I was hoping to go to Oktoberfest in one of the previous two weekends, but timing proved difficult. Long story made short, I chose to go to Switzerland instead of drinking beer. The weather was right for hiking, and the long weekend was right for finally doing some more “extreme” photography.
First, I have to make a plug for the hotel I stayed at. As is usually the case, I started by looking at booking.com and saw that the Hotel Silberhorn was decently rated and priced. I called them to ask if they had availability — and they quoted me an even better price than what I had seen online. When I arrived, the owner (the hotel is family owned) asked if I would be able to attend breakfast, and I told him I’d probably be gone an hour before it started. He offered me a sandwich, but in packing it also packed me a lunch sandwich, bottle of water, and an apple. He did this the next day, too. Parking was free, breakfast was included, and the hotel was literally a three minute walk (across the street and up a small hill) from the Lauterbrunnen train station. I usually don’t writing glowing reviews about hotels, but this one was fantastic. The room even had a balcony. I could gush on about this forever, but…
As I wrote a long paragraph ago, the weather was right for hiking. In fact, it’s been nice for a few weeks now — maybe to make up for the dismal (i.e. cold and wet) July and August. While this seems perfect for picture-making, rain helps bring down dust in the air, which otherwise gets in between a camera sensor and the intended subject. This was especially evident in Hegau. 20 km before exiting the A81 autobahn for the Swiss border, there’s a rest stop with a decent dinner selection. A month ago, right before my second trip to Switzerland, this is what the sunset looked like.
On September 30, at the same rest stop, this is what it looked like. (You can see the steeple in the image above, too, though it’s much smaller there.)
So yes, some rain would actually be nice (now watch: it’ll rain for the rest of the year) — for the important things, like photography, but also for selfish purposes, like irrigation. (Or did I get those two mixed?) :-D This is hardly a complaint, though, as the weather was simply phenomenal. Temperatures were perfect for hiking, and there was abundant sunshine. I wasn’t sure at first that not going to Oktoberfest was the right decision, but now I’m convinced: I can’t believe how much money I’ve spent on trips already, but this weekend especially I wouldn’t trade for anything.
More to come next week. (I have another conference to attend this weekend, so I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to attend to this blog in that time.)