15. Vacation memories: hiking in the Alps – part 3

We took our kids from Toronto, Canada to Switzerland on vacation. This is our adventure.

This is a multi-part series. Scroll down to the end of this post for a list of the previous stories in chronological order.

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Part 1 of this hiking story is here.
Part 2 is here.

As we descended back to the closed restaurant where the nice man gave us drinks, we contemplated which loop we should do next. There was the trip we took 15+ years ago, pre-kids, that was lovely as far as I remembered so we decided to do that one again.

I did worry about us not wearing proper shoes though. We had running shoes on, not hikers. We didn’t really go out and buy hikers just for this trip knowing no one will wear them again once we return back to Canada (where the kids play sports and wear runners, or cleats (or skates, hah). Our financial situation isn’t exactly a bottomless pit… πŸ™„

It was fine, mostly, but using the walking sticks helped. The girl has a good eye for that job – she found size-appropriate sticks for everyone in the family.

Anyway. We started following the trail.

Did you know people still live up on the mountains in the old stone-built houses? They’re modernized now, inside mostly, and you can see the satellite dishes and cell towers everywhere. It was incredibly picturesque so naturally, I stopped to snap photos.

There was quite a bit of complaining. Both kids were tired, or sore, or hungry or something or other…it got a bit annoying. Their dad told them to suck it up a couple of times and I just took my time, stopped to take in the sights, take pictures, reflected.

After a while, everyone got their rhythm. You know, I kept thinking, these kids and their endless need to snack on something is ridiculous. When I was a child, we ate at mealtimes, which was breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was no endless snacking on junk or whatever…if we really were hungry, someone handed us an apple.

My kids?

OMG.

I admit I lagged behind a bit, mostly because it was really hot and sticky and I didn’t want to rush and end up fainting of heat stroke or something. The little villages we passed were so adorable I often stopped for minutes at a time to reflect how these people who live here can live like this. How they have to make do with what they have because the option to run to a convenience store for some desired item isn’t available to them. I mean, they basically would have to descend the entire mountain on foot if the cable car wasn’t running…

Did the kids consider any of this while they were worrying about their lack of burgers, fries, chips or other junk?

Perhaps documenting my thoughts here for all of you has a dual benefit – maybe one day they will show an interest in my blog and read it, and reflect in the way I was hoping they would on this actual trip.

Or maybe it’s just a kid thing, a teen thing. We lead such a different lifestyle back at home…

After a while, I noticed that my teenager would return and come up the trail to meet me.

Why was he doing that? Is he still worried about being caught among people who do not speak English?

He has been a little bit shy about not knowing any of the languages people speak in this land. I’m not sure if he’s impressed with my abilities, although I have to admit that spending a few days in the Italian part of the country has brought back my skills in ways that surprised me. I was not only able to make myself understood, I was also able to draw parallels to the French language which both my kids are semi-fluent in (or getting to that point).

I did note that especially my boy started to use the apps to learn some of the Italian expressions. I was happy to see that…he’s slowly warming up to being in a foreign country.

“That’s so nice of you to wait for me around every switchback,” I told him and he smiled, then waved for me to keep walking.

“Dad said it’s not far till the next one,” he said and then gave me a knowing look. He knows how I feel about the ‘it’s not far‘ expression… πŸ˜¬πŸ˜‰

Don’t worry dear readers, I wasn’t looking for rocks to throw at anyone’s head. 😜

ANYWAY.

We continued on when I suddenly heard the girl child’s squeaky voice:

“He’s only waiting for you because daddy told him to!” she yelled.

Sigh.

Whatever.

At several points along the way we came across the little fountains where we could refresh with ice-cold water.

I even noticed animal poop on some of the trails…they must have had goats or sheep up here (it wasn’t cow poop) earlier; it looked quite fresh. πŸ™‚

As we continued our descent we saw some clouds roll in. There was a shift in the air as well, and soon, there were a few scattered rain drops. Luckily at the time we were walking though a forested area, so we didn’t get very wet. It was still hot and humid, so it didn’t really matter. In fact, it felt kind of like a bit of a shower…

Suddenly we heard thunder and saw lightning.

Ugh.

We stayed away from the clearings when we saw the ancient little chapel we visited years ago with my BIL and SIL. Actually it’s a church…an ancient beautiful church.

It was not a ruin anymore, they had remodelled it and although it was closed, there were enough places that sheltered us while we waited out the passing rain storm.

To be continued…

***

  1. Vacation memories: travel day – part 1
  2. Vacation memories: travel day – part 2
  3. Vacation memories: from flight attendant to passenger 20 years later
  4. Vacation memories: arrival in Zurich
  5. Vacation memories: exhaustion and a trip down memory lane – part 1
  6. Vacation memories: exhaustion and a trip down memory lane part 2
  7. Vacation memories: exhaustion and a trip down memory lane part 3

7.1Vacation side note: what is wrong with me?
8. Vacation memories: Swiss train adventures

8.1 Vacation memories: after arrival in the village
9. Vacation side note: writing surrounded by beauty
10. Vacation memories: Bellinzona – part 1
11. Vacation memories: Bellinzona – part 2
12. Vacation memories: river
13. Vacation memories: hiking in the Alps – part 1
14. Vacation memories: hiking in the Alps – part 2

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