Hi from Rick: Anticipating the Alps
|Lauterbrunnen is my favorite doorway to the snowy Swiss Alps.|
There's nothing like being surrounded by the Alps on a crisp summer morning. For thirty summers it's been a pilgrimage for me — one of the great joys of European travel.
Anticipation becomes part of the magic. Aiming for the heart of the Swiss Alps, I catch my train in the Belle Époque resort town of Interlaken and head into the long, lush valley which meanders toward the snowy tips of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Once in my seat, I slide open the big panoramic window. The lush air, perfumed with the sweet, sweaty smell of freshly cut hay, fills the car.
Grassy banks speckled with alpine flowers remind me of my first ride on this train many years ago. While my girlfriend and I eagerly hung out the window at a slow corner, overwhelmed by the views, a railroad worker surprised her with a bouquet of alpenroses offered through the window.
Below me a swollen stream charges noisily down the center of the valley, chattering excitedly about the wild mountain ride it just survived. I crane my neck so I can see what all the excitement is about. Slowly we glide higher and higher into the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a glacier-edged garden of traditional Swiss lifestyles, capped with a dazzling panorama of cut-glass peaks.
In this month's edition of Tour News you'll learn more about high altitude travel thrills, with a bouquet of articles on the Alps, and a rundown of the many ways our tours criss-cross Europe's scenic summit.
Our seats for summer 2007 tours with Alpine panoramas are filling fast, so think about booking soon. Anticipation will become part of the magic for you, too.