Sunday, March 4, 2007

Engelberg from the merry side

I just came home from my “ski trip” to Engelberg and in a matter of hours I am going back to the Arlanda airport for a long-haul trip to the US, but that will be the topic for another blog post.
I almost gave up on the idea of skiing in the Swiss Alps and went to the bar Yucatán in Engelberg to drown my sorrows on Thursday night. I had a couple of beers and watched the good-looking bartender make drinks for an increasingly festive crowd. Then I sat talking for a while with the son of the man running Engelberg’s horse and carriage business, who also told me about his brother’s adventures as a blacksmith, competing in the Swiss national horse-shoeing team – imagine that there are competitions for such a thing; I thought that this trade was almost extinct.

I ended up partying the whole night with some Norwegians and Danes.

In true Scandinavian Viking spirit we called upon the old Asa gods to bring us some snow – and lo and behold! – when the bar closed at 3:00 am and we had to leave, it was snowing heavily! I can’t begin to describe how utterly happy I felt in that moment! I was humming and smiling all the way back to the apartment.

Although my skiing sucked the day after – the first few runs each winter are always a little stiff before I get into it – the snow was wonderful! I took the Titlis Rotair lift up, crossed Trübsee over to Jochpass and skied there the whole afternoon. So I got one wonderful day of skiing, then it rained again…



After ski and parties
After ski is a given on any ski trip, and the Chalet at the bottom of the Titlis – Trübsee lift is a good place to go for some fun after skiing. It’s usually packed with people from different countries, and Friday and Saturday were no exceptions. On Saturday they had a cover band playing so the place rocked. People were dancing on the tables and the wooden benches in their ski boots and sang along to familiar hits from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

I made friends with some Germans who worked for a transportation company and were in Engelberg on a company trip. We later went for dinner and Kloster-Bier at Yucatán and sat talking for a couple of hours while the place got absolutely jam-packed.

Wolfgang, Roman, George, Tommy and I at after ski

Left: Tommy, Anja and I at Yucatán
Right: Wolfgang with Kloster-Bier

There were two bands playing at Yucatán last night, so all the young and crazy snowboarders as well as older ski tourists were there partying. The Germans and I were seated in an outer bar room so we didn’t quite notice the state of the other guests until much later. I had a good time talking to various people until I decided to check out the bigger bar area where the bands were playing. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen people so incredibly drunk! I was dancing for no more than two songs when I noticed two male guests engaged in sexual activity right there on the dance floor. The party had hit a low-mark (!) and I decided it was time to leave.

Perfect weather when leaving Engelberg
Today I cleaned the apartment and packed my gear to leave Engelberg. Of course the sun was shining and there was not a cloud on the sky! A beautiful day, the first sunny one all week, and I had to leave! How typical!

Below you’ll find a few photos from Engelberg in all its sunny glory.

Beautiful Luzern
The cute, small, red, two-wagon Zentralbahn train took me from Engelberg to Luzern in an hour and I watched the beautiful landscape pass by. The scenery was quite breathtaking with mountain cottages and green hill sides against a backdrop of snowy Alp tops. I couldn’t help but thinking of the Sound of Music.

I spent 50 min in the sun by the lake in Luzern (see photos below) before I continued to the Zurich Flughafen with my connecting train. In the end I was wishing that I could have stayed a while longer in the Swiss Alps to enjoy the now much improved weather. I would imagine that it’s beautiful to go hiking in the Swiss Alps in summertime.


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