While riding through Baja on our two year motorcycle adventure, Brian and I met a Swiss couple who were also traveling by motorcycle to Ushuaia. A chance roadside meeting and quick mutual decision to stop and say hello gave us two wonderful friends and dozens of our favorite memories from our time since that day.
We camped with Markus and Karin in a few places in Mexico…shared many meals and laughs, and crossed the Darian Gap on the Stahlratte with them. We camped together again in Colombia and caught up in Peru. We shared meals in Bolivia and Chile and Argentina. And fittingly, when we reached the southernmost point of our trip and the continent, Markus and Karin were there too and we celebrated together.
Along the way we met many fellow travelers and made new friends and shared them with each other. Markus and Karin introduced us to another Swiss couple who were overland in a Land Rover. We have been lucky enough to have shared many wonderful experiences in the road with Micheal and Simone too. Of all the travelers we met, most were traveling at the same pace as us and we nearly all wrapped up our two-year travels at the same time. Both Swiss couples returned home early this summer to find work and transition back into “normal” life.
As my trip with friends ends in Venice, I board a train for Zurich, including a change in Milan, where I will meet Brian for a long weekend with our Swiss friends. One last hurrah before I start a new job in December.
We stay with Markus and Karin and will get to see Michael and Simone too. While the ladies work in Friday, the rest of us take the train from Zurich to Rapperswil, enjoy a beautiful outdoor lunch and walk around that beautiful village, and then take a boat across Lake Zurich back to the city.
Karin and Markus host us all for an incredible raclette dinner in their home tonight. The table top grill is used to cook meats and veggies, while cheese bubbles away in small trays under the broiler part of the grill. Boiled potatoes, pickles, grilled peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, pork chicken and beef, sausages and bacon, wine and digestifs. It’s a feast. And most of all, it’s with dear friends.
Markus and Karin welcome us into their beautiful home and several months of not seeing them disappear in a moment. We get to commiserate about the transition of life from overlanding to being “off the road” and share some stories and memories, and many laughs.
It’s been several years since I’ve been to Switzerland, and I’ve forgotten how seemingly eternally green it is. It’s storybook beautiful here. And I wonder aloud what they call Brown Swiss cows here…probably just brown cows.
Markus takes us by train from the small lakeside village he and Karin live in to Zurich. We meet Michael and then all take the train together to Rapperswil (pronounced Rappers-ville) to have lunch. It’s a beautiful village and it’s a gorgeous day.