Gimmelwald has been absolutely amazing. One of the best experiences of this entire trip. If you ask what we have done, it won’t amount to much. Hiking, cooking, eating, playing cards. Not major things at face value, but when you are in a place as breath taking as Switzerland and are privledged to stay in a small little place like Gimmelwald, surrounded by great people, you can never go wrong. Petra and Walter, the owners of Mountain Hostel, are so much fun. Sarcastic. Blunt. Funny.
The type of backpacker who ends up here in Gimmelwald is one who loves the outdoors and, for the most part, is very social. We have stayed at other hostels, but nothing compares. Partly it’s just that you can’t really go out at night, there is nothing else out there, but partly it really is just the people. We learned Rummy 500, a game which took us a full 3 hours. The hot tub has been great. The beer on tap is amazing. Really relaxing and enjoyable.
We have taken a few short hikes, the longest today being about 5 hours but mostly flat or down with the exception of the first hour. Today was, by far, the nicest day of the trip. The weather was hot and the views clear. Yesterday also we had cloud-free weather and our hike took us up higher to see a great vista of the Alps. We are both very tired, and I am actually a bit sick today, but we are enjoying every moment. Tonight the locals came in to drink and socialize (there are only 85 residents in Gimmelwald, although the other villages are close by), and two of them entertained us with some local songs on the accordians.
Well, tomorrow we must take our departure from Gimmelwald. We’re very sad to leave. It will be a beautiful day and the village is actually having some sort of barbeque, but we’re due to leave. We will grab our last bit of local cheese and yogurt (Esther makes great yogurt from local cows), and some fresh bread, then make our way down the mountain. We will take a quick tour of Interlaken and stop at Bern on our way to Zurich. From there we take a night train up to Amsterdam, then take a local train out to Zoetermeer, where one of my relatives lives. We will spend the day and night with him, and the next day go to Waddinxveen to visit other relatives for two days, and I’m very excited about this part, as it’s the place where my Oma grew up.
So, the end of the trip is something I’ve really been looking forward to, for different reasons than just seeing Europe. Heritage is something very special. So, it will be nice to have somewhere to stay and to relax, and end our trip. On the 31st we return back to Canada, where we’ll start uploading pictures (gotta get that first 2 gigs up before the end of the month), and hit a hot shower and then bed. Ah, I am very much looking forward to my own bed, my own shower, and my cats. And peanut butter. :)