After Italy, we had just three days of school and then a mini-vacation again. Over here, most of the Christian holidays are national holidays, which means we have the day(s) off. On Thursday of the week after my Italy trip was Auffahrt (*Himmelfahrt in Hochdeutsch--I was told today that Auffahrt in Hochdeutsch means "driveway" Ha!). Auffahrt (*Himmelfahrt) translates to Ascension Day. During my stay in Italy, I realized that the free days for Auffahrt would be my last chance to go to Vienna, since it isn't worth it to go for a weekend with the journey lasting about 8.5hrs each way. So, I spontaneously asked my friend Keri if I could stay with her and visit from Wednesday, May 8-Sunday, May 12. It was a lot of fun, catching up with old friends and meeting Keri's friends and seeing the city after being away for two years. I had forgotten a lot, but also remembered a lot more than I thought I would have. And man, was it nice to see the U-Bahn (subway) again. I'm pretty sure Vienna has one of the best public transportation systems--certainly the best I've encountered.
|The red outlined part is canton Wallis (Valais in English) and the orange "A" is where we were--Eischoll.|
|There was a part of the unfinished tunnel that was set up as a museum|
|We all wore bright vests and hard hats--so fashionable ;-)|
It might look scary, but it absolutely was not. I was too distracted by the beauty of the mountains to be scared. I took about a zillion pictures, half of which all look the same, but was just so mesmerizing!
Our house was on the side of the mountain, which was so cool. On one day we went on a "Spaziergang" (walk) as a class, which the teacher later admitted to being a "kleine Wanderung" (small hike), but to my American eyes/legs, it was more of a regular-sized hike. We hiked up some very steep parts of the mountain and through the woods. After that stretch, the kids found a playground with a giant trampoline and the boys practiced doing tons of flips, and then we hiked back home.
|The view from after a large part of the steep hike|
|He then tried to convince me to do some flips. Ha.|
|This kid has a trainer for this, so he actually knows what he's doing!|
|Swiss Flag in the shape of a heart on the front...|
|and "Frau Tucker" printed on the back :-)|
On Wednesday, Rita (the other teacher) and her son, Andre, and I went to Leukerbad to walk around and see the mountains a little more. It was cold and a little rainy, so it wasn't the best day to do that, but it was still a lot of fun. We ate lunch in a typical Swiss restaurant and ate Raclette (boiled potatoes with melted cheese and other toppings), which is a typical Swiss meal, so that was a really cool experience!
|The potatoes are kept warm in this cloth bag|
|These are the toppings we had--Raclette spices, pickles, pearl onions,|
and a creamy onion mix.But you can eat anything you like with Raclette!
|You are given a plate with melted cheese and then you eat it|
with potatoes and whatever toppings you want. When one plate of
cheese is gone, you can get another one.
|Andre LOVES Raclette :-)|
On Friday, we took off around 10am, and this time I went back in the car with the other teacher and her son. I went back by car because she wanted to show me some cool things in Switzerland. First, I got to experience a car-train, where you drive into a specific compartment for cars and get pulled through a tunnel that goes through a mountain (like the Lötschberg Tunnel).
|Heading into the tunnel|
Then, we stopped at the historic Teufelsbrücke (devil's bridge) and Tellsplatte (William Tell tribute)
|A painting at the Tellsplatte|
|The Tellsplatte is right on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne), which although it was cloudy, it was really pretty.|
And now I'm home. We even had Monday off of school for Pfingsten (Pentecost--another religious holiday), so I had a few days to enjoy being at home and not traveling--even though all this traveling has been absolutely a dream come true!