Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our first sledding trip

Finally, we got out into the snow here in Switzerland!  I've been hearing everyone at the office talk about their marvelous ski weekends for months now, and while we haven't yet gone skiing, we at least went sledding.  We took a train up to La Givrine - first we took the train to Nyon, then a tiny narrow-gauge train up into the mountains.  The train portion of the trip took about an hour and 10 minutes total, but it's mostly because we didn't plan well, and so had a long wait in Nyon.  We had better connections on the way back and it was much faster.

Anyway, there was a little rental station there, right next to where you get off the train, where you could rent all kinds of winter sports gear - sleds, snowshoes, cross country ski gear.  We rented 2 huge heavy sleds and headed to the hill across the train tracks.  The temperature was just above freezing, unfortunately, but at least it wasn't raining.

We inaugurated a sled run down the steepest part of the hill.  There were very few people when we got there, and it was tough going getting the sled down.  We got stuck in the snow a lot, but eventually we had a nice sledding hill.  By the time we left, there was a large crowd (lots of expats) sledding down what we proudly referred to as "our sledding track".

The kids did pretty well, though it turns out we brought two left handed mittens for Peter, from sets that looked very similar.  I put them on him, but it wasn't comfortable, and he took them off often enough to get his hands pretty cold.  On the train ride back I let him put his hands on my stomach.  I was happy to warm his hands, but it's clear why having something icy cold on your warm stomach feels so uncomfortable, even if you're relatively warm - it just sucks the heat out of you.  I felt weirdly cold from the core for a while afterward.  

In other news - last night we went to a party here, hosted by our neighbors from the 4th floor.  It was fun- my first Swiss social gathering, and I actually spoke a lot of  (primitive, halting, grammatically incorrect but enthusiastic) French. Today I realized (slapping myself in the forehead, it was a "doh!" moment) - the reason I was so talkative was because I was a little tipsy!  I'd had a few swallows of wine, and I'm such a lightweight that it really affects me, and made me far more voluble in French than I otherwise would have been.

The neighbor's girlfriend spoke English (actually she's British and doesn't speak French) so Eric had someone to talk to as well.  It was a little uncomfortable meeting our neighbor from directly underneath us, since his wife knocked on our door angrily one morning a while back, telling us the kids were too loud.  But I apologized again, and he said, "no problem", and we got over it.

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