Since we decided not to go to Basel for Fasnacht, a day opened up and we chose to go sledging. That’s sledding. Or tobogganing.
The SBB helped us out a lot with this great 50% offer which included transportation to and from the Zürich HB as well as the sled rental.
Turns out this place has what is purported to be the longest sledge run in Switzerland – 12 km downhill. We were IN.
When we reached the tiny, tiny town of Fideris, we were met by the company (after having made a call in the morning to reserve a spot) and jumped in a van with a group of school kids who were going either snowboarding or skiing. They were pretty well behaved, and when their teacher started talking to them, they all stopped to listen.
We rode the 12 km from there to the top of the hill (and I tried not to look over the side at the scary parts), and when we arrived, we picked up our sledges and decided to eat our picnic lunch before heading down. We had heard that it takes about an hour to go the distance.
Here is a view of the chalets at the top. There are ski runs on either side.
We were also told that traffic does not go up or down the hill between 13.00 and 16.00. Yup, we were going to slide really, really fast down the same road the van brought us up in, going around the same hairpin turns, and trying to stay on the road and not fly off of the side.
At first we thought we weren’t going to go too fast, but once I got a little push, we were off and sailing through the winter day. Here Lynn is just getting started at the top.
There’s not much of a way to steer or brake, except with your legs and feet, and there are piles of snow on the sides to “cushion” a stop.
At one point, I had a little spill, and when I stood up to dust myself off, this is what I saw. My sledge going down, down, the hill. Follow the tracks on the right down to the fence.
Then see the guy at the bottom of the hill who graciously found a way down to retrieve my sledge. Thanks, honey!
We did have to stop a number of times for several reasons. We would get separated, so we wanted to make sure we were close enough to each other. Also, the vans actually DID go up and down the hill between 13.00 and 16.00, so we had to get out of their way on occasion.
So, this was LOTS OF FUN! There was shrieking. There was laughter. There were spills. There was desperate trying not to fly over the edge of the road. And the next day there were some pretty sore spots on arms and legs. But it was so worth it. Those metal strips on the bottom of the runners make you go really fast.
At the bottom of the run, we came back into the cute town.
We followed the signs that said Schlitten Rückgabe to return our rented sledges, where no one even came to check that we were the people who had borrowed them at the top. We just left them there and got directions to the Post Bus to take us back to the train station.
It also occurred to us that we did not sign a waver to say we would not sue in case of accident. That just isn’t done here in this country. If you hurt yourself, it’s your own fault. Besides, everyone has mandatory health insurance. Which we did not need to use.