Day 9 - Lauterbrunnen/Orta
23.07.2012 - 23.07.2012
Up to see the sun rise this morning - mum and I had graciously accepted dad's offer to pack the tent up while we went to Mannlichen. We got to the station just before eight and took the train to Wengen, where we found the cable car station and began our ascent. It was breathtaking. The view from Mannlichen was outstanding - every way we looked we were surrounded by mountains and valleys. The place was deserted as well, there was only one other person in the cable car. We had hot chocolate at the top, views from every angle.
We saw the Jungrau, Eiger and Monch mountains all in a line, and the Grindlewald valley, the town of Wengen and even one of the lakes far in the distance. It was the clearest and sunniest day we'd had, and there was barely a cloud in the sky.
We stayed up the top for about an hour, then came back down in the the cable car, reaching Lauterbrunnen train station about eleven. Mum and I walked to the internet cafe to upload yesterday's post and the boys came and picked us up from there. They'd done everything for us - put down the tent, packed it away and loaded the car (a difficult job requiring more patience than I have). We were on the road for about midday.
I do have to say, driving through the Alps with a father who has vertigo and a mother who is scared of tunnels is both difficult and quite ambitious. The supposedly four hour journey took six instead, and the drivers swapped frequently.
But we arrived safe and sound in Itlay, the sun hot already. We're staying at Lake Orta, north west Itlay, in a small campsite up on the hill. The pitch mum had arranged for us to have had a beautiful view. But when we got there the space was too small for our huge tent because our neighbours had put theirs overlapping the two pitches - the owners of the campsite came down and tried to help, but there was nothing we could do unil our neighbours came back. They offered us a pitch higher up, dry ground with no view, or said we could stay on the football pitch for a night and move the next day. We didn't like either option, so they said they'd ask our neighbours to move over the next day. We managed to put the tent up at an odd angle but had to park the car at the top. But what a view.
After the tent was up it was quite late, and we went to the restaurant over the road for dinner. Great food, and lots of it, especially good for the boys who had been on the go all day.
The evening was very warm and dry, a welcomed change from the clouded valley of Lauterbrunnen. Dad and I took Tom and mum in bridge until they didn't want to play anymore, Tom declaring our success 'lucky' and 'scammy'.
A few dramas but a lovely evening, great view and good weather.