Wednesday, September 2nd
To the Swiss Flat
Today was a transition day. We had spent the better part of three days in Southern Germany, and it was time to move on. Our destination was Switzerland, where Miriam's family have a flat in an alpine valley. The plan was to head there today, get settled in, then spend the next few days exploring the environs, including perhaps a couple of alpine mountain hikes.
We loaded up our rental Audi with all of our gear and luggage, and (much to Asmir's surprise), it barely fit (he thought it would easily fit). Then there was the food: Miriam's mom had very generously bought us a whole whackload of groceries for us to use while we were at the flat. Many thanks again, Kristina, for your extreme generosity!
With the car packed up, we headed off. The first stop was a bit of last-minute grocery shopping in Niederstotzingen, and the next stop was the Tesro factory in nearby Bachingen.
Side note: I hadn't mentioned it yet, but the Roemer family are the owners and operators of Tesro Sportwaffen GmbH, a company that manufactures and sells 'sport' guns and rifles (often for shooting competitions and such).
Anyway, as I was saying earlier, we headed off to the Tesro factory.
Miriam's brother gave us a little tour and we hung around for a bit. Daniel showed off the company's two CNC machines, as well as the rest of the machine shop.
With our visit to Tesro complete, we punched in the address of the Roemer flat in Switzerland, and off we went. The bad weather that had rolled in late the day before was still with us (and in fact, was predicted to be with us for a few days, unfortunately). We drove south and around the eastern end of Lake Constance, briefly entering Austria before crossing into Switzerland. Shortly thereafter, we stopped for a final bit of shopping at a roadside mall and grocery store. We were certainly well-stocked up for the next few days!
The Roemer Flat
Under grey and wet skies, we drove up the valley of the Rhine river past the city of Chur, then up into a sub-valley of the Rhine called the vorderrhein. Finally, we took a small switchbacking road up the side of the valley to a forest-and-pastured bench upon which the small settlement of Waltensburg rested. At the upper end of town, we pulled into the parking lot of a smart looking multi-unit building that overlooked the valley below. We had arrived at the flat!
Living Room View
It took us some time to unload the massive pile of stuff we had managed to squeeze into every corner of the Audi, but eventually we did. We made ourselves comfortable in these new digs, which were indeed very nice. The flat was what I'd call 'modern-alpine' style, featuring lots of lacquered wood, a cathedral ceiling, and white stuccoed walls.
A Misty View
On the main floor was a full bathroom and bedroom, along with a small but very efficient and modern euro-style kitchen, a cozy dining corner, and an airy living room corner with a double-height ceiling. Off of the living room was a wide balcony with a great view overlooking the valley. A wooden spiral staircase wound up around a single support pillar to the second floor, where there was a second living-room-ish area and two large bedrooms, each with a functioning sink and a vanity cabinet.
Late night relaxation
Since it had taken us most of the day to get here, there really wasn't any time to go out and see anything. Instead, we had a relaxing remainder of the day, enjoying the view of bits of valley drifting in and out of the clouds, preparing a tasty dinner, and trying out some of the short travel games Asmir had brought along. After dinner, we enjoyed more of the same, along with a couple of bottles of smooth wine. A very relaxing evening!