Monday, January 21, 2008

Our trip to (Mt) Rigi: Guggenmusik and sledding

Yesterday, we enjoyed a day on Rigi, a (relatively) high mountain on the north side of the alps not too far from Zurich. There is a train that goes to the top, so it is an easy trip with the kids. The weather was fantastic, and super warm for the season, feeling more like spring than winter. That's what the newspapers said, too.

With the sun and the warm weather, we were joined at the top of Rigi not only by our friends Lex and Xandie with their son Noah (same age as Sonja), but also by thousands of others, including a band playing Guggenmusik, a rhythmic music played during the carnival time that sometimes includes false tones. The musicians are generally dressed up and have their faces painted (see here or search youtube for guggenmusik, getting for example this). Sonja liked listening to the music from the restaurant. Up close and personal it was a bit too loud for her.

After a nice lunch, we hiked the five minutes to the very top of the mountain, where we became characters from the book about Heidi (not that I know the story, but it is a classic children's book here): Heidi (me), the grandfather (Sonja), and sitting on the dog is our friend Noah.

Martin and Lex check out the view from Rigi, including this pretty cool thing where you would point the arrow to some name on the sphere, and in the viewfinder, you could see the named object.

Sledding... At the top, we rented sleds for ten franks each, and then joined a ton of people sledding down on the trail to the next train station.

Starting out at the top of the hill: all of our family.

Our friend Xandie with Noah coming down; Lex is coming in very fast from behind.

Taking a short break (Sonja, Martin+Emily).

At the lower train station, we took a train back up to the top. But Sonja fell asleep on the way, and Noah was tired too, and so we turned in two sleds, and Martin and Xandie took the kids on the train down from the top station, while Lex and I sledded like mad in order to catch that same train at the lower station. We did. Had even a minute or two to spare. But boy, did I get some huge bruises from taking the snowy bumps in the trail way too fast. But it was fun. And luckily Sonja continued to sleep all the way back down the hill, so Martin only had to deal with Emily...
In the train on the way back home:

... and the wonderful day was finished off by the bathing fun, where Emily discovered how to splash water. It was her fifth month birthday, afterall, so she had to learn something new.

1 comment:

Matt Heavner said...

Awesome day, and awesome fun! Glad we could virtually share it.