Today we packed up, checked out and left our timeshare. We were driving to a mountain called, Jungfrau…the tallest mountain in Switzerland. We were wondering where the navigator (whom we named Bridgette) would take us. The drive was beautiful, we curved around mountains and lakes and through valleys.
On our way up one of the mountains, we saw a big brewery with a tiny cafe. We pulled over to sit with the other 2 people on the patio. The waitress spoke mainly German but a little English. Switzerland is divided into different areas of language/culture. We had been in the French speaking region but had crossed over to the German side. We drank our beers and looked over the menu to see what types of food were local. One thing that stood out was the horse steak served with a garlic butter sauce. We confirmed with the waitress that in fact it really was horse on the menu…she said it was sweet. Of course we ordered it…just kidding, no horse meat for us today!
Back in the car we continued our drive up the mountain until we arrived at a train which Bridgette (navigator) called a ferry. We have been on a ferry in our car across a body of water before and we have been on trains but never driven our car onto a train to have it take us 25 minutes through a pitch dark tunnel up even higher into a mountain!
Once we arrived on the other side of the tunnel, the train stopped and let us off to continue driving. The countryside was hilly and green with patches of German houses. After about 40 minutes of driving we arrived in a town in which the only way to continue going up was to get on a panoramic ski lift. This lift probably held about 30 people and would take you to the next mountain where you get off and get on another lift to take you to the next mountain until you had ridden about 4 lifts and found yourself at the very top of the mountain at a restaurant called Piz Gloria. It was the first rotating restaurant in the world overlooking the tops of the Alps. The food was overpriced so we just ordered a drink and bowl of french fries to munch on while the restaurant slowly rotated and showed a us a 360 degree view through the all glass windows.
We went outside to take some pictures and Giff decided this was the perfect first spot to release some of his dad’s ashes.
The last lift down was leaving so we jumped on and took it down a few stops to a small village called Murren. It was tiny with only a couple restaurants and hotels. We found a picturesque place to stop and picnic.
After taking the remaining lifts down to the bottom, we continued our drive to Zurich. About 4 hours later we arrived into the huge city and checked into our hotel. It was late so we scoped out the hotel (Marriott) which was nice and sat in their executive lounge (free snacks and drinks) and read a bit on the city sites before heading to bed.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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One Reply to “Day 61 of 400: Jungfrau, Piz Gloria, Murren – Switzerland”
Your dad would have loved to see these mountains. He would have wanted to hike them. And, I’ll bet he would have ordered horse to go along with local beer.