Sunday, 1 September 2013
Switzerland - Day 12
The first of September 2013 and what a great place to wake up to celebrate your wedding anniversary. We woke to a beautiful Alpine day to what has now become the normal alarm, the sound of the sheep with their bells arriving in the past year just above the campsite. It seems that these creatures follow their own natural routine and turn up at the same place at the same time every day. At first I thought that they were being let out by the farmer a certain time but it seems that their arrival is completely under their own steam.
With a long journey coming up we had no great desire to dash around at all, in fact we have had no great desire to dash around at all for the entire holiday! An enjoyable day pottering around the campsite, it is surprisingly easy for time to just drift by here in the outdoors when there are no particular jobs or activities to be performed at particular times, definitely a very relaxing way of life.
Spending 2 weeks under canvas really does make one question the wisdom of our way of life at home. Neither of us have missed the usual routines of things like television in the slightest and this trip has made it even more obvious what a huge waste of time the television can become. I'm sure somewhere someone has done a calculation about the number of years that the average person spends watching television during their lifetime and it will be interesting to know what the result of that calculation was. I am sure that if at the end of our lives we were asked whether we thought those powers have been well spent most of those will probably say that we wished we had done something else with them.
We had a fairly low-key wedding anniversary celebration, we decided to walk down into Kandersteg and visit the Hotel Adler where we stayed some years ago when I came to run the Jungfrau Marathon for the 1st time when I was pulled out by the medical team. At that time we used to enjoy a banana split on the terrace and we decided to repeat the experience to celebrate our anniversary. We duly arrived and found the place we had originally sat, maybe it was the time of year but it did seem very quiet and had perhaps lost some of its original charm. Anyhow, we duly ordered our 2 coffees and 2 banana splits but even those rental and is known to be expensive we were still a bit taken aback at the cost. The bill for this experience came to Fr.30 which converts to about £20, £20 for 2 copies and 2 banana splits, now that's just outrageous! A number of the hotels on the outskirts of Kandersteg in particular do look very quiet and in a number of cases appear to have closed down, my personal view is that this is because of a declining number of tourists who are sick and tired of being stung with extortionate prices. I'm convinced that either using a campervan or by camping as we are and bringing many of your own provisions is probably the only cost-effective way to visit this country any more. I reckon to spend 2 weeks here in hotel accommodation would be absolutely extortionate and would probably run into thousands of pounds.
Having consumed the banana splits we made our way back up to the campsite where we enjoyed another relaxing evening and meal cooked on a little stove before retiring just after sundown. Busy day tomorrow as we have to pack up our camp and head north towards the North Sea ferry, it will be very sad to pack everything away but all things come to an end and hopefully we will be back.
Forgot to mention that earlier on today we did have to come to the rescue of a young Dutch girl who was camping on the site who have been laid very low almost certainly with food poisoning. I've no idea what the cause of this was but she seemed to suspect that it was some cheese that she had in a cool box. She had got herself down today shower areas that was so drained that she didn't feel able to get back up to her campsite so I popped down in the car to bring her back up, I'm sure she will be okay within 24 hours though the campsite proprietor did suggest, somewhat unhelpfully, but she is gone to finish her off!