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Among My Souvenirs

Stories of the road

Under Construction

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Road construction is an ever-present reality no matter where you are, where you live. And have you ever noticed it always happens when you are in a hurry or have someplace special to go? Well traveling internationally is no exception!

Somewhere on the road from Basel to Lucerne Switzerland, there was construction – a much-needed widening of the road. And at this moment we were stuck in miles and miles of traffic as narrow, 2-lane mountain roads were not equipped for the large influx of tourist traffic, buses and construction equipment.

It is funny how we can tolerate construction as long as the line keeps moving. But this was not the case. Our guide phoned ahead, only to learn that no one was getting through for the next hour. A bus full of hungry travelers can quickly become ugly! Just a ways up the road was the little town of Grindelwald, which was in the off season. He then said that he had phoned a local restaurant and that if we didn’t mind a little wait for our order we could have lunch and a much-needed rest stop there.

We promised to be patient and the bus made the turn into a parking lot next to a tiny house with a screened-in porch. In short order, the place ran out of most of the items on the menu, unaccustomed as they were to a large group of people showing up rather unannounced.

Oh yes, some will complain, but then again, most were just grateful to be off the bus and those winding-curvy mountain roads and began to walk around the quaint village and take notice of the stunning scenery. Here we were in Switzerland, high in the Alps. The air was cool and crisp, the smell of snow. And the waterfalls that surrounded our little restaurant chalet were magnificent cascades that filled the valley with that dull roar of tumbling water. Spring was in the air the lilacs were in bloom.

We explored a little, thanked the very harried-looking restaurant owner for his hospitality and the beauty of his place. Back on the bus, the traffic now dissipated, we made our way to Lucerne with ease, arriving in time for a late evening walk before dinner.

On the one hand, we could say that we did not get as much time as we had hoped in Lucerne because of the road work. Yet, being willing to be open to the moment allowed us to stop and see what most people don’t.

Souvenirs aren’t always something you buy in the store, they can also be moments that make life long impressions on the soul.