Sunshine + Rain: Cabana de Plan Neve

It turns out the Swiss Alps really are littered with Swiss Alpine Club huts and their privately owned lookalikes. At Chalet Martin I met Caroline, another WorkAway from the States, and after a few days of extra fridge cleaning and bed making we ran away from civilization for a night in a mountain hut. At Merlin’s suggestion we headed toward Cabana de Plan Neve, a smaller hut nestled in a mountain valley.

When we left the hostel the low hanging clouds were threatening rain but as the day progressed the sun broke through the clouds and we ditched our rain gear for tank tops as we trekked down into Les Gorges, through Les Plans and up toward Pont de Nant.
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The Chrinnenhorn Summit

I have done a terrible job of planning ahead for any part of my Switzerland wanderings. The actual events of my life are rarely planned beyond the upcoming 12 hours. Heck, prior to showing up at Chalet Martin I’d usual start my day with no real plan for where I’d lay my head that night. It was freeing, liberating. Waking up in the Glecksteinhutte was no different. I got up, ate breakfast, stared out the cabin window…and made the impulse decision to do a day hike up one of the “alpine mountaineering” trails leading to the peaks surrounding the cabin.
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A Night in Glecksteinhutte

My first day in Grindelwald was supposed to involve a long hike up to Steckhornhutte with a relaxing night surrounded by mountain views. Instead, the city welcomed me with rain and eventually storms that drove me right off the mountainside and into a “meh” hostel on the edge of town. The hostel’s kitchen was laughable and I didn’t even bother with the shower…but I did get a 6 bed dorm room all to myself and celebrated with a full 9 hours of drool-on-my-pillow sleep. Yup, I know how to have a good time!
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Schreckhornhutte: A Failed Attempt

One of the first things many people suggest when I ask for their “must see” parts of Switzerland is “Grindelwald”! With so many people – both city lovers and mountain explorers – telling me I had to visit this area I decided to make it a stopover on my way to my WorkAway in Gryon. On my way I stopped in Interlaken, another “ooh, you should go to…” suggestion, for an afternoon + night. Honestly, if I did it again, I’d just skip Interlaken all together. Maybe I didn’t do the right kind of exploring in the area, but it felt like just another tourist city and full of distracted tourists. [granted, I did not visit Harder Kulm or spend much time near the lake, so I may be biased]
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The Trails Above Zurich

trail-running

I’m always quick to say “I’m not a city girl”…and I think that is a true statement. Cities make me uncomfortable and I find them to be very overwhelming. They are complex with varied rules, confusing signs and hundreds of people to watch you flounder about. I get nervous and awkward in cities, there is no doubt about it. However, I still managed to happily spend 7 days in Zurich, Switzerland.
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Off the Beaten Path [Cabana d’Orny]

swiss-alpine-club-huts

When I left Champex, Switzerland on my day hike up to Glacier d’Orny I was really just hoping for some time away from tourist feel of the city. I wasn’t quite ready to commit myself to the extra bus ride that would be required if I stayed on the Tour du Mont Blanc trail, just to bail off the next day…so I hiked up, up, up.

There is a ski lift/cable car that will take you up the mountain from the edge of Champex but when you’re day hiking that is cheating, right? I tromped on past that cable car and found the single track that zigged and zagged it’s way up the mountainside one skree field at a time. Once I arrived at the top I sat myself down and ate half my stash of jelly beans while basking in the mountain sunshine.
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Get Outside, Now!

Remember when you and your brothers spent 20 minutes arguing over who go to use the red legos, simply because they were better than yellow legos at the moment? And remember Mom yelled “get outside, now!” just as her eyes were starting to cross? No? That only happened in our family? Yea…I doubt that! It wasn’t always a lego argument but whenever us kids started to get a little whiny and stir crazy Mom would kick us outside. We thought it was to give her space [probably true] but looking back it gave us a place to work out some of our energy and issues.
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Currently.

The stressful part of my summer is officially over! As of last Thursday I was officially done with my classroom EMT training! I am “practically certified”, if you will. I have passed all of my NREMT practical exams but still need to take the intense written exam later this month. Up next, more training and classwork [IV, EKG, etc]. Turns out you spend a LOT of time advancing your knowledge and experience when you’re working in the pre-hospital field. Makes it rather depressing that we barely make minimum wage. Talk about irony – people can’t live without us but we literally cannot live by saving their lives. American priorities seem to be a little jacked up.
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Treading Water [EMT Training]

I’ve kind of fallen off the face of the internet lately. And oddly enough it wasn’t a planned part of a “screw you internet!” over reaction…it was simply life being life and getting in the way of life. How inconsiderate of life!

I have spent the last 6 weeks immersed in an accelerated 10 week program to become an EMT. Going into this I really had no idea what EMTs did…I talked to a few people who were EMTs but it was a pretty general chat. It wasn’t until the second day of class during a real heart-to-heart that I realized exactly what EMTs and Paramedics did in their day-to-day work life. It is not very glamorous; it’s actually pretty disgusting on the “bad days” and there isn’t always instant gratification; even when you do your job right. Rather than scare me off that realization made me want to work harder than ever to become the kind of EMT the medics wanted to work with.
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