A Hop, Skip and a Jump Across the Pond + PHOTOS

A Hop, Skip and a Jump Across the Pond + PHOTOS

So here I sit on the porch of our little hotel in Gsteig, Switzerland in the Gstaad alpine regions of southwestern Switzerland with the sun shining. It’s rough.

Sunset the first night.

First impressions so far:

  • There are no SUVs in Europe. Everyone has a relatively small car and seems to get on fine with that. I like that. Also, 80% of the cars I saw on the drive from Munich to Gsteig, Switzerland were Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen or Skoda. Even the taxi and buses are Mercedes.
  • The scenery from Munich to Switzerland was nothing extraordinary…it reminded me much of the East Coast, passing town after town, cities, traffic, etc.
  • The food is tasty and real (and I am told that it will get better in Italy). Cheese, chocolate, bread, croissants, yes please.
  • This is the first time I have ever travelled somewhere where I don’t speak the language…it’s a strange experience. It makes me want to learn more languages again.
  • The architecture in Switzerland is beautiful. The Swiss chalet style is prevalent where we are…Not really surprising given that we are in the Swiss Alps and apparently also in one of the most well-known alpine skiing valleys in Europe.
  • People like to walk. Which is pretty cool. I saw tons of people just strolling through fields and there were trails everywhere.
  • Roads through the Alps are narrow, windy and more nerve-wracking than anything I have ever driven in the US. I’m glad I wasn’t driving.
  • Things are freaking expensive.
  • Gas stations make you pay to use the bathroom! Granted you get a refund if you buy something, but still! 50 euro cents to get in? Absurd.

The trip over was long, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Leaving on a red-eye from Anchorage is always tough because you lose a night of sleep. I was upgraded to first class for the flight from Anchorage to Seattle, so I at least got to be more comfortable in my fitful plane-sleep. Then from D.C. to Munich (8-hour flight) I had my own row so I was able to lay down and sleep a bit. I got all my bags accounted for (which can’t be said for a couple people) and then we were in the vans for the 6-hour drive to our place in Switzerland. I managed not to nap, then slept hard all night. It is still a bit bizarre because my body clock is off but the adjustment is easier than I thought.

It’s been a balmy 4-8º…CELSIUS (40-45ºF). We are about 3km up-valley from the race venue, but there is a ski trail across the street from our hotel that runs down the valley to the venue and beyond. It is a pretty sweet ski, super relaxed, and we just enjoyed ourselves. I’ll let the pictures speak more.

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2 thoughts on “A Hop, Skip and a Jump Across the Pond + PHOTOS

  1. Gstaad is pretty hoity-toity (or however you spell that). The food in Italy will blow you away, although the accommodations probably won’t. Get the Nutella – it’s different. Bathrooms in France used to make you pump in francs to keep the door closed, and that was on top of making you pay for toilet paper. Who says the East Coast isn’t anything special?

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