a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
We are back in Switzerland! This feels so unreal. And great. It feels so great to be back! We quickly collect our bags and meet Dario‘s parents outside. They came to pick us up even though it‘s already quite late. Thank you so much Mutz and Phads! And they bring us our July box, a package full of stuff we had packed in April, for this week.
We don‘t have much time with them right now as it‘s midnight and we are both sleeping at our friends‘ places. First they drop me off at Lari‘s place and then they continue on to Sebi. But we will see them on Sunday night for dinner at their place.
I run up the stairs to Lari‘s flat where both she and Zoë are waiting by the door. Wow! It‘s just so fantastic to see them again! We hug it out and I quickly jump under the shower which feels great. Then we sit by the kitchen table drinking wine and catching up and I feel so relaxed and excited at the same time. And now I get to spend all weekend with my girls for Caro‘s bachelorette weekend!
It‘s about 3am when we finally go to bed, and 8.30am when the alarm rings and we need to get up. I am feeling very jetlagged now, I only fell asleep at 5am...
Before we meet at the BANK, I pass by Sebi‘s apartment to get my clothes that Dario washed there last night. And then meet the girls at the restaurant. Anja and Tanja are there now too and I feel awesome seeing everyone again! Soon Caro and the rest of the girls arrive from Basel and there is some more hugging and excited chatter.
The brunch is delicious, I really dig in! But I realize that somehow my appetite is less these days. I can eat more times a day, but less food each time. Because that‘s how we eat out on the trail.
After brunch we walk over to one of the many Zurich escape games where we are divided in two groups and run around Zurich HB train station for 90 minutes, like headless chickens. It‘s so much fun and our group does really well and wins the game!
Then we board the train to Lavin in the Engadine mountains. Anja, the maid of honor reserved seats for us, organised a lot of drinks and prepared a fun game. We are enjoying ourselves so much, laughing all the time and drinking Tequila and other shots. This is like the fastest train ride - we are already there! Lavin is a pretty small village in the Swiss alps, there is one hotel there, with pink walls. It looks so cute! We get our room keys, I share my room with Tanja seeing as she‘s brought me some clothes to wear and of course we also have so much to talk about, me being her maid of honor at her wedding next year! I am so honoured and happy and want to get all the details out of her! :)
We meet with everyone else again after about a half an hour, for apéro, followed by a delicious three-course dinner in a private dining room. We have lots of wine to drink, play another game and share many stories. The others are getting tired, but I am still jetlagged and wide awake! So when we all go back to our rooms Tanja and I spend another two hours making up poems for the wedding and just laughing so hard! Even writing this I already start laughing again!
The next day - no hangover, yay! - we meet for breakfast at around 9am and then head out for a nice walk from Guarda, this stunning mountain village, back to Lavin. The girls all admire my trailrunners, amazed that I have hiked almost 1000 miles in shoes like that. And I feel on ‚home turf‘, back in the mountains, in my hiking outfit :)
Once we are back in Lavin we collect our bags from the hotel and walk to the train station. The train ride back to Zurich passes by fast, we are all a little tired and just spend the hours chatting, looking at our pictures etc. In Zurich I get off and go home with Lari to collect my things. There‘s still some time left until Dario comes to pick me up to go to his parents‘ house for dinner and Lari and I spend it talking about the amazing weekend we just had.
Then I say goodbye to Lari who I will see again soon in France and we drive out to Wangen, which Dario will write some more about. We do have the most amazing dinner there and afterwards Dario takes me to the train station from where I go to Basel.
I arrive in Basel 1.5 hours later, feeling pretty knackered, but so excited to see my mum again! It‘s 12.30am by the time I reach her place and she is still awake. I missed you! We talk for a while until we both almost fall asleep. Luckily I get to sleep in tomorrow! :)
The next morning my mum and I walk over to her new apartment. I love it! She will be very happy there I’m sure!
I then go meet my favorite sister Dana for lunch, she invites me to sushi because she knows me and she knows how much I missed it! ;)
We then visit our grandma in Reinach and I spend the afternoon with her and going for a walk in the neighbourhood. I will be back to spend some time with her tomorrow.
In the evening my dad comes over, it feels so good to see him again, both parents healthy and well! He brought his bolognese sauce and we have a delicious spaghetti dinner out on the balcony. I missed this so much!
The next day, Tuesday, I first go to a beauty salon to get my dirty feet ready for the upcoming wedding. I received this visit as a goodbye present from my former work place. How great are my former work colleagues to predict such dirty and well, gross, feet? And indeed, my feet turn out really nicely! Then I visit my grandma again and spend some time playing games with her. This is the last time I will see her for a year and I really hope she will stay well until I get back. She has had a tough time lately and I just wish for her to stay healthy now.
My dad picks me up later and we drive back to my Mum‘s place. Tonight is the last night in Switzerland for a year and soon Dario and his parents are scheduled to arrive for ‚our last supper‘. Christian and Andrea arrive first and we sit on the terrace having a few drinks and some snacks until Dario arrives.
It‘s really hot in Basel these days and everyone brought their bathing suits so that we can go floating in the Rhein river. It‘s the most refreshing dip ever, we all feel less sweaty and so much better now! When we get back to the apartment Dana and Andri are there too, and we have a lovely BBQ dinner.
But soon it is time to say goodbye to Dario‘s parents. Thank you so much for everything you are doing for us! The pick-up at the airport, this amazing dinner on Sunday night and the drive out to Basel for this dinner - it means so much to us and we will treasure these moments forever!
After we clean up everything we finally fall into bed, both really exhausted from the last couple days. What a great time we had in Switzerland! Home, you have been very good to us! <3
My parents drop me at my friend Sebi’s apartment at Europaallee in Zürich. It is a warm welcoming and we both are happy to see each other again.
Although it is already kind of late and we know that we have to get up earlyish the next day we spend an hour or so on the loggia, drinking beer and talking. After a long desired shower I fall asleep in a blink of an eye.
The next day we leave home at about 10:30 am to meet with all the others for Fabian’s birthday celebration in a rather small group.
And finally we meet everyone at Stadelhofen. It is a truly nice moment to see all of my best friends - Ste is here who flew in from New York, Rody came all the way from Tel Aviv, Remo from London and Michi, Di, Luki and Yotam. We all were supposed to prepare a future scenario where Fabian is going to end in 15 years and dress like Fabian would in the chosen scenario.
We then meet Fabian at the Forch memorial and time travel with him by taking the Forch Bahn into his future.
So we do this Bar hopping and in each bar someone presents his scenario - it is so funny!
After the last bar (Rio bar) Fabian now has to embark and steer an inflatable boat by himself underneath the central station and go all the way down the river Limmat until he is supposed to find his surprise party at Provitreff. He does an excellent job steering and docks safe and sound at his party.
The party itself is a blast - there are about 70 people here, we have some delicious antipasti and Lebanese Food Yotam prepared, a big barbecue, salads from Luki’s former start up Zum Guten Heinrich, a Schnupfmaschine, a Flämmlibar, Photobooth, a Jugomat (basically Nadia dressed in a Bosnian scarf handing over Rakia) and a book with pictures from the evening where one could write some things for Fabian.
At 4 am the party is over and a small group of the organization team stays there until 6:30 to clean up.
The next day I stay at Sebi and Nadia’s place until late afternoon and then get a lift from my sister Giuli to my parents’ home. On the way there we pick up Maya who is now back from the bachelorette weekend and we all have a exquisite dinner. Actually I basically ordered what we craved the most when we were on trail and my parents they cooked it all! Wow, thanks again it was absolutely amazing!
Later Maya is going to take the train to Basel and I decide to sleep at my parents.
The next day I have breakfast with my dad who is doing home office and we talk a lot (like always).
I then can lend his car and drive to Zurich again to pick up Sebi, Di and Michi for a fishing trip to Wägitalersee - a tradition we do every year. We always go up there the day before we actually fish, then go to the local restaurant order the “Mega Stausee Schnitzel”, ask the stuff there nicely if it is possible to cool our beer during the night in their fridge and then go camping on a meadow close to the lake. Sleeping outside it is again - yaaay... Not that I don’t like it but it also would have been ok to sleep on a bed for me…
Well it was a short night since we had to camp close to approx 100 cows who were making noise all night ringing their bells…
Nevertheless we are ready to embark on a small motorized boat by 6ish and head out.
It is a wonderful day again, the sun is shining, the water is quiet, in the background there is a nice mountain and we can hear the cowbells from everywhere. Feels like Switzerland in a commercial! But it is so nice and by mid-afternoon we caught about 8 trouts and two bass. As usual at the end we do some skinny dipping in the perfectly temperatured lake and then it is already time to drive home.
After saying goodbye to my friends which I will probably not see for the next year I now drive directly to Basel where the next part of our Switzerland program is taking place, family dinner with Maya’s and my family.