Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hiking... and Oktoberfest in Zurich

7 hours of hiking then several 1 liter beers at Oktoberfest - you can't get much more Swiss and German than that!

Yesterday we had planned a day of hiking with our friends Miriam and James. We wanted to go somewhere near Zurich (basically to cut down on travel time and train cost) and to go to Oktoberfest that night. Miriam had a book of hikes "in and around Zurich" and said she would pick a "blue" hike. What is a "blue" hike you ask? The book described blue hikes as easy and good for young children.

W.T.F. Never trust the Swiss and their hikes - especially if you aren't Swiss! Easy enough for a 6 year old? Really. No - really? I want to see these 6 year olds.

The hike started in Lachen, said it would take around 5-6 hours, and had a vertical change in height of 1000m. Miriam told us she thought the 1000 meters was 500 up and 500 down. Okay - we have done that before. No biggie. But.....I'm pretty sure they left out a couple words in the book, because the 1000 m were definitely all uphill (and then of course 1000m down hill) and we were hiking through cow pastures and cow crap. Good Times:)

But after all the bitching (sorry Miriam:)) the view from the top was amazing! One of the best panaramic views we have seen on our hikes!

This was also a great hike b/c with all the cow pastures and cow crap came.....the cows! We were definitely up close and personal with them - so much fun!

This is one of my favorite pictures I have taken in Switzerland!

So I finally got to see one of those Swiss 6 year olds. After we stopped for a coffee at a little restaurant, we headed down for our last 1 1/2 hours of the hike. A dad and his son were there - which I didn't think much of - but after they left (who knows how long AFTER us) they basically ran by us and down the very steep hill at Olympic speeds. Seriously - I wanted to trip them but I refrained. This of course after we had already been lapped by some 65 year olds hiking UP the mountain!
There was snow - it really was treacherous!
I'm probably just jealous. But come on - that was a tough hike! It definitely wasn't "blue"! I started sweating and breathing heavy after the first 15 minutes of hiking straight up the side of a mountain! Whatever - I don't need to justify my physical abilities to you people. I'm simpling going to say the book had a typo and that the 6 year old was on speed. And all I know is that this is how I felt after we were finished.

The only thing that kept us all going was that we planned on heading to Oktoberfest in Zurich when we were finished! Of course this seemed like a great idea when I thought we were going to have a leisurely hike through the country side, but half way through the hike - I was drenched, pretty sure I smelled, and had cow dung all over my shoes. But hey - a plan is a plan - right? And we were meeting another couple so we couldn't bail!

We arrived at the Oktoberfest tent near Burkliplatz around 6:30 pm. We didn't have reservations so we had to stand in the "ohne" (without) line. Our other friends, Sarah and Zann, joined us shortly after and we waited for nearly an hour before they let one person from our line in the door. However, it really didn't seem that long and it was definitely worth it once inside! Granted it wasn't the Haufbrahaus, but I think Zurich did have a pretty respectable showing!

We ended up sitting with some cool Zurichers and started making "friends" immediately. Nathan loves the waitresses and I got to meet Bond, James Bond.
Nathan loves him a woman that can carry 6 1 liter beers at a time!
This was Bond. James Bond:)
The band was fun and since I had Miriam to translate all the cheesy German songs for me it was really hilarious! There was a song about a red dingy boat and one where the crowd shouted "you horny pig" (in German of course). It really made me wish I had studied up on my German a bit more.:) Of course they also played German classics like Sweet Home Alabama and Country Road too!:)
This was the crew:

Zann - "Sweet Home Alabama"

Sarah - "Peace Dude - now give me back my glasses"

James - "This wool hat is really hot!"

Miriam - "Wow - you speak really great German." "That's b/c I'm German."

Nathan - "Wow that's a really big pretzel you have there"

And Me - "You can have her for $5...I need another beer."

So here we all our - getting a bit tipsy off our 1 liter beers. And yes we are standing on the benches with our cow dung infested shoes - but don't judge us - we were in the moment (and probably had been overserved). :) But I wouldn't go sit down at the 2nd table from the front on the right side of the stage either - just sayin'. Surely they do a thorough cleaning every night - right? I mean it is SWITZERLAND.:)

Another great day living the life of a Swiss German! Now I've got to go to bed - I'm still not feeling that well.....
Prost, Mandy

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