Thursday, October 30, 2008

Viva Europa: Alps hiking

When the chick from “Sound of Music” sings about the hills being alive, she must have been looking at some other “hills” than we were because these things were HUGE! Way bigger than any “hill” I’ve seen! On our Alp hiking day, we left “home” before the sun came up (we even got to see the swans sleeping in the river!) and made the ten minute walk to the train station. We took a train to Lauterbrunnen, then a bus to Stechelberg, then finally a cable car up, up, up to a tiny town called Gimmelwald. The town had no cars, just wooden chalets with simple shingled roofs. It didn’t even have a grocery store. Just a simple life. But who needs anything beyond simplicity when you all the entertainment you could want is the panorama outside your front door? What a sight!

The snow-capped Alps jutted into the cloudless, blue sky while the other peaks, who lacked the altitude to receive snow just yet, lumbered below. The tall Alpine trees dusted the mountain face and seemed to be the only frame of reference to show just how big these mountains were. Truly breathtaking! We often found ourselves getting angry at our camera for not being able to accurately capture everything surrounding us. We could not, however, let our awe cease with what was in front of us but had to acknowledge the beauty and the creativity of the God who created it all. I once heard someone say that we don’t go to the Grand Canyon to feel good about ourselves but to be in awe of true beauty entirely external from self. As we sat in admiration of it all, we couldn't help but to glory in the source of true beauty: the God who created it.

Though the morning temperatures required my five shirts and three pairs of pants, the layers came off quickly as the hiking began. We had intended to make a five hour hike to the summit called Schilthorn but ten minutes into the hike, we realized that it was going to be a LOT more work than either of us had bargained for. So we settled (but can you really “settle” for anything when hiking in the Alps?!?!) for a simpler hike to a few of the surrounding towns. Now that I've figured out how to load videos (a grand conquest in my technologically challenged pea brain), you'll be getting a whole lot more of them! Here is a video of my favorite thing in the Alps:


Shannon and Marcus said...

Swiss Miss, you should have given that Swiss-cheese making machine a big ol' Texas hug. I'm sure she would be your friend... and I would have loved to see video of that!

Rachel Erwin said...

Hey Becky! I read on here that yall are in VA now! Where are you? We live in Williamsburg.

Micah said...

Okay, that video was awesome. I was guffawing out loud for quite some time.