Friday, September 4th
Rain-day in Switzerland
One of Asmir's comments at the end of the previous day's somewhat-longer-than-expected hike was 'I sure hope it rains tomorrow'. Well, Asmir got his wish - the day dawned gray and rainy and the forecast was for more of the same all day. It was a blessing, really, because it would have been a shame to waste good hiking weather.
As a result, we had a light schedule for the day: Asmir wanted to go down into the nearest little city in the valley that had internet access, so he could check up on some important work e-mails, and there were a few things we needed from a grocery store. That was about it!
We drove down-valley to the small city of Ilanz, where we eventually located an Internet cafe. Unfortunately, even though we had arrived during opening hours, it was closed. Fortunately, a lady outside the cafe in a phone booth overheard our plight, and said she knew the owner and would call him. So, we walked back to our parked car to put more money in the meter, then returned. Still no guy, but he should show up soon, we were told. So, we decided to walk around the town, looking to pass the time and to also see if we could find an alternate, more reliable internet cafe.
We didn't find an alternate internet cafe during our walk, but we did stumble upon the old historic downtown of Ilanz. Small, but very quaint!
Finally, after more than hour of waiting and lots of walking (and a stop at the local grocery store), we headed back to the cafe, where the owner of the internet cafe had finally returned (in fact, as he was riding back to the cafe he passed us in the street and gestured to us, mysteriously seeming to know we were the people waiting for the internet).
After spending some time catching up on the internet (Asmir did indeed have some important e-mail he needed to respond to, and I was interested in checking out the weather and possible hotels for the next few days), we wrapped it up and headed back up-valley. We still had time during the afternoon to burn, so we decided to head farther up-valley to the town of Disentis, where I had heard there was a relatively notable Benedictine Monastery -- the Disentis Abbey.
The abbey is a large, monolithic building that dominates and overlooks the town of Distentis. The abbey is one of the oldest abbeys still in existance in Europe, having been founded sometime in roughly the 700s.
It appears that the abbey has suffered its share of turmoil and destruction over the years, having been looted and razed several times over the course of history. It has, however, managed to endure against the odds.
At one end of the abbey is the abbey church. It's a finely wrought place with a beautiful organ (which someone happened to be practicing on when we were there, filling the church with rich, beautiful organ music).
Ceiling, Monastery Church
We wandered around the church and the few open hallways and chapels nearby, then went back outside for a walk around the structure. By then it was time to head back to the flat and prepare the delicious steak and sausage BBQ that Asmir had been promising to cook.