Ahh the joy of Christmas. Opening presents .... eating to much .... lazing around the pool trying to stay cool and eventually napping because you have eaten to much. This Christmas was slightly different but also quite similar. This Christmas started like any other ... those who are home wake up and open presents over coffee. Now normally I would dread showing pics pre-makeup however as its Christmas I wanted to prove just how .... normal the day started.
So opening presents from under our Christmas tree over coffee ... then a light breakfast ... oh yes, Mr V is loving the continental breakfasts before the three of us snuck away from the group for a hike through the forbidden zone.
See the thing is this time of the year is usually covered in snow and icy hence they close all the mountain trails however this also meant we were unable to reach this lovely bridge we had noticed during our castle tour as this route was also closed. Obviously the freakily warm weather meant that this christmas wasn't white ... no ice just perfect weather for a walk!
Our guide advised up earlier that these paths were forbidden and we agreed that morning wholeheartedly to steer clear of these areas ... however we did say that if we had not returned by nightfall the bridge area is the first place she should look.
So hike we did .... up the bloody mountain to the scary bridge. This thing is so very high up and seem extremely structurally unsound. The floor is made from wood which flex and groan with every step. I did manage to make it across the bridge ... very very quickly and even managed to get a perfect shot of the fairytale castle from a different angle.
After the bridge we noticed a set of stairs going all the way down to the waters edge .... we humm'ed and haaa'ed over being able to get back up the stairs later but eventually made our way down. What we found at the bottom were 100's of little piles of rocks ... obviously man made scattering through and around the river. Apparently these are called Cairns and are either made to mark a train or in memory of someone - we built two ... one for my wonderful daddy and one for my sister. See they now joined us on our journey in spirit if not in body.
Now this is where things get interesting ... halfway down the river ... we were walking down hill with the water as no one wanted to walk back up the stairs, the walk train ended and a metal bridge built into the rock walls jutting out over the river started ... so we walked and walked and walked .... over waterfalls, rapids and fallen trees from the relative safety of our walkway before finally reaching a man made water-trap which appeared to be built for funnelling this water into town.
Overall very cool walk. We all raved over how much fun it was when we got back to the hotel. The others had been on a sleigh ride without snow ... a rather sad endeavour apparently as some of them had even fallen asleep.
Finally we took a cable car to the top of a lovely ski field where we had views that seemed to go on forever.
So this christmas day was totally different to what we have experienced before and while my father and sister were missed we made a good effort to turn it into something special and memorable. The hike ... one of the best parts of the trip so far!