Monday, 18 October 2010

What Do You Do With Geographers?

No, no, no, you don't ignore them.

You actually pelt them with rocks while quizzing their memory on how that little mineral cluster was formed many moons ago.

Okay fine, you don't do that either (this visit...).

What you actually do is take them to a glacier!

That's what Dan and I did anyways. Alexi and Clarence were reminiscing how they had a geography professor who raved to his students about Switzerland, and told his class that if possible it should be a place they visit. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because of those alps, and glaciers, and rocks, and sh-t. Snore, boring...pass the chocolate.

Luckily for our guests, Dan is a little more sensitive to educational enthusiasm than I am ("OMG guys, you should totally check out THE FASHION that Switzerland has to offer. I have like, totally, like, earned, like, an A+ in my degree, like, in speaking the language of H&M. Guys. Guys?? Where are you going? Why don't you respect me?) and he decided to center one of our excursions around that glacier geographic super star known as Aletsch.

Aletsch is the rock star of all the European glaciers, and he only goes by one name; kind of like Cher, and Bono, and Madonna. Aletsch has a bit of an ego (as do all superstars) and sometime goes by the name The Great Aletsch, but I tried to play it cool when I met him, and only called him Aletsch. It's really tacky to fall all over yourselves when meeting someone you deem of importance.

Aletsch is considered king of the glaciers because he is the biggest glacier in the Alps, and is 23 kilometers long and covers 120 square kilometers. Basically Aletsch is large and in charge, and for that reason he has also been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But you all know what that means don't you? Whenever something is deemed a world heritage site, it is because it is generally in danger of disappearing and so it is given public recognition in an effort to bring awareness. I am sad to say that just like his fellow one-name-internationally-known-on-the-microphone counterpart Madonna, Aletsch is also starting to get those crazy skeleton hands that is caused by fanatical exercise and an abhorrence of fat: also known as glacial receding.

Except unlike Madonna, there aren't glacier plastic surgeons who can inject some of that abhorred fat into his cheeks or pack some more snow and ice onto his body to recover some of the calories he has lost due to global warming. Aletsch wants you all to know that he actually doesn't want to loose anymore calories: he wants to remain 23 kilometers long and continue to cover 120 square kilometers. Especially since a few years ago, in a quest to raise awareness for global warming, a whole bunch of naked people got down on the glacier to be photographed. Aletsch was really not comfortable with this, so if you could all just do your part to make sure he stays the way he is, he'd appreciate it.

So here are the pictures I took of our day visiting photogenic Aletsch.

Hey look everybody! It's a giant piece of Toblerone!
(also known as the Matterhorn)

Riederalp, the jumping off point to our day.
Can you spot the teeny-weeny golf cartesque vehicle in front of that chalet?
Riederalp is a car-free zone, so these little electric golf carts are how people get their wheelin' and dealin' accomplished in this alpine village.

Dan, I want to live in Riederalp.
Dan, I want to live in Riederalp.
Dan....oh, you get it.
I've been singing this to him since last summer.
I don't think he takes me seriously. Most people don't.

I always love a bend in the road.
So mysterious.

There was some serious official geography terminology being thrown around about these cliff formations, and I was all, "You mean the official name for this isn't 'pretty' or 'awesome'?"

 Now let's all make the same noise those little three-eyed aliens from Toy Story 3 make: "oooooo".
(Totally watched that movie on the plane and laughed out loud once or twice)
And contrary to what I originally thought, God did not drive his Tonka truck over Aletsch and make those dirty looking tracks. There is actually an official geography name for those.
Alexi, me out.

Let's all try to ignore the fact my right leg looks really weird and short.
Note to future self: don't try and prop your leg up on a shelf ledge, then lean forward.
Not a good look.
Dan, Alexi, and Clarence, all look nice though.
As does Aletsch.

Please look really, really, hard. There are two jets flying over Aletsch.
What a diva. Demanding military protection. Pscht.

There's the plane again.

Close-up of Aletsch.

View points.

A random stone wall, that didn't appear to have any purpose.

Map consultation and close-up of pointless wall.
I didn't want the wall to feel bad, so I took twenty-five pictures of it.
Want to see all of them?!!!

Both sides of the mountain.

It goes without was a nice day.

A little patio refreshment.
Dan and I each had spiked coffees.
My drink was a Baileys with a dash of coffee, and Dan had a mug of Amaretto with a dash of coffee.
Weee!! The walk down was so fun! Weee!!

Back into Riederalp.
And what's any Caitie excursion without stopping in to check out the local church.

It was pretty inside.

So folks, that was your backstage pass to Aletsch. Now you are all acquainted with him a little better, please remember the following:

Next time you're awake at three o'clock in the morning, and you feel compelled to pick up the phone and buy the stuffed and mounted singing trout that the home shopping channel sells, stop and ask yourself this: How much did Aletsch shrink, in order for this stupid stuffed laughing trout to be manufactured, produced, and shipped to me? Will I be laughing with the laughing trout? Is the laughing trout that funny? What would Aletsch do? 

Then put down the phone, turn off the television, and go to bed.


jessica said...

ouch groan ouch jealousy slapping me all up in the face.

jon just stormed out of the room and said :don't show me her blog again!
he is very nostalgic and your photos make him want to cry. :) poor guy. we are planning our trip to switzerland next year and i already know that i want to visit Aletsch again. also, have you done the Lac D'emosson hike??? do it do it do it. or we could do it next eyar!

Caitie said...

jessica - It's totally a date: we'll do it next year.

M'dame Jo said...

So, you didn't do the vineyards-lausanne-léman trip?

Caitie said...

Hey M'dame Jo - They did that trip on their own and stayed in Lausanne for a couple of days. Still hunting for Kamloops postcards too.