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Posted November 17, 2006 in Adventure Journals by Jim Markel
For anyone who thinks there’s not enough time in two weeks to see Europe, the Fishbaugh family made a valiant attempt. Lucky for Dave he brought along a C-Ruck Carry-on, good for carrying his camera to bring back some terrific photos. This is an Adventure Journal that delivered on some seriously fine vistas!
My C-ruck Carry-on Rucksack (color: Forest) made the following trip in summer 2005 with myself (age 59), wife Mary Susan (age 58), and son Geoff (age 17) Fishbaugh…
Arrive Glasgow Scotland via Billings-Minneapolis-Amsterdam-Glasgow by plane. Depart Glasgow by train. Arrive Harwich England. Stayed all night in a local hotel overlooking the English Channel.
Depart for Hoek of Holland by hydrofoil ferry, rather a floating casino! Arrive Rotterdam by train. Pick up a rental car (Euro Ford with automatic everything!) and drive to Breeda, Belgium. Stayed at a traditional hotel above a local restaurant – three single beds in the room. Room overlooked a town square. Bath facilities down the hall.
Depart Breeda by car and arrive Trier Germany. Stayed at a wonderful place on a hillside with two bedrooms and private bath. Breakfast the next day was part of the room rate: cold meat, yogurt, fresh butter, assortment of breads, hard-boiled eggs, juice, coffee, and tea.
Depart for Bar le Duc, France. We have a VIP tour of Bar le Duc, the castle, which was the childhood homes of our friends Guy and Pierrette. Their home is in the countryside along a canal with barges and other boat traffic. They have wonderful flower and vegetable gardens. Offered us a traditional French supper with quiche, home-grown green beans, loaves of French bread, and a custard with home-canned peaches. All topped off with home brewed Mirabelle brandy – one sniff was enough for us! Wonder what the alcohol content was!!
Depart for Bern Switzerland via a beautiful route through both farm country and mountain passes. Dropped the car off in Bern and used public transportation for the remainder of the trip. Stayed with our daughter Kate. That day and the next we Tour Bern: picnic in the Rosen Garten, climb the church tower, and feel sad for the captive bears.
Wanderweg in the countryside outside Bern. This is a country hike, as opposed to an Alpine hike. Hiked at least 5 miles through the hills, through farms with Heidi-looking homes and out-buildings complete with lace curtains and red-and-white checked table cloths. Ate at “the Painted Pony,” a pub that looked like it came straight from The Hobbit!
Depart for Grindelwald, a small mountain town. Checked luggage in storage lockers at the station and took a train to the Jungfraujoch, Top-of-Europe. The rail trip was quite steep, requiring cogs to pull the train up the mountain and to maintain reduced speed on the way down. We rode through the Eiger a tunnel behind the face famous for climbers. On the Jungfraujoch, a saddle between the Eiger and Jungfrau peaks, we looked down on the largest glacier in Europe. We hiked across the glacier to a “hut,” actually an inn at the top of the mountain that provides hot meals and lodging for serious mountaineers and ice climbers. We tried the rosti – roasted potatoes with bacon, eggs, cheese, etc.
Made an Alpine hike on the Wetterhorn, a mountain separated from the Eiger by a deep canyon. Rode a cable car to the trail head then hiked to a restaurant for lunch. The Swiss know how to do mountains in style!
Left our loft room in Grindelwald — five single beds under the eaves, knotted rope fire escape, bathroom on the floor below — to travel to another canton (Swiss state) to meet friends. Stayed in a ski club lodge at the top of a mountain at the edge of a village. Instead of bears clawing at the side of our tent in the morning, we were awakened by the bells of cows grazing far above the tree line! Feasted on raclette, a traditional Swiss cheese that is warmed and melted over potatoes or other vegetables. Very tasty and very stinky!
Returned to Bern. Travel in Switzerland was intercity by train, intra city by bus, and often on foot!
Traveled to Paris with Kate on a French high-speed train. We left the German speaking part of Switzerland and traveled through the French speaking part. It is interesting how different cantons are from each other in language, architecture, everything. Switzerland is a loose confederation of states that become united only when their borders are threatened. Arrived in Paris. Found our 2 star, 80% clean hotel and set off for Sacre Coeur.
Walked to all of the major Parisian sites: Opera, Seine, Notre Dame, the Louvre (didn’t have to decide whether or not to go in because the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays!), the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysee, the Rue St HonoreŠ.
Caught a bus near the opera for Charles de Gaulle airport. Rode past cemeteries, projects, and industry. Went through at least three security checks before entering the gate area!
Returned to our real world, with the C-Ruck carry-on in fine shape! Why can’t we just travel?
Signed, Dave Fishbaugh
Whew, Dave. Hats off to the Fishbaugh family for this great travelogue through Europe. These have to be among the best photos we’ve ever received. A glacier panorama behind our carry on luggage! Cool. Cheers, Jim Markel CEO