Saturday, September 20, 2003

2003: Summer of (1st part)

This has been a summer with a theme for us! The theme being ...'ice'! Our vacation time abroad was split in two parts: first, we spent about five days in the Swiss Alps. Intervac, the home exchange organization that we represent in Greece had its annual general meeting (and celebration for its 50 years) in the picturesque village of Pontresina in the Engadin area. There was some work to be done, of course, but there were also leisure activities for the participants. The highlight was the descent of the Morteratsch glacier: a fine and sun bright morning the scenic railway (Rhaetische Bahn) took us through the woods to the train stop of Bernina Diavolezza (2059 m). Then a cable car took us to the top at Diavolezza (2978 m.) where our descent started. That was a good 10 km hike on and over the glaciers.

Some not very amusing things happened to us: Maria, who had rented her boots the previous day realized rather late that they were one size smaller than what they should have been and Stathis saw his soles to ...detach from the rest of the boots and had to strap them on the boots! Despite these hardships and thanks to the perfect weather, we enjoyed wonderful views and a memorable experience. It got even better when we found out that our final destination was a cheese-dairy in the woods where we had our lunch. On our way back to Athens we stopped for a day in Zurich. The city is lovely but the temperature was extremely high (about 35oC) for the locals who tried desperately to cool themselves!

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