Switzerland- Basel and Skiing in Arosa

Friday morning, Titzy and I set off semi-early to go pick up Sammy and Nina from the Basel airport. There had been a slight mix-up so they ended up arriving earlier then we thought they would. They got a nap in while they waited for us to pick them up though.

Basel seems like an awesome city because it is basically located in 3 countries: Switzerland, Germany, and France. I mean, it is a city in Switzerland, but the suburbs extend out to the other countries. In fact the Basel airport is located in France, so we did also get to border hop and visit another country I suppose, if that counts!

DSC_7905s DSC_7909sAfter obtaining the girls, we headed into Basel to explore for a bit. We found a church and inside we also discovered a small cafe. We sat down and chatted while drinking some coffee. Titzy educated us on Switzerland with a list of fun facts and jokes about the country.

After the coffee we headed to the bathroom. I finished up and heard Nina calling my name. I wandered aimlessly around trying to locate where she was calling me from, only to discover it was above me. She found some stairs leading up to the top of the church. When we came back to the bottom, there was a sign that read “70.5 meters high/ 228 stairs to the top”.

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click to enlarge photos

After the short time in Basel, we headed off on our drive to Arosa. On the way we stopped for a break at Titzy’s grandmothers house in Chur, a town located at the base of the mountain Arosa is situated on. We spent a short time playing with the Siamese cat and eating croissants, then continued on. The drive up to Arosa was a 40 minute long and winding mountain road, something like 200+ curves in the road to arrive in the village.

Titzy’s itinerary for us continues a bit after we settle in. Sammy and Nina stayed at a hotel and Titzy and I stayed at a family friend’s apartment which was strategically across the street from their hotel. My freaking dream flat for real. Panoramic views of these beautiful mountains not to mention the interior design scheme of the place was on point. They had done it all themselves so it was interesting to talk to them about all the work they put into it.

We took a magical two horse drawn carriage ride through the mountain side to the restaurant where we were dining. Snuggled into the basket with a few warm blankets and sheepskin we looked up at the clear dark sky with twinkling stars and relished about how beautiful the moment was.

The restaurant we ate at had a lodge type feel. It seems to be the normal in ski villages and towns that even the nicest restaurants have a woodsy feel to them. Which is completely fine by me because it invites people to dine in their skiing clothing and in our cases sweatpants.

Nina and I shared fondue, which you have to eat at least once visiting Switzerland the place fondue originates from. Titzy had some chicken and Sammy had sausages that came from the local area. Titzy’s chicken I would assume also came from somewhere local, because it seems like everywhere we ate they claimed it was all local meat.

We spent a few hours sitting and talking about controversial topics sipping great tasting wine. Hey, did you know that wine actually tastes good when you’re not buying the cheapest bottle on the shelf? This was my first time having real “nice” wine, and I enjoyed it very much.

DSC_7978s DSC_7975sTo get down to the village from the restaurant we took a sled we brought with us. Unfortunately, we were planning on renting another sled so we would have two, but it ended up being too late and they weren’t renting them any longer. The two person sled we had then turned into a four person sled with a few inexperienced drivers.

This was slightly scary, as I kept thinking we would go off the side of the trail and fall off the mountain (which wasn’t even plausible because it was just a small hill in the valley of these huge mountains). I had to try to help steer, which was done by digging your foot into the snow on the side you wanted to turn towards. I was confused at first, as I thought if you wanted to go left, you used the opposite foot. Everyone was screaming which foot to dig in because I couldn’t see anything in front of me.

Eventually, after a few changes of position we made it down. We actually got pretty good at it, but maybe that’s just because Titzy took over and she had done this before!

At the bottom of the hill we were lucky enough that a cab had just pulled up to the area when we arrived there. We needed to take the cab back to where we were staying. We gladly hopped in and were shushed by the cabbie as we drove off because Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here final cords were finishing off playing on the radio. We sat in the cab, a beautiful view of the mountain covered in darkness, with not a full but large moon shining some light onto it as well as casting shadows. Even just seeing the outline at this moment, I could tell the mountains were massive and couldn’t wait to see them during the day.

When we woke up that next morning, our eyes feasted upon this view. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. Complete surrounded by astounding snow covered mountains as the sun slowly started to rise.

Right away we ate some breakfast, then got to the rental shop to get some skis and take the gondola to go further up on the mountain to the slopes. It’s funny because you see these ginormous mountains, but that’s not even the full view. Remember, we drove 40 minutes up this mountain and then went up it even more to ski. I’ve never been up so high ever in my life, besides flying of course.

We were blessed with a perfect day. Perfect. Nothing could’ve made it any better. The sun was shining, the weather was warm but not too warm. The slopes weren’t overly crowded.

Thanks to Sammy for taking my camera while we were skiing and snapping a few photos! As you can see I wasn’t lying about the conditions. Maybe I am just bringing the good weather with me everywhere I ski, because in Austria we also had an amazing sunny day similar to this one in Switzerland. Now the real challenge is: can I bring this weather to northern Sweden next week?

We spent the whole day on the mountain, from open to close we skied. We had a lunch break on the mountain and ate burgers and sausages. I think we covered a big part of the mountain, as we tried to ski on a few different slopes. Never in my life have I been more astonished by the view! We had to keep stopping for breaks in the slopes so we could admire the views.

After our ski day was done, we drove back to Titzy’s house in Schwyz. We had dinner there and then everyone got ready for our night out. Titzy is the most awesome host because she surprised us with a limo to the club in Lucerne! This was the first time I had ever been in a limo just for pleasure. I guess this trip contained a lot of firsts for me! We spent the rest of the night dancing and having fun.

We arrived home early in the morning, getting just a few hours of sleep before another day of Swiss adventures started! That’s all hectic days 2 & 3 in Switzerland consisted of! More soon!

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