Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.
Sunday July 31, 2016
Wow. This place.
How can every weekend continue to get better and better?
This weekend definitely was magical as well.
Swiss Germany. Swiss Germans. Every one of them gets better and better! 🙂
The train station in Lucerne is gorgeously massive. Huge, tall, bustling. Lots of people clumped together giving last minute hugs and farewell wishes. Others running towards each other, ready to feel the comforting hug of a loved one after being away. And the colors of the sunset filtered through the massive windows, casting a beautiful pink, purple and orange blanket of color over everyone.
As soon as I stepped outside, my heart leapt in excitement. This was most definitely a “city”, compared to the villages I have been in and out of for the past month and a half. People were everywhere. The sunset was pouring its beautiful colored sky all over the river just on the other side of the road and the clouds were playing hide and seek with the buildings and trees.
Every once in awhile in life, you meet someone that you feel instantly at ease with…. My friend I met that night was one of these. We had been talking off and on when I first sent him a couchsurfing request over a month ago because I was sooooo excited to go to this beautiful city I had heard about. He was actually in MY neck of the woods when he replied first, the PNW, my heart home.. and I knew adventures were going to be had with this guy.
We passed the night sharing beers and exchanging stories and swapping our favorite on his balcony under the stars.
The next day he took me on a grand adventure, first weaving through the roads in his car. Through valleys with the most lusciously green soft grass, along the sides of mountains reaching high up into the clouds-some with soft snow capped tops and some with rocky, craggy peaks, among villages littered with quaint little Swiss German chalets, and around the most beautiful lakes in ever shade of blue and aquamarine, sparking in the sunlight, my heart bursting with happy, the sights around me taking my breath away at every turn.
We arrived and walked past some forests that had soft moss-covered stone and tall, thin trees… We ended up taking this crazy old tiny cable car suspended on a long, thin cable. I watched as it made its slow descent down from the lower ridge and adrenaline and excitement rushed through me as the tiny green capsule swing gently from side to side, so very high above everything. I loved it.
At the top… once again, lush green pastures carpeted the mountainside, the occasional rock bursting through the green, with pockets of wild, untamed flowers dotting the overgrown fields, and the sound of cowbells filled the air, reminding me of a classroom of kindergartners trying to keep in time with their little bells..
We hiked up and up and up, through little forests and valleys as we weaved our way up and up the view opened up more and more.. the beginning of the Swiss Alps. stretched far and wide, row after row of towering mountains,
It was bonkers. Straight from a movie.. I could picture Heidi teaching Clara to walk and cartwheeling amongst her cows… Maria, her arms outstretched to the sky singing, “The Hiiiiiills Are Alive With The Sound of Muuuuusic”.. peaceful… serene.. I scampered up over rocks and along the path in my favorite flip flops that were on the verge of disintegrating underneath my feet, the bottoms had become so thin by this point in the trip.. there was already a hole in the heel of one of them so I could occasionally feel the rocks stick through and tickle my foot.
At one point we climbed a dodgy ladder up through a cave and zig zagged along a narrow cliffside, making me feel quite like a mountain goat.
In fact we saw one!!! A regal, king-like creature sitting up high above us, flipping his tail, licking his lips, watching us. A Steinbock. My friend told me it was a rarity to see such a sight. We took it all in, relished in mother nature’s gift to us, this giant beast so far away just straight chilling, watching us carefully with his giant horns curled up over his head.
At the top, the VERY top, there was a 360 degree view of even more lakes and valleys and mountains and ohhh mannnnnnn,… I cannot even describe the feeling.. of reaching the top.. of looking around.. my legs were burning with the strenuous uphill scramble.. the sun was kissing my skin while the soft breeze made the heat irrelevant.. We sat in the grass and shared simple bread and cheese.. savoring the moment, the meal, the view, the rest..
On our way down, we stopped at a little barn-turned restaurant that sold fresh cheese and milk and milkshakes while the cows that produced such delicacies lounged about all around us, the song of cowbells rang clear, only drowned out by the occasional moooooooo. :))
We took a different cable car back down and hitchhiker back to where the car waited for us. (MY FIRST HITCHHIKING EVER!!)
WHAT AN ADVENTURE! And the day was far from over, I was content. Serene. Happy. Exhausted, yes, but didn’t want to take a nap for fear of missing the sunshine and wasting time in dreaming in slumber.…
for it seemed real life surpassed my best dreams lately..
We went to the lake… a well deserved and ohh so soothing dip in the cold, clear, clean aquamarine waters…
We watched a father help his son lumber past us into the lake, both weighed down in snorkeling gear. There was a gathering of family and friends to the left, talking, drinking, eating, jumping in the lake.. couples laying together on one colorful beach towel, locked in each others embrace letting the sun dry their bodies wet from the lake. Friends sharing a bag of chips and laughing over their own little secrets… Perfekt.
But no, we were not done :))
We went up to the top of a DIFFERENT mountain.. up a train.. and then up a giant gondola where we climbed to the top of it, open air so the rain that was starting up wet our hair and cheeks and shoulders and wind whipped our words away, tho I had little to say because my mind was too busy processing the view as the gondola took us up and up and up,, It was perfekt.
We got out, walked past the super expensive, fancy revolving restaurant that offered a panorama view of the landscapes and mountains beyond and we continued our hike, up and up we climbed.. higher and higher to the top of this 2nd mountain.. this time we were farther away from the Alps, but the view.. unreal.. 3/4 of the view were the Alps, jagged and snow covered and cast in pastels in the distance.. the rest of the view was flat land, over the lake, past Luzern and if it weren’t so cloudy I swear you could’ve seen Germany… the clouds put on such a show for us.. you could see the sun beams shining through in one direction, the rain streaming from the clouds far off in the distance the other direction.. Never before had I seen such a sight.. never before had I felt so small.. I felt truly on top of the world.
I cannot, for the life of me, use any words to come any where near close to how it felt to experience all of it. ALL of it. The hiking. The sketchy cable cars teetering so very high over everything. The beer we drank amongst cow dung and cow bells. Two mountaintops with very different but equally gorgeous views, 360 degrees all around of nothing but dazzling sights.. even watching the paraglider run and jump off the mountain made my heart beat like no other, wanting so badly to jump off with them..
I almost don’t even want to post this because it sounds so simple and plain when I read back what I wrote.. To you its just words. To me.. it is my life.. it is real.. it was the feelings.. my heart will never be the same.
and having the best of company helped too. 🙂 It is rare to find such a perfect match for adventuring… He went along with my crazy ways and silly questions and humored my utter amazement and speechlessness at everything.. He knew just where to take me to make my heart full of happy and my eyes dazzle with delight… His stories of his travels to Cambodia and Thailand and days in the area made my head spin with excitement and fill up potential future travel plans… The connection with him was like with no other… A kindred spirit… A fellow adventurous soul…. There are moments when you’re getting to know someone, when you realize something deep and buried in you is deep and buried in them too. It feels like you are seeing a stranger you’ve known all your life.
All of us, after all, every bit of us, every atom is all of our bodies, once came from a star that exploded far far away. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? To think that we are all made of beautiful stardust.. maybe starry bits of me came from the same starry bits of you…
But for real, my favorite person I’ve met on my travels by far 🙂
“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other”