In general I believe in having more, not less, information. I think many of us agree that making an informed decision is preferable whenever possible.
How about those moments when we plunge in, head first, without it? Is it sometimes a gift when we pull the trigger on a decision sans the data? Some might refer to this as a leap of faith.
Ahead of my recent trip to Switzerland, my traveling companion took the initiative to make reservations at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Zermatt. She had been given this suggestion by a close friend who currently lives in Zurich.
“I accepted the restaurant reservation on my calendar and that was that.”
Because the recommendation came handed down from a trusted individual, I gave no extra thought to the scheduled activity. As a foodie, I love whenever there is an opportunity to try something new or unusual or rumored to be singularly outstanding.
I marked the event on my calendar and moved on. I didn’t even google the establishment. Without hesitation, I accepted the restaurant reservation on my calendar and that was that. Fast-forward to the day and we were both still somewhat in the dark and unclear on the specifics of the lunch excursion we had signed up for.
After an arduous uphill hike in the mountains earlier that morning, we showered and gussied up. We both enjoy being girlie-girls now and then and took the opportunity to dress up a little for this highly anticipated gustatory extravagance. We were aware, by this time, that the only way to reach the restaurant, Chez Vrony, was on foot. What we didn’t know was exactly what terrain we would need to navigate, nor how long it would take to get there.
The Uninformed Journey Begins:
“a 100 Swiss franc unrecoverable deposit was at stake”
We gave ourselves an hour. The map function on our phone led us to believe that would be generously sufficient. As I wrote about last week, neither of us is navigationally gifted so we are always prepared to be lost at some point during an excursion. And pleasantly surprised when it all goes off like clockwork. As we headed out the door, Google Maps in hand, the varied complexities of the difficult journey ahead began to inexorably reveal themselves, bit by frustrating bit.
After walking across town, we made our way to the Sunegga funicular to take us up the mountain. The first problem arose when we missed the timing on the funicular and were forced to wait an extra 15 minutes for the next one. Our reservation time was set, a 100 Swiss franc unrecoverable deposit was at stake, and the establishment’s more than 15 minutes late, we give your table away policy weighed heavily on us. The Swiss are a punctual people in general so we took this threat very seriously.
Once the later funicular dropped us off, we needed to take an elevator down to a kid playground where the blue herd sheep graze. Here’s where things got sticky. From there we still needed to tackle another 700 meters or so down a sheep/goat trail, and then about another 20 or so minutes of a winding, rocky trail ending at Chez Vrony.
Remember the gussying-up part?
I find walking downhill incredibly uncomfortable. My knees hate any prolonged descending movement. Add to this my footwear choice (open toe sandals) and suffice it to say that we were destined to miss our allocated dining window. Luckily my friend doesn’t have the same “kneesles” affliction as I and shot off ahead of me to secure our spot. Sixty minutes of discomfort, punctuated by moments of anxiety over getting lost and/or missing our reservation window later – we made it. Thanks to my friend who gazelled her way down the rocky path ahead of me.
An Experience Worth Having:
“the feeling of triumph (that we actually made it) palpable”
This experience was incredible. The food devine. The views unprecedented. And the feeling of triumph (that we actually made it) palpable. Yes there were a few comments between us about the hell that awaited us on the return. We walked, stumbled, ran down this mountain. The only way out was to endure the uphill climb.
We absorbed the majesty of the Matterhorn and the alpine charm of the Valais region. We ingested the sublime, homemade ravioli filled with mountain goat cheese and caramelized Valais pear paired perfectly with a Provence rosé. And more importantly, we chose to ignore the inevitable awaiting us at lunch’s end. After the meal we carefully navigated our way back. There may or may not have been a few choice words muttered under our breath during the 30 or so minutes of our uphill climb. Nonetheless, we managed.
Immediately afterward, in the heat of the discomfort, we both confessed that it was a good thing that neither of us really knew what we had said “Yes” to several weeks before. Being uninformed was a blessing. We both admitted that we would have chosen a different restaurant. Then, as the discomfort faded and the sting of our taxed lungs wore off, we began to view the experience differently.
What we both came to realize and appreciate is that sometimes it pays to be uninformed. It was, in part, our “no one’s in charge” propensity when together that made space for this particular experience.
So would I do it again?
Absolutely! And even though I would choose different footwear, the Walking Cradle sandals I wore held up to the whole adventure. Thanks, Jamie, for designing shoes for us ladies that can handle our unplanned adventures. At least traveling with Walking Cradles is an informed decision.
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