Have a couple of things to get off my chest before I write about Andermatt; so you may want to skip the first part of today’s post. 🙂
It feels pretty good to write 2021 instead of 2020. That being said after the first two days of the year, I am not sure that 2021 is going to be much different than 2020.
Parts of the United States Government are showing that they no longer want to live under the form of government that has served the country pretty well for over 200 years. Many on the Republican side of the aisle are proving that they would rather live under a form of Dictatorship rather than the Representative Democracy we have. I am saddened that so many of our elected leaders would follow unproven conspiracy theories rather than facts. To me the simple fact that over 100 Representatives and over a dozen Senators are going to contest the election results leads me to the conclusion that the United States of America is at the beginning of the end. The fact that about 1/2 the people reading this will now label me as a communist and hater of America, to me, kind of proves my point. I get being upset that your candidate lost. I cannot understand being unwilling to accept the fact that after nearly 60 court cases have stated there was no fraud; so many people still believe the election was stolen by the Democrats. These same people that believe President Elect Biden was smart enough to pull this off, with their next words call him senile and an idiot. I hope that the US wakes up and rights itself before Julie and I come back. I don’t hold out much hope though.
If you would like to debate about this please feel free to contact me via email. All I would ask, is that there be no name calling, and that when you try and tell me there was fraud, back that up with proof, not just “We all know there was fraud; all you need to do is look.” That didn’t work for the judges so it isn’t going to work for me either.
The second reason I am feeling that 2021 is just an extension of 2020 is IU Football. Sure, by most measures, IU had a fantastic season. They came within 15 points of being undefeated. I have been a fan of IU since the Lee Corso days. One of my favorite memories as a lad was being out in the woods cutting firewood with Dad; if there was a football game playing, he would bring along a transistor radio, and we would listen while we were splitting the logs. Honestly, I still don’t know why those memories are so vivid. After all this time, the only thing I can think of is that it happened a lot. In my mind, I can picture the dents and rust on the trailer. I can even “see” the woods. That being said; I have been a fan of IU football for a long time. Since the 70’s there has been very little success, and a whole lot of failure. Every year, there was a point that I knew the season was over. It was just a lump sitting in my stomach, and a feeling of “Here we go again.” I think what has me so worked up today, is that feeling didn’t come until the last game of the season.
Like most fans, I was dismayed about the slight given Indiana by the bowl committee. After arguably finishing 2nd in the conference we should have gotten one of the New Years Day bowl games. I was proud of the coach and the team for how they handled the slight. I laughed at the fact that IU was removing conference patch from their uniforms. That being said, if you are going to make those kind of waves, you had better back it up on the field. Last night’s game was awful. I knew from the end of the first quarter that IU just didn’t show up to play. It was like we watched a completely different team than was on the field for the other eight games. IU was on path to have a HISTORIC season. Instead they wind up with a simple GOOD season. There are a lot of things to look forward to with IU football, I am sad that my mantra of “wait until next year” is tinged with sadness over what could have been vs the joy of what was.
On to Andermatt
Andermatt is a small town in South-Central Switzerland. The permanent population is about 1500 people. Andermatt became one of the principal villages in that part of Switzerland in the early 1800’s. It sits at the start of the St Gotthard Pass. The pass is one of only two north-south routes through the Alps. In the past it was arguably the most important pass, because it was the easiest route to Italy from Zürich, Basel, and Luzern. By the end of the century, though, Andermatt was in decline. The Swiss built a tunnel through the alps making the pass less important. Andermatt is now seeing a resurgence, though, at least based on the number of cranes in the town. Andermatt has become popular as a less expensive ski area.
We have decided we want to go back for a long weekend in the summer. There are a lot of hiking trails we want to try. We were impressed with the number of winter hiking trails they have groomed.
You could literally hike from town to town. In my next post I will tell you the history of the Devil’s Bridge. We were able to see the bridge from the train, but the trail is closed in the winter.
We tried to make this little excursion as safe as possible. We got a 1 bedroom apartment, so we could cook all our meals. We stayed away from people as much as possible. We brought our snow shoes and decided to NOT go skiing. All of restaurants in Switzerland are closed for dining in, except if the restaurant is in a hotel. We did eat in the hotel the first night; I wanted to make sure we could find the grocery store; and it was more relaxing to not have to worry about cooking as soon as we arrived. The most risky thing we did was take the train, and even there we tried to be safe. We actually scoped out the cars before boarding to make sure we were in the cars with the least number of people. We probably should have just stayed home, but we really wanted to see some sunshine. 🙂
One thing I learned is that I really need to check the weather more before we go somewhere. Also I need to look at what the average temperatures have been for the area. Before we went it made sense to us, that we were going up to the mountains, so it would be COOOOLD! It was only a few degrees colder up in the mountains vs Zürich. In Fahrenheit, the temperature was always in the high 20’s during the day, and low 20’s at night. In Zurich, the temperature is low to mid 30’s during the day, and it really doesn’t change much at night. I think we have only had two nights that dropped below freezing this winter. Anyway, I brought clothes like I was going ice fishing in the boundary waters! Multiple layers of long underwear etc… So needless to say, I brought a lot of stuff I just didn’t need. I did wear my fur hat one day. Not because I really needed it, but I JUST wanted to wear it!
One thing that surprised me, is the lack of snow. Last year was a really bad year for snow, and it is shaping up to not be any better this year. We only got snow one night while we were there, and it snowed maybe 1/2 an inch. The snow shoe trails were not that good, due to the lack of snow. In fact, we really only needed snow shoes on part of one trail. I am still glad we brought the shoes, though. There was almost no one else on the trails, so we were able to social distance.
The main ski slope in Andermatt was closed, but we came across this sign on our first snow shoe hike, and it literally made me laugh out loud. Just look at what the skier has to cross about 10 feet past the sign.
That is about it for today. I’ll write one more time this week about the trip. I hope you all had a wonderful New year, and I really hope that 2021 doesn’t turn out to be 2020 and 1..
See you soon! Enjoy the pictures.