The inclement weather and snow falling upon Erin's head did little to deter her excitement of exploring the Swiss Alps. As an English springer spaniel, she was bred to endure harsh weather conditions and the deluge of snow mixed with frigid temperatures would not curtail her fun. Upon arrival at Interlaken train station, transportation was arranged into the heart of the Alps. To reach the final destination of Murren Switzerland, my furry travel companion rode trains, a local bus, and numerous cable cars where she often mingled with attentive locals and flocks of tourists carrying snow skis and snowboards.
Upon checking into the quaint hotel for an extended weekend, the quaint villages of the picturesque valley were explored at leisure. Every inch of real estate was hers to sniff and since no other dog was spotted, Erin was the canine master of this white washed world. Eventually, it became known to us that vehicle access was limited or prohibited altogether and she could wander off leash without a care in the world; Switzerland had its perks for sure. Well-worn trails and other areas deemed suitable for a dog to romp around was investigated and a joyful time was had except for an occasional sled coming too close or Erin wandering uncomfortably near a steep drop-off. Swiss cuisine provided my co-pilot with the opportunity to gorge herself on ample amounts of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and whatever else appeared tasty to a dog. Unbeknownst to other restaurant diners, I was filling up my buffet plate for two mouths, it just so happened that the other mouth had four legs and was lying underneath the table.
Despite the continuous snowfall and howling wind whipping across the Alps, Erin had a fabulous time while gazing upon some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Standing upon an ice caked observation deck, she viewed the longest glacier in Europe as a throng of over enthusiastic Japanese tourists doted upon her. This large group found my companion so fascinating and many politely asked for pictures with the snow dog. She was a pro at posing but eventually the fanatical crowd became overwhelming and thus we had to make a quick escape from our newfound Asian friends. With Erin’s admirers outside we wandered into the “Top of Europe” restaurant for some well-deserved feasting, attention from the local wait staff, and scenic views that are priceless.
Also of note Erin rode the Alps longest cable car, spent time at Europe’s highest railway station, dined in a revolving restaurant that was used in a James Bond movie, frolicked at the bases of waterfalls and rolling streams and marveled as a herd of cows exited a cable car. She gracefully strode through Europe’s ice palace where the slippery ice floor seemed to affect everyone’s balance except for hers: guess it pays to have extra limbs when crossing sheets of ice. Our time in Switzerland was beautiful in every regard and Erin’s experience in the heart of the Alps was simply amazing. She had so much fun, ate like a queen, and enjoyed nature’s greatest gifts; those days will live on forever in my heart. RIP Erin!!