Friday, June 22, 2012

Chaserrugg Revisited

22 June 2012

Last Saturday, Dottie and I did something that we've been talking about since last September: we took our respective partners, Laurie and Greg, to visit Mt Chaserrugg.

Last September, Dottie and I took a bus with the American Women's Club of Zurich.

This time, we all went in Laurie's car. It's always such a treat for Greg and I to go anywhere here in a car! Public transportation is awesome but it's great to have the freedom of a car.

From Unterwasser car park. Hell, the scenery is so awesome in Switzerland, you don't even have to leave the car park! The tall peak in the middle is Mt Santis, which we visited when Heather and Margeurite visited from Canada.

Last September, the mountain peak was covered in scrubby grass and wildflowers. (It being Switzerland, the flowers were all identified by signs.)

This time, there was still a blanket of snow at the peak - tricky since I had cluelessly worn sandals!

There's always an overachiever around and yes, she did run up from the moidpoint if not the bottom of the bloody mountain.

Last September, the peak was so encircled by a thick blanket of cloud, it felt as if you could step off the edge and walk across the valley on the cloud.

This time, the air was so clear, you could see right down into the valley.

Glider. How apt since, in my last blog on Chaserrugg, I quoted the poem containing the words "Oh I Have Slipped The Surly Bonds of Earth... Put Out My Hand And Touched the Face of God ”.

Last September, we took a chairlift to the beginning of the Toggenburg Music Trail and walked through the fog to the halfway point where we caught the gondola to the peak.

Compare this view of Mt Santis with the one above from the parking lot on this trip.

This time, we rode to the peak first - and saw young Ibex on route. This is really, really big because spotting Ibex for Greg was akin to my longing to spot moose in Cape Bretan Island, Nova Scotia. Greg's luck was better than mine. Sigh.
The driver of our gondola told us these were young Ibex - about 18 months old - and they go out onto the snow to cool down.

 We took the gondola back down and went down the trail. Instead of fog, there were clear vistas and a sea of white and yellow flowers.

Yup, that's a fireplug. In the middle of an alpine meadow. In the middle of nowhere. No, we don't know why either.

It is the Toggenburg MUSIC Trail, after all. Greg making music. Faster, Greg, faster!

So Swiss. The ephemeral ... a wood sculpture of an Ibex.
The practical ... a "Toi-Toi" (porta potty).
Both ... in the middle ... of nowhere.

More music making - this involving taught wires and cow bells.

Last time, there were more of us ... a lot more.

This time, there were just us four.

Last time, we walked above the small mountain lakes.

This time, we left the trail and walked around and between two lakes.

Last time, the bus driver dropped us off at Wildhaus and picked us up in Unterwasser.

This time, Dottie and I sat and ate an ice cream in a cafe near the bottom of the mountain while Greg and Laurie hoofed it down the rest of the way to retrieve the car ... and then us.

Last time, we had a marvelous time.
This time, we had a marvelous time.

How am I ever going to be able to leave this all behind?