Wednesday, September 23, 2015

nykeiko travels: 2 weeks, 4 countries later...and Valais blacknose sheep!

Four countries make a lot of selfies #noselfiestickrequired

We are back!

Although I am very sad that our vacation has come to an end, I am very relieved that we are back home. Back home in our own bed, using our own products and eating home cooked meals instead of eating out all the time (thanks Dave's parents for picking us up at the airport and offering us home-cooked food and fruits and vegetables for the week!!). When Dave and I parted ways on Monday to head to work, I thought it was weird we would be apart for the whole day after spending so many days non-stop together. I told him I would miss him.  "At least we are not sick of each other yet!" he replies. He says the sweetest things!

I was hoping our trip would be a semi-relaxing one since it is after all, a vacation! We did A LOT of walking. We calculated maybe an average of about 17,000 steps each day. Some days we reached over 30,000 steps and walked over 110 miles in total. We know this because of Dave's Fitbit and my iPhone 'heart' app. We walked a lot but also ate a lot. I think I have never ate so much cheese in my life like a whole pot of fondue with bread and potatoes in one sitting.

Here is one of the highlights for me on our trip which was meeting these Valais Blacknose sheep on my birthday.

They had this waxy smoky thing on top of their hand that stained us for days...

Valais blacknose sheep in Zeneggen, Switzerland

I once randomly found a picture of these sheep on the internet (this one) and thought they were so cute and unreal. Especially the one sticking his tongue out. I thought I would never meet these creatures because they were too far away and come from such a specific part of the world which is the canton of Valais. This was a while back so when we booked our trip to Switzerland, it didn't even occur to me to look for them.

It was not until we spent the day in Zermatt and spotted a poster with a picture of these sheep that I remembered about them! We then figured that there is an annual festival celebrating these cuties and awarding the best looking Blacknose sheep (All white and fluffy!!). The festival was to start on my birthday but sadly, we were in Zermatt one day too early and was going to miss it! (We thought about coming back but $15 for parking, $50 for shuttle train, food and more money on gondolas really adds up...). We decided to walk around the small village looking for the sheep but nothing. Dave savvily contacted our Airbnb host and asked if there was a way for us to see these sheep in the town we were staying in which was Zeneggen (near Visp). Turns out there was three sheep that came down only a few days ago from their summer eating retreat up in the mountains. Chilling somewhere just a minutes from our cabin. Of course they were all dirty and disheveled from their mountaineer days and not going to be as cute and fluffy as the ones at the festival but I didn't care. They were so funny looking anyway! We end up seeing more on the side of the road when we were driving to another town so I got to meet a whole bunch more before we left Valais! Happiness!

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