Monday the 22nd we decided to head to St. Gallen, the "big" city in our canton, to do some last minute Christmas shopping. In the photo above, you can see the lovely tree near the Abbey. We ended up going back to St. Gallen again on Tuesday to kill some time while we got our car serviced at the nearest Citroën dealer. 1300 swiss francs later, we got our car back. Ouch. On a side note, after we got off the train to retrieve our car at the mechanic's, I noticed a man with shopping bags full of what looked like Christmas presents. He disappeared, but 15 minutes later as we walked to an ATM (to get cash to pay for the car maintenance) I saw the same shopping bags casually sitting on the sidewalk next to a bike. The man was nowhere to be seen. I didn't think anything of it until I noticed that the bags were still there 10 minutes later on our way back to pay the mechanic. I don't know about you, but I don't just leave my stuff sitting around making it easy for people to swipe it. That's the thing, though, about the Swiss. In general, people don't worry about locking their doors or leaving their things out because nobody really goes around swiping your stuff. Also, I haven't seen any homeless people here. Oh yeah, and did you know, the government provides heroin to severe addicts so that they don't go and do something dangerous/illegal to get their hands on their next fix?
On Wednesday, we looked out the window and were pretty bummed to see nothing at all because the fog was so thick. Then we checked the internet site for Mount Säntis and noticed that the webcam showed clear blue skies, so we decided to head that way for a winter hike. In the photo above you can see how thick the fog was in the valleys.
This is us posing during our winter hike in Schwägalp, at the foot of Mount Säntis. I'm pleasantly surprised by our friendly fellow hikers. Sometimes you walk down the street here and no one even looks at you, but out on hiking trails almost everyone greets one another. Grüezi wohl!
Isaiah was trying to capture the "glitter" effect that happens when the snow mingles with the sun. I think he did a swell job, don't you?
If you look closely or enlarge this photo, you can see the remnants of an avalanche.When we got back home, Isaiah and I prepared a Christmas ham dinner for two. With a little prosecco and a full belly, we had ourselves a sweet little "First Christmas."
On Christmas Day, Isaiah and I headed back to Schwägalp, only this time to do a bit of snowboarding. It snowed during the night and continued to snow a bit during the day, so visibility was pretty low. Our friends let us borrow their equipment, so all we had to do was buy the lift ticket. Now, just so you know, this area isn't a ski resort so it's just one slope with one lift. I had a very difficult time getting on this lift because it's one of those self-service kind where you sit on a pole, you keep your feet on the ground, and you glide all the way up. After 5 failed attempts and countless bruises, I was ready to give up. When Isaiah finally agreed to help me and ride the same "seat" with me, I made it to the top. I'm really terrible at the sport, but I still had fun.
On Friday I couldn't really walk or move because I was so sore from snowboarding. Plus, everything was closed because the 26th is the second day of Christmas. So, we stayed home and played Mario Kart on the Wii. Come Saturday we were ready to do some exploring, so we got up early and headed to Luzern, which is a 2 hour drive away. We didn't last very long wandering around the city because it was just too cold! Instead, we escaped the weather by visiting the Swiss Museum of Transport...