlexiPass is WUNDERBAR! 

It allowed them onto all of the busses, gondolas and trains we boarded for the last two days at no additional cost. I need to get one for Laurie.

From Interlaken, we took the train to Lauterbrunnen and its beautiful valley.

The impressive waterfall over Lauterbrunnen 

Cows near the Lauterbrunnen Bahnhof

One of Gayle's goals was to see Swiss cows in a pasture wearing cow bells.


Cog Wheel Train to Wengen

We were going to Wengen to then take a gondola ride up to Männlichen to start a 2.5 mile, downhill hike to Kleine Scheidegg offering majestic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.

Once in Wengen we ran into Thun Tiger defensive lineman Daniel Binder who works in this gorgeous Alpine village. He informed us that the gondola ride to Männlichen would not open for another week.

Time for Plan B.

The view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley
from Wengen

No altitude sickness for
these two hearty travelers

Just like home 

A Patagonia store in Wengen, who would have thought?

Still Not Real 

 Interesting but no

Gayle claims that both she and
Laurie like red shutters 

I didn't know that.

Laurie can be so mysterious at times.

A little picnic in Wengen was a good idea

The "Smiley-Face" cookies were a nice touch.


Hey, that kind of looks like Tim Hicks 

Plan B was now fully in motion. We had taken the cog wheel train back down to Lauterbrunnen, boarded a bus and after being emboldened by Gayle's assurances that gondolas are perfectly safe modes of transportation, we headed up to Gimmelwald.

The Alpine view from the Gimmelwald

Suddenly, out of nowhere,
 a mad chicken attacked us! 

David just kept on hiking 

If you lived in quiet Gimmelwald,
this would be the view out of your window 

A BIG financial investment here 

Not Real 

A delightful gardener 

Gayle struck up a nice conversation with this wonderful young lady who was sowing her garden. Even I enjoyed listening to them discuss proper Alpine gardening techniques and how the weather in this neck of the woods influences the growing cycle.

Rural Living at its finest

How old is this barn door? 

We took one more gondola a bit higher up the mountain to the village of Mürren but it was very quiet there so we just had a beer and then retraced our steps to Interlaken.

Hey, that's me!

Pictures of me are purposely rare on this blog as I am still in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

What is that behind me you ask?

My new Dream Car!!! 

Forget the bulky Smart Car, this is the car that I want when I return home to Camarillo.

It must be bigger than it looks because David and Gayle's hotel uses it to pick up clients and their luggage at the train station nearby.

We ended Monday with a great dinner at Des Alps restaurant in Interlaken featuring Rösti and Fondue, two excellent Swiss signature meals.

The mango-passion fruit gelato was nice too.

By the time I got home it was late and I was exhausted by what was a very fun day with two great people.

Round Two of the Hicks' visit would take place in Thun on Tuesday starting with a tour of the city.

Fisherman near the Bahnhof

A very nice boat on the Thunersee

Bright flowers . . .

At Schloss Schadau 

In the background, the Eiger, the Mönch, the Jungfrau and Lake Thun.

By the lakeside walls of Schloss Schadau

By this time we had made the big loop from the Thun Bahnhof through the main parts of downtown Thun and down to this very beautiful schloss.

It was time for sustenance.

I think I know what Vanessa would have ordered

We shared an apple strudel and an
apple cake with our tea and coffees

On the couch in Helvetica

We were all dragging a bit by late afternoon so we opted to board the bus to Helvetica to take a break before dinner.

After about a 90 minute timeout, we started walking down the hill into town again.

Gayle loves her flowers

A couple, a garden and a castle

Dinner at the Iberian Restaurant in Thun

This interesting restaurant is right next to the Marktgasse bus stop where I have waited many a time for the #31 or #32 bus to whisk me up the hill to Helvetica. I have from time to time peered in the windows to see people enjoying what seemed like fine dining.

Today I was a customer!

We decided on a three way splitting of an order of Rösti and yet another Swiss cheese delicacy, Raclette. We were not disappointed!

After this fine early dinner we started our walk back to the Thun Bahnhof but came across Tulpenrallye that ended in Thun's Rathausplatz. The Tulpenraylle features old cars racing about the countryside.

Lots of vintage cars were entered in the Tulpenrallye

I liked this yellow Austin-Healy.

They're off!

Two fun days were now over as David and Gayle boarded the train back to Interlaken, thanks for a great visit!

They will be on there way via train to Germany tomorrow and I will be working hard on breaking down film of both our game with Basel last Sunday and film of next Sunday's opponent at home, the Geneva Seahawks.

Time to right the ship, see all of you Tigers at practice Wednesday night ready to work hard and improve.


David said...

I think you misunderstood about that car. They don't use it to pick up luggage. It IS luggage.

Trine The Trickster said...

Looks pretty awesome.
Guess which photo reminds me of the one of me, leaving a certain motel in Spain...