Posted in Travel

A Bratwurst in the Swiss Alps

I have always been a believer that, in life, it is usually the small marked moments that stick with you. It is those seemingly insignificant occurrences that take up a special place in your memories. Last week, I had no classes and took the opportunity to journey to some other countries in Europe; Switzerland and Germany. I had a grand time and experienced some extraordinary things but, when a friend asked me to recount my favorite memory from the trip, a minor happening came to mind. That being; A bratwurst in the Swiss Alps.

I was with my travel companion, Miranda and a new friend, Toni. Miranda was a friend I had met in class early in the semester. Toni, was someone brand new in my life. She was an 18-year-old girl from Berlin, who occupied the same room as Miranda and me in our Zürich hostel. The three of us, upon meeting, quickly became partners in exploration during our stay in Switzerland. And, on a day we all seemed to need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, decided to take a trip to the Swiss Alps.

After a 40 minute train ride which took us far outside of the city, we found ourselves on a tram slowly making its way up an immense mountain. By a quick google search we had found the place and, although we were ill-prepared for the snow that came with being so high up, we decided to take a hike. The ride up was scenic. We watched as the landscape changed from sun-soaked grass to large pine trees, weighed down by snow.

Stepping off the tram near the top of the mountain, we began our hike. As we walked, we stopped frequently to take in the beauty around us. The view felt unreal. Truly, the vast landscape behind us looked like it had been painted onto the sky. As we walked, we couldn’t help but smile at the sheer magnificence around us. However, as I mentioned before, we were not adequately dressed for the cold or the snow, and we quickly became cold. After about a half an hour of walking, we could barley feel our toes. However, in the same instance in which the chill began to reach our bones, we spotted a small structure and heard the sound of cheerful German music.

As we approached we realized that the building was a small restaurant. Many weary but merry skiers and snowboarders sat on the wooden benches sipping hot drinks and enjoying slices of homemade pie and bratwursts. The owner of the establishment stood by the outdoor grill cooking brats as he welcomed us and pointed out an empty picnic bench in the sun.

Smelling the delicious brats on the grill, we made the effortless decision to order one. The owner, seeing that we were cold, offered us hot apple cider. In a matter of minutes, both were brought out to us, along with some free chocolates.

The brats and cider were an instant remedy for our chill. Quickly, they alleviated the cold that settled in our bodies. We were filled a feeling of warmth and coziness. We sat, enjoying the food and looked out onto the mountains. We didn’t talk much as we ate and drank. Instead, we simply appreciated the present moment. We tasted the sweet cider and savory brats. Our noses were met with smells of the fresh pies being baked inside and the distant aroma of pine trees. We felt the warmth of the sun as its rays touched our cold faces. The German music, the chatter of people, the sounds of glasses clanking together in cheers; all these sounds filled the air. All of these things, happened together and, noticing them, I was grounded in the present moment. I remember thinking this is life. So, although a bratwurst in the Swiss Alps doesn’t sound like much, it is this memory that, when asked about my favorite part of the trip, instantly fills my thoughts.

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