We headed out from our latest Wes Anderson hotel and decided to change plans and follow the lower route to our destination instead of the higher route. This was probably a good decision and saved us from hiking in the snow. We also got to hike down this ravine with amazing waterfalls and followed Gandalf for a while until we found Rivendale. It was such a lush and beautiful canyon that the time passed quickly, until it didn’t. Going downhill for 12 miles gets a little rough on the feet and we were starting to get tired and needed a bathroom. There was a farm selling Alpine cheese and butter. So, we rang the doorbell and discovered that the young girl didn’t speak English, and as our kids will tell you, we don’t speak German. Fortunately, she spoke French so Mike negotiated the purchase of some Alpine butter and Sara got to use the bathroom in the barn. We then continued hiking briskly until we got to the Meiringen gondola. Oh, blessed gondola that took us down the last 1,000 feet to the town. I think we would have been found dead on the trail if we had to go down another 2 miles of steep rocky trails. In all, the first day saw us traveling 18 miles, so we didn’t feel bad taking the gondola down. We arrived at our boutique hotel and gave great thanks for the abundant hot water in Switzerland and their awesome water pressure.
After returning ourselves to human form, we headed downstairs for dinner. It was quite amazing. The chef prepared a five-course meal, and we enjoyed every inch of it. From the ceviche (yes ceviche in Switzerland) to the perfectly cooked steak, it was quite the treat after our long, long cold hike in the rain. After dinner, we promptly fell into a food coma. Someone must have taken us upstairs because we woke up the next day in our room.