Astrid’s Adventures In Switzerland and Austria

Astrid and Runa's Tofu-SanToday we have a very special guest entry from 7th grader Astrid, who I’m proud to say used to be in my advisory. She went to Europe during our recent vacation week, and took along a mini Tofu-San (made by a Japanese student, Runa, in Omi-Sensei’s class). Today is the first installment in her action-packed tale of her family’s adventure! Check back tomorrow for part two.
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This February break took me very, very far away from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. In fact it brought me to a whole nother continent. That being Europe, specifically: Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Since the trip was 10 days long I will write a short section for each place.

Days 1 – 2: The Flight and Zürich, Switzerland

Travel.png     Just a few hours after school on February 10, me and my family headed off to Logan Airport to catch our flight to Zürich, Switzerland. We took a bus from a few towns over and arrived at the airport. After making it through all of the security, we waited around an hour and then boarded our flight. The flight was a bit over 6 hours so dinner and breakfast were both served. I watched a few movies and listened to music on the small screens installed on the back of each seat to pass the time. Switzerland2When we finally arrived it was early afternoon on Thursday. This is because the time zone there is six hours ahead of what it is in Massachusetts. We went through customs and hopped onto a train that would bring us to a station close to where we were staying. We walked from there to the apartment that we would be staying in while in Zürich. After unpacking we got ready to explore the city for the rest of the afternoon. The next night was also spent walking the maze of cobblestone streets.


     Zürich is a very old city, it’s origins dating back all the way to around 15BC. It started as a few settlements before the Romans came and turned it into a customs station. Zürich slowly expanded, but it was only in 1218, when the last member of the ruling family died, that it became a free city. Over the next thousands of years, Zürich would be slowly industrialized and become the bustling city it is today.

Days 3-5: Driving and Dalaas, Austria
     On the third day of the trip we woke up early, packed our bags and hit the road to Dalaas, Austria. As we drove, the scenery faded from city to green fields and hills.Driving 1
It was surprisingly warm and for most of the vacation there was no snow at all. After around an hour, we could see the towering Alps in the distance.Driving 2.png
And then, after a little over an hour, we arrived in Dalaas. Dalaas is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. The area we were staying in was very secluded and we were actually staying on a working farm! The farm was perched at the top a hill, giving us a great view of the small town. Again, the first day was fairly uneventful as we were all tired from the drive.Austria 3

     The second day in Dalaas was when the fun really started. We decided (other than my dad) to toboggan for the first day and ski the next. Sonnenkapf, the popular ski mountain we were near, has a toboggan run that is over a mile long! Going up the ski lift to the top of the run made realize how huge the Alps really are. We weren’t even at the top of the mountain, but it made the White Mountains seem like anthills compared to the Alps. It took a few runs to get the hang of tobogganing, but once we did, we ended up tobogganing the rest of the day.

Austria 2
Later in the afternoon/night, we attended a giant bonfire. And by giant I mean 30+ feet tall! At the top of the wood tower was a “witch”, it was, of course, fake.

 Our host at the guest house/farm explained to us the the fire was to signify the ending of the winter and beginning of spring.Austria Witch Tower Fire

On our final day in Dalaas we finally went skiing. The Alps are famous for their many ski mountains/resorts, but we just stuck with Sonnenkapf. The entire day we were skiing in the clouds and sometimes, above them. At one point we decided to go to the very top and ski from there. Once we were up there we realized we could hardly see ten feet in front of us! By the end of the day we were all exhausted and just wanted to go back to the guest house to warm up.

-Astrid C.
Note: What do zoo animals, a castle, a concentration camp, and modern art all have in common? Astrid’s visit to Germany, which will be featured tomorrow, includes all of these things! Check back then.

Categories: Guest Posts

6 replies »

  1. Astrid-san♡ It is so exciting to see you and Runa’s handmade tofu-san together in Europe. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. I will call Runa and tell her to check Sara-sensei’s blog!!

  2. Dear Astrid
    You can’t imagine how excited I am to see my tofu-san with you‼
    The sceneries are so beautiful!I hope I can travel with you.
    We are graduating from our junior high school on 15th.But I will keep checking your biog.

    • Hello Runa! It was very nice to have Tofu-san traveling with me during my trip. I hope to travel much more, so I will make sure to write a post if/when I do 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed my posts!

  3. That sounded exciting!! I never knew that about Zürich, very interesting. Also, it sounds like you enjoyed your time at Dalaas a lot, especially the tobogganing. 🙂 What do you know about the history of tobogganing in Dalaas?
    The witch bonfire was interesting too, is there a story behind the tradition?

    Glad you had a great time there!

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