Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tourists

Switzerland got snow in the mountains last week so we couldn’t start with our planned itinerary. A couple of days ago, then, Charlene took us to Stein am Rhein because it’s cute and not so high. While we were wandering around the town she found a fish restaurant with one big pike still unreserved. She booked it. Wow, we concluded our day with a delicious dinner. Too bad we didn’t think to take a picture of our fish before we ate it. It looked just as delicious as it tasted, but we didn’t look at it for very long before the waiter dismantled it and laid the meat onto our plates with butter-herb sauce.

The next day we took a boat to Schaffhausen, intending to ride back on rental bikes. When Alla got onto her bike, however, she decided she didn’t remember how to ride a bike. She’s used to riding on the back of our tandem, where she sits with both feet on the pedals until I push off and we get underway. Somehow she couldn’t work up the courage to push off before putting her feet onto the pedals, so she returned her bike to go home on the boat. Charlene and I, meanwhile, rode down to see the Rhein Falls, which took a little longer than we expected.

We worried about whether we’d have enough time to ride back to Stein am Rhein before returning our bikes at 6 p.m., so we pushed ourselves a little bit on the way back to Schaffhausen, where we stopped to check the boat schedule. The last boat was about to leave, and we found Alla on it. We said hello and goodbye to her and rolled ahead onto the bike path meandering near the riverbank. Still worried about our late start, we rode hard until we recognized we didn’t have much farther to go before we’d reach Stein am Rhein. We stopped on the riverbank and ate apples and avocado, looking at our destination not too far ahead. We still had over an hour and a half, so we soaked our feet in the cold water and enjoyed the view of an old church across the river from us.

Finally, by 5:00, we decided to ride down to the bridge and get a close look at the scene we’d been enjoying across the water. As I set up my camera on a self-timer to take a picture of ourselves, Alla’s boat came up the river toward us. We waved at each other, returned our bikes, and swapped stories of the day.

Today we stayed closer to Chur because the weather is suddenly warm and sunny. We visited the village from the children’s story Heidi at the suggestion of Charlene’s daughter Nina. We came there with Nina and her infant son, who fussed very little and entertained us all while we waited for lunch. I’m glad he took the wait so well, because we didn’t receive our meal until over an hour after we placed our order. At least we enjoyed a fine view while we waited and the food was great. I ordered asparagus again since it’s in season here and delicious. I also know that I’ve never seen such good asparagus in Belarus and that it’s hard to find any asparagus at all.

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