On Wednesday the 26th of October our roadtrip started. And thank goodness the car started as well. Planning to leave at 8am, we of course only left at 11… We wanted to get an early night the day before, but the packing took more time then we planned. Anyway, no problemo, a later start would be fine too, since we only had to be in Zurich at 5pm. So off we went, first a bit through Austria, then back into Germany again, since the border meanders north and south the whole time. Close to Oberstaufen in Germany we drove past a sign that said Alpsee Bergwelt (Alp Lake, Mountain World), which sounded cool so we decided to stop there. And then we saw what it was for: the longest rodelbahn (alpine slide / bob-run / luge) of Germany! Yay! Sounds like fun! So up we went… As we sat in the cable car we couldn’t see the top of it, even when we got higher and higher… Wow, how high is this actually going to take us? Still don’t know the exact height, but trust us: it was HIGH! From the cable car we walked over to the start of the slide and jumped on a cart to take us down. Fastened our seatbelts and Brad went first flying down the mountain. Maaike followed, using the brake a little more here and there, but still a screaming flight down the mountain! That was loads of fun! We wanted to chil out over there for a bit, but we realised that we still had to make our way to Zurich, which was still about 200 kilometers away. As we put the address in the navi, we saw we would get there at about 4.45pm, so just in time to meet up with Maaike’s friend Rebecca. Of course when we arrived in Zurich, we drove straight into the work traffic at the end of the day, so we were a bit later than expected in the cute restaurant of Tibits, but thankfully Rebecca didn’t mind… 🙂 Maaike met Rebecca 5 years ago in Vietnam and stayed with her 4 years ago in Australia, so meeting up was long overdue! It was great to see her again / meet her, and time flies when you’re catching up! So unfortunately we had to leave too soon again, since we had to drive on to Interlaken to our friends there. After a short walk along the river in Zurich we said goodbye to Bec, but not after she promised us to come and visit us in Schwangau soon! Bec: we’re expecting you! 😉
We got back into our car and after getting out of the traffic in the center of Zurich, we got onto the highway to Interlaken. The last part took us over secondary roads and the navi showed us some great parts of purple spaghetti… Seriously, a sharp hairpin-curve ahead, then a curve to the right and underneath or over the hairpin-curve? In Switzerland that’s possible. The curve to the right underneath the hairpin was a tunnel under the mountain where the hairpin-curve was… But still, that purple spaghetti… Unbelievable! In Interlaken we drove to Unterseen, the village where our friends Karin and Mark live with their 2-year old daughter Jill. On Thursday we went up to Luegibrüggli with Mark to have a cup of coffee and enjoy the great view. From the coffee-house we saw the two lakes where Interlaken is squeezed in between (Brienzersee and Thunersee), and of course the 3 wellknown mountains: Eiger, Munch and Jungfrau. After a lunch at their place, we walked with Mark, Karin and Jill through Unterseen and Interlaken and saw beautiful buildings, many of them covered with wooden parts, like the little doors to cover up windows and wooden rooftiles. Our walk ended at Jungfrau Park (formerly Mystery Park), a park once dedicated to the great mysteries of the world (like the Nazca Lines and Stonehenge). The main attraction for us to go there (besides for Jill to play in the kids play park) was a movie called Magical Oberland, a movie about Interlaken and the surroundings and everything that you can do over there. On the screen in front of us, but also below us through a glass floor we flew over the mountains and the lakes with skydivers, paragliders, snowboarders, hikers, climbers, kayakers and many more sports (we saw Mark in the movie as skydiver and snowboarder). We then drove (Mark picked up their car while we watched the movie) to a small airfield where Mark showed us his remote controlled plane and helicopter, which was a great fun to watch. With so much space around us, he could show what the plane could do. In the evening we ate pizza and watched Play Gravity 2, a cool movie about ‘adrenaline-junkies’ defying gravity…
Friday we drove via several cute villages and Lake Geneva from Switzerland to France. At Lake Geneva we stopped for coffee and waffles (Maaike remembered that the French word gauffe means waffle, so we could at least order that with our coffee, avec chocolat of course!). Around dinnertime we stopped in Chambéry to spend the night at a simple roadside motel. After a even simpler breakfast we left the motel on Saturday morning and via the highways we drove to Pont du Gard, the famous Roman bridge (aquaduct) that you can see on the 5 euro note. We walked around and over the bridge and of course took some photos. Then we went back to the highway and we drove on to the Spanish border, where we soon arrived in Empuriabrava. The apartment-complex of Mauricipark where Brad had stayed before with friends was luckily still open when we arrived and had only one apartment available. Dibs! That one is ours! The apartment is close to the dropzone where Brad wants to do his skydiving, so we regularly see people falling out of the sky, an amazing view every time again (like every 10 minutes in daytime…).
Today we walked around the numerous canals and beach of Empuriabrava and Brad signed himself up at the skydiving office. Tomorrow it’s jumping-time!!! Well, for Brad then, Maaike is still thinking about it… And is still freaking out even just thinking about it…. To be continued… 🙂
Lots of love,
Maaike and Brad