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On August 22, 2011 | 7 Comments | travel | Tags: , ,

Sils Area in Wintertime

This week I am pondering an upcoming vacation. We’re visiting the small town of Sils in southeastern Switzerland, which we get to with two plane flights, a four-hour train ride, and a bus. Sils captured our hearts earlier this year when we visited so I could attempt cross-country skiing. My husband, Henry, chose the location because we could ski on the frozen lakes, giving me a nice, flat surface to practice on. I’m from Houston, so I’m not used to going downhill. Or uphill, for that matter.

At any rate, we are looking forward to getting away from the relentless Houston heat and drought so we can hang out outdoors. On our last visit, we noticed that, as in other parts of Switzerland, the hiking routes are carefully documented. Signs point hikers to other towns, indicating with colors and stripes the degree of difficulty, and estimating the time needed to get from point A to point B. Though the locals zip by us, the time estimates seem to be aimed at those who walk at our speed, even allowing for time to stop and take photos.

The end of each hike is marked by the presence of a restaurant. Now THIS is civilized hiking! In fact, Henry has found a hike that advertises several restaurants along the way. I’ve learned to love seeing the Swiss flag out in the middle of nowhere, which signals food, drink, and a restroom ahead.

Edelweiss Photo

Edelweiss Hotel Restaurant in Sils

Not only that, but we don’t always have to go back the way we came. We can hike to a point, then take a train, bus, funicular, or gondola back to our starting point.

If only life were as easily mapped out as a Swiss hike! Imagine if you could get up and know the degree of difficulty you were going to face that day. You could look at your to-do list and know exactly how long each task would take. And, at the end, someone brings you a fabulous meal.

Of course, Swiss hikes are not always predictable. We have encountered sudden rainstorms, steep climbs with slippery shale underneath, and wintery winds whipping in October. Then there are the pleasant surprises, such as turning a corner to find a breathtaking ridge that rivals anything from The Sound of Music. No, I haven’t twirled and sung atop a ridge, but I imagine that I could.

As I’ve worked on this blog, I try, with varying degrees of success, to create the efficiency of the Swiss hiking system, pointing us in the direction that we will go for the week. This week we will have some fun with The Sweet Potato Queens on Book Discovery Tuesday. On Wednesday we’ll look at ways to keep inspired on those days when we’re too tired, cranky, or discouraged about manifesting our dreams.

Hopefully, though, the road map of the blog won’t keep us from also encountering some pleasant surprises along the way. One of the things I love about the Thursday Blog Recommendation is that we can go off in a variety of directions, both fun and serious.

The only thing I can’t furnish is the restaurant. But who knows? Last night I made a gorgeous lavender chicken with goat cheese and blueberry chutney. Today for lunch we’re having crab cakes with a black bean, mango, and tomato salad. One of my obsessions is to find healthy but delicious recipes. As a woman in midlife, I find that maintaining weight is a greater challenge than it used to be. Maybe I can throw in a few cookbook recommendations!

Have a great week! Thanks for checking in and sharing part of your day with me.

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