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Eurotrip 2012 – Day 4

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off

17-June-2012

Today we spent the day canyoneering which consisted of hiking, rappelling, swimming, and jumping into frigid waters. Did I say frigid? Let me put it this way… this is snow melt that is about 8°C (or 46°F). The waterfall picture was invigorating as the water runs down the back of the wetsuit.

At the beginning of the trip as we are going through our safety prep, Daniel, our guide, tells the men in the group, “You must use ball management with these harnesses.” Good advice.

At one point during the trip we took slide down a rock slide that was just crazy. The problem is that as you are sitting on this rock getting ready to go in this frigid water (have I mentioned the water is cold?), you are watching the rushing water in front of you and this is big white water. But that is not the scary part… the slide takes a blind turn to the right and you can’t see what is downstream of that. Daniel explains, “Just around the corner is a drop where you will plunge into the water. You will be underwater for a good 4 seconds. Just count and you’ll be back on the surface.” I’m thinking to myself, “4 seconds in this water!?!?! Crazy!” Have I mentioned this water is COLD?

At another spot we jumped from a ledge into the waters below. As it turns out, these waters are spinning in a whirlpool fashion. Chris goes first and caught in the whirlpool and goes around, and around, and around before finally making it to the exit area.

We also had several opportunities to rappel; from the bridge or various ledges all resulting in a “refreshing” plunge into the water.

Towards the end of the canyoneering, the gorge was filled with trees brought down by an avalanche. Under the trees snow remained. I told you this water was snow melt! Daniel expects that the snow will survive the summer due to the insulation provided by the trees. Looking back up the hillside, one could see an entire section devoid of trees where the avalanche had wrought its destruction.

Afterwards we grabbed a late lunch nearby before heading back to the campsite. Jason picks up a few things and then we drive to the bahnhof (train station) so he can return to Heidelberg.

After we say our goodbyes, Vicky, Chris, and I drive back to the town near the campsite and try out the ice cream parlor / bar, Seaside Eis Karte. The locals really enjoy both ice cream and beer (not necessarily together) so this restaurant caters to those desires. Vicky and I enjoy a dunkel while Chris orders an apple juice. As we are enjoying our drinks we peruse the menu (desserts only). Several “entrees” are spaghetti, one of which was: Spaghetti – Schokosauce. (3 Kugeln Vanilleeis, Schokosoße, Weiße Schokosplitter and Sahne) Chris just had to try this. Well, we are on vacation. The “spaghetti” is soft serve vanilla ice cream pressed into the form of noodles, with of course chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Vicky writes, “In the local amphitheatre, a local band is playing in traditional clothes. The musicians get free beer. We have to buy ours. They are playing a polka so I ask Eric, “Do you dance the polka?” He shakes his head. So I say, “I guess we need to buy you another beer!””

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