I am referring to the view here in Laax, and in fact, all of Switzerland. Having come from an absurdly flat state I find the element of elevation completely captivating. The Mom, kids, and I came out to Laax for a little change of scenery. Emphasis on the little as we will be here for less than 36 hours. We made our way out here this morning and set up shop. We picnicked outside to a lunch of pasta salad, and while the kids drank Sprite, the Mom introduced me to a trendy beverage amongst women around these parts. It’s a combination of 3/4 beer (in this case Feldschlössen ICE) and 1/4 Sprite. I’m not one to mix spirits by any means, but I will say that it was quite refreshing. She emphasized that no man would ever be caught drinking it, lest his masculinity be questioned.
This afternoon I hit the trails. They are incredibly well laid-out and marked, and are great for wandering. Whenever I go out for a run or hike I usually fail to make a plan. I prefer to just explore and see where the wind takes me. Since I’ve been here I’ve traversed through many a random field, once dodging a flock of sheep. I’ve passed by numerous “Beware of Hound” signs and Verboten posters. I like to think of those as more suggestions than actual enforcements. And I’m still here, right? In any event, I headed out today Falera bound. It’s the town right next to Laax, about 2 km away. The run there was great, the perfect mix of hills and flat bits. Once I arrived I spotted two churches, one of which dates back to the 11th century. It had some beautiful frescoes decorating the walls and one of the most impressive alters I have seen here. Outside the church there is an open courtyard lending itself as an excellent vantage point. From here you can see mountain after mountain, layering back until they disappear. As I was looking around I made a conscious effort to burn these images in my mind: a pine tree blanket covering the chilly side of a mountain, the Rhine river gushing and frothing below, a columbia blue sky dotted with cotton ball clouds. I’m trying desperately not to take these views for granted.
The run back was equally satisfying as a I took the long route and passed through Larnags. There was one point on this leg of the journey when I was running uphill, listening to one of my favorite running songs, sun streaming through the trees, and I kid you not, a whole host of butterflies were soaring around me. As the song reached it’s peak my skin turned to gooseflesh and I was immediately reminded that I am lucky and fortunate to be here. There are rough days and trying weeks (and right now the kids are downstairs competing to see who can scream the loudest for the least viable reason), but this is an experience I will never forget and for which I will always be grateful.