"Poorly Planned... Badly Executed"

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

We've Become One of Them

Damn it, it’s happened… we’ve become ‘tourists’, Switzerland has corrupted us with its natural beauty and we paid money to see water fall… that’s right a waterfall. In our defence the waterfall was inside a mountain and you have to use their elaborate series of tunnels and elevators to see it. Still by paying we became ‘tourists’, and worse - tourists with ‘cameras’. Ok Eden so only I had a camera but you were there standing beside me so you were a ‘tourist’ too.

The horrible falling water that made us become the very thing we have tried so hard not to be is called Trummelbach falle and alone drains the mighty glacier defiles of Eiger (3970 m), Monk (4099 m), and Jungfrau (4158 m) carrying 20200 tons of boulder detritus per year. And yes I am reading straight from the pamphlet… bloody tourist.

The place is really dark and so I was very surprised to get any photos worth keeping, and even more shocked when some came out really good. Well your looking at them so judge for yourself… and enjoy. I think that I will put some more photos on facebook. To view them you will have to join and make me your ‘friend’. Sorry for the trouble but I can’t find a good free site that everybody can access. Let me know if you have.

So cheers to the Swiss for being so obsessed with tunnels that they even build a wee network so that ‘tourists’ like us could see some water fall inside a mountain. Oh yeah and as if the tunnels weren’t enough they even put in an elevator!! For the lazy tourists… like us.

If you ever plan to be in the area one day, keep Trummelbach in the back of your mind as a place to visit… that is if you can stomach the thought of being a dreaded ‘tourists… tschau

Monday, 28 May 2007

What’s with the Weather?!?

Just up the valley from Interlaken

For the first week here it has been consistently in the twenties through the day and not much colder at night. But then the weather gods decided that they should make up for the lack of snow last winter. The other morning we woke up to find the white stuff falling from the sky. And it wasn’t messing about either but the photos speak for themselves so I’ll leave it at that.

New season flowers... and snow???

The only thing I would like to add is that we now have more snow over here than you guys back in New Zealand

It's Time to Party

We have both now adjusted to this silly time daylight time shifting thingy they have over here… time zones aye. I reckon they should get rid of them all together but until they do I guess we’ll live with it. Anyhow now that we can stay up past two in the afternoon it is time to unleash ourselves on the general Swiss public. Although this is a tourist town so perhaps we can introduce more of the world to our drunken Kiwi antics, more the merrier.

Step one: Get invited to a party. Check… once again our friendly guide Fraenzi has got our backs. Cheers Fraenzi

Step two: Dress up! Check… this proved a little more difficult than in New Zealand. There are not really any ‘opportunity’ shops here so we had to rely on what we could scrounge. Still I think we did pretty well… and yes it is ‘tight like tiger’

Thee Eden Sinclair

That guy looking classy

Step three: Add alcohol: Check... for $10 (that’s $11 of your New Zealand rupees) you can buy a bottle Red Bull Vodka at 25% alcohol in any shop. And if you feel like going top shelf then a bottle of good whiskey goes for around $30 Swiss Franks. Booyah

Step four: Cause trouble Kiwi styles: Done and done… and I mean done!!

Sweet as everyone… Tschau

Friday, 25 May 2007

Bungee Bungee Bungee

Our friendly guide Fraenzi took us for a look at what she does when she is baby sitting tourists (something we have tried very hard to avoid being seen as). The company she works for runs a sweet bungee jump just twenty minutes drive from Interlaken. According to them it is the most beautiful bungee jump in the world, we just called it “sweet as”.

Our new buddy Biff was only to happy to throw us out of the gondola

The view down

Well we were only there for a look but before we knew it we were being weighed, harnessed, and thrown out of a gondola hanging 134 meters above a lake. Oh I didn’t mention before but gondolas are the other thing the Swiss like to build all over the place. A big thanks to the guys at Alpin Raft... "CHEERS FELLAS"

Eden doing his flying squirrel impression

It was my first time bungee jumping and it is hard to imagine a better setting. Now I see why people pay a shit load for a five second thrill. Over and out…

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Switzerland - Land of Crazy

We never originally planned to hang out in Switzerland so I never looked at what the place was like. Now having been here for a week I can safely say that the place is crazy compared to New Zealand. All the houses look the same, mountains don’t faze them at all and trains go everywhere. They love to build tunnels, even when there isn’t a hill… work that one out. Lots of times we have entered a tunnel and I couldn't actually see the hill. I reckon that the guy designing the road got bored… or maybe there is a law that every new road must have so many?!? The longest tunnel I’ve been through so far is about seven kilometres – don’t worry though you are not missing much.

The Swiss also seem to like to build things to prove to themselves that they can. One example of pointless construction here is a train leaving from Interlaken (the town that we’re staying in) which climbs above 3500 meters. As you can imagine we are talking about steep terrain here so the second half of the route is... you guessed it ... a tunnel. However for all that effort it doesn’t go anywhere except to the top of a mountain and I don’t even think that there is anything up there (if you don’t count the view). I guess they felt like a challenge.

Farming is totally different here. The farms are super small (where we are at least) and I’m pretty sure that our farming practices would take these guys to the cleaners but good on them for trying. We can’t all be great at raising sheep.

One thing that is not in question is how beautiful the mountains are here. They are easily comparable with the Southern Alps, not as jagged but still very steep and very cool.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

On Route To Norway

Well we certainly are more than a bit jaded but in one piece and hanging out in Switzerland for a while before carrying on to Norway. The trip here couldn’t have gone better as far as not being screwed over with excess luggage and the fact that we did not have a return ticket. For those who have travelled long distances you will know that spending 27 hours on 4 different planes almost continuously is about as far from fun as you can get but add that your not sure whether or not you will have to spend $1400 on a return ticket you would not use as well as potentially getting stung because you are trying to take an over-size/over-weight kayak with you really adds that little bit of extra hell to whole thing. My biggest fear was that at some point on route (say Auckland or LA) they were going to tell us that we couldn’t get on the plane without a return ticket but there would be no time to buy one!!! Turned out that in actual fact no one cared as long as we could show them we were leaving their country and then when we got to Zurich (Switzerland) the guy at the desk took one look at me, looked at the front page of my passport and said “have a good day” – didn’t even get so much as a stamp (a little disappointing). I though he might have asked me how long we were planning on staying for or why I was there for but apparent Switzerland don’t care. Turns Germany doesn’t care either… On the drive to our friends place we crossed into Germany and then back into Switzerland again. I woke up to find us at the boarder control checkpoint with the women waving us through. Apparently you don’t even have to be conscious to be allowed in to Germany!!

Chilling at Zurich airport

And luggage wise I must have been over by at least 10 kg and that is if you ignore my three pieces of carry on which weighed about 15 kg instead of the seven you are allowed but it didn’t even cost a bean. Even London’s great Heathrow airport didn’t mess with us despite being handed a golden opportunity – we had to change terminals. Well they had to go a make Heathrow big didn’t they… no problem for normal people but when catching a train is your only way of getting to the next terminal you can see the problem a kayak presents. We turned up at the train and both looked at each other with a sort of “we’re going to have to be cheeky to pull this off” grin. The reality... no cheek required. A guy working around the area took it as a personal challenge to get us to where we needed to be… 10mins latter we were sitting in the first class section of the train after storing our boats into a special cabin they normally wouldn’t let people use - Stoked!!!!

We that's us for now... Tschau