Tuesday, June 24, 2014

euro-whirl 2014: zurich, day 2/the alps, RICOLAAA, etc.

we woke up our second day in zurich & immediately hopped on a train to arth-goldau, a charming little city in the alps.

once there we took a small train up, up, upppppp the mountain - mount rigi to be exact - all the way to the very last stop at the top. the picture below doesn't have to do with anything except for me to ask, capri-sonne, anyone?? (as seen as the train station in arth-goldau)

the difference we felt once we arrived at the top of the mountain was immediate. it was completely silent, except for the whispering of grass as the wind hit it, & the tinkling of cowbells around the necks of cows grazing in a field right by us. it was the cleanest air i've ever breathed, & we just stood there for several moments breathing in deeply. even thinking about it now----ahhhhh. so different than the nasty air one often breathes in in new york!

it almost felt sacred, in a way - like a refuge. up there, so far away from the rest of civilization, you feel like every little duty or thought or responsibility you have just melts away. we spoke in whispers & took our time to take everything in. you really feel like, you're intruding on the surroundings, instead of the other way around - like, humans don't rule up here. a much different & much more powerful force does.

here's the cute train we took up the mountain:

& the little station we stopped at:

how can you help but shout "ricolaaaaaa" when you're up at the top of a mountain like this?!...in theory. because honestly i didn't actually yell it, although i thought about it. 

climbing even further up from where the train dropped us off:

high enough to be above a cloud or two!

from this side of the mountain we were able to see two lakes. here's one...

...& here's the other, to the left of the previous one (at least from where we were standing).

we sat here, at the edge of the world it felt like, & ate the little picnic we brought with us.

there were several different groups of people sitting on this edge that we were sitting on. one guy came & sat down near us, although i didn't realize how near until i stood up a little while later. haha:

ben in the clouds. can you hear, i don't know, the silence? the breeze? my pictures are never able enough to communicate much. ah well.

as we walked along this one path we saw THESE FABULOUS CREATURES, these shorn warriors, these sleek, puffy wonders: 

they gave zero fs, as you can see:

they basked in their own glory:

see those sweet cows there in the background of the picture below? each & every last one wore a cowbell around its neck. at first we found the sound, i don't know, kind of grating, maybe? but then we gradually grew accustomed to it, & then we started to find real beauty in the noise. the bells joined in really nice harmonies & the sound actually carries incredibly well - even this herd sounded like they were right next to us, instead of down the hill a ways.

we loved the stretching green meadows covered with dandelions. every time i see clumps of dandelions i think of that part in beauty and the beast (a movie i've mentioned enough times here on the blog that you can maybe guess at its grand influence on my formative years as a wide-eyed, thumb-sucking child) when she holds a dandelion & sings, "i want so much more than they've got plannnnnned..." & the little dandelion fluffs blow away.

a few more shots of the gorgeous view from a different place on the mount (also, mom jeans!):

(my shirt is madewall, jeans are from urban outfitters, shoes are my perennial favorites superga [i bought a new pair this summer because i wore out the ones i had last year so completely])

see the paraglider in the background? we saw 4 or 5 different gliders over the course of the day:

notice the flat ground dropping off almost immediately on the other side of this fence:

this pretty, pretty view (& of course a flag in there, because they LOVE)

a few details from the day:

this sign was funny. a hard way to climb the hill, & an easy way to climb the hill:

a view from the train ride back down:

& breathtaking views on the train ride from vienna to salzburg. even though i was quite deep into the book i was reading, these peaks were enough to pull me up from my reading for great lengths at a time:

more to come!

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