A Welcoming first Day
I met my amazingly kind and welcoming flatmate Tengyan, a current masters student at EPFL, on Saturday when I moved in to the Bourdonette residence and she invited me on a hike the next day to “The Most Beautiful View in Switzerland”. Surprised at the invitation, I unconsciously responded “Wow that sounds great, but are you sure you have room…” but managed to stop myself as the reality of Swiss trains overcame my assumptions developed from a lifetime in car-dependant America; Swiss transportation offers an entirely different way of exploring the world, and with no limit on how many friends you can bring along!
Trains Trains Trains!
Waking up at 6am after only sleeping ten hours in the previous three days was an ambitious move, but why wait for adventure when it comes so easily? I set off at exactly 6:50 with the timing of a true Swiss, and followed Tengyan (obviously no amateur at getting around by train) to the Lausanne station. We met up with her friends and then took the most beautiful train ride of my life for two and a half hours to the alpine village of Kanderstag.
View from Train to Kanderstag
After a quick walk from the train station we took a modern cable car up to the lake Oeschinensee area and spoke little as the magnificent sights of snow-capped Alps grew before us. Next to the cable car terminal a small alpine slide beckoned us to take a ride and so we began our day at the lake by pleasure tobogganing and causing a massive backup of thrill seeking locals who did not appreciate our leisurely pace. We then walked to the lake and decided the best way to appreciate the striking blue water would be to cross it by rowboat. That was my upperbody workout for the day, next up was legs. Hike number 8 was our goal and we set off up the mountain with high spirits and only enough water for an hour or two. Fortunately, the alpine streams every few kilometers provided an endless source of refreshing water to quench our thirsts. After plenty of rest stops to take in the views we began to worry about making it back to catch the last cable car. As the sun set behind the Alps, Tengyan broke into a frenzied run and encouraged us to do the same. The perfect Swiss day couldn’t possibly go wrong, so we made it back to the terminal just in time for the last trip down.
Rowing the Lake
Striking a Pose