Sunday, February 10, 2008

Note to self: update blog more frequently!

They say that hindsight is 20/20 so I'm hoping that writing this part after my return to Canada will go smoothly using said hindsight. Maybe my lime herbal tea will help.

Friday was our second-to-last full day in Zermatt. Since our ski passes allowed us use of the gondolas for 8 out of our 10 days there, Sean and Tony decided to fit in another day of toboganning. Still leery and bruised from my last (literal) run-in with Darlene on sleds, I opted to use the day for emails and photo-taking while she headed into Zermatt for a day on foot. I also sneaked in a bit more sleep time, sometimes difficult to do while sharing a room with 3 other people on different schedules. We won't talk about the snoring.

Since Sean had brought his laptop, we were hopeful for "easy" Internet (Wi-Fi) connection at will. This would not be the case as we soon found out. After an evening of huddling with the laptop on a bench in the cold at the side of a road downtown, across from a packed bar (with free but dreadfully slow wi-fi) full of drunken singing Europeans, we searched for another solution. Granted, the hostel had internet but we didn't want to pay every time if we didn't have to. Another bar and some recycling bins provided temporary fixes until I realized that the phone booths behind the garbage outside the bar would not only provide shelter from the elements but would also allow us a little more discretion and a place to rest the computer. Thus I managed to upload a few photos and post my blog that day, all thanks to Swiss Telecom in a way. You kind of had to be there...

I had wanted to go back up to Gonergrat to take some more photos and since Sean and Tony were up that way sledding, I arranged to meet them at one of the train stations. Since it's two gondolas to get to that station, this meant I had plenty of time to myself, just me and my camera. This must be how I ended up with 1000+ photos from the trip. Got to experiment with my colour settings, try the zoom some more, sing whatever I felt like, look at butterflies, etc. The second gondola I was on ended up being full of Brits plus me. After declining a candy from an old man (yikes! although he seemed harmless), I endured the pompous posturing of the gondola rooster. British, male, older, and skiier. Note at this point I was on foot without any indication of my winter sport preference. He proceeded to "entertain" us with his personal perspectives on blah and blah and blah, then the conversation turned to snowboarders who he condescendingly denounced as "gays on trays". Honestly, I felt so loved as I bit my tongue and found fascination out the window. Jerk.

When I finally caught up to them, Sean and Tony were covered in snow but having a blast on their sleds. Since they had a better knack for staying on them than did I, it's probably just as well it was them against each other. Sean had even taken up riding the sled on his belly, hurtling down the mountain face first which sounded like a lot of fun although I'm certain I would have injured myself somehow. There was plenty of chatter about stuff like run times being cut down and extreme cornering. I got a few photos but the clouds had come in, bringing along a biting wind which I hadn't entirely dressed for so we opted out of Gornergrat and headed back to Zermatt.

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