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We spent last week in Switzerland, training and racing a weekend of Swiss Cups.

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To get there, we drove through some parts of industrial Germany:

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And once we arrived, it was obvious why the area is renowned for its skiing. Groomed trails, both alpine and cross country, wind around and over all kinds of mountains and valleys. We did some pretty sweet exploring, skiing up over passes and onto alpine meadows:

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And there were plenty of old barns laden with snow:

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It was a pretty nice set up. We were in a little locally owned hotel that sat basically right on the ski trails. After so many winter months, it was nice to have the sun shining in your windows every day:

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And the view from our deck wasn’t too bad either:

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With the longtime owners of our hotel being the only ones working there, we got to hear a lot about Swiss traditions and learn a lot about the area. They were extremely nice, and gave us a little more authentic experience than usual. This included traditional live accordion music blaring during dinner, and a full-on fondue meal:

Gotta love B-Gregg's exquisite form!

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The race trails were fine, albeit interesting. There were an absurd amount of questionable road crossings in the course, and they dint really seem to care. Apparently, they have special “Warning: Volvo with really old-school skis on the roof!!!” signs, which I guess are enough to warn you:

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What was really cool to see were all the kids involved with the races. Shortly after we crossed the line, they started running the junior races, with many races happening at once and kids just hammering around all over the place. They were into it, enough that even the little tykes had chip timing:

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It was a cool atmosphere, especially because of the range of abilities that were all hanging out and watching each other race. We (the older, elite skiers) were racing against many of the Swiss national team, including World Cup podium-er Remo Fischer, and the hoards of kids were psyched to watch and cheer and then get autographs afterwards:

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For the waxing side of things, we were set up in a barn. Basically, the whole race venue was just in the middle of a big pasture, and everything in sight was for the support of large animals. I was advised not to fill my water belt from here:

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Small sign, marking a local thoroughfare:

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Jetliners ripping over the Alps, ferrying innumerable people from origin to destination… unaware of what is going on beneath them.

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We are now in Slovenia, prepping for this weekends OPA cups, which will be a much bigger show. Probably no barns. Probably no towering piles of cow manure to dodge. Probably way more World Cup veterans. Should be intense/fun!

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