So you travel all the way to the Swiss Alps and you take a series of trains all the way to the top of the Alps — what locals call The Top of Europe — hoping to see the most expansive, most breathtaking view of your life.
Except that when you get off the train and rush to the window of the observatory, an unexpected summer storm has rolled in and all you can see is snow and fog, a complete white out. You can’t see 20 feet in front of you. Peer out the window as hard as you like, you still won’t see a 14,000 foot high mountain nor an immense glacier about which your waiter says, “Too bad you can’t see it today. It’s developing a big crack right in front of the restaurant.”Oh, well, no big deal. At least you can take the much-touted Lindt Chocolate factory tour at Jungfraujoch.
Except that when you begin the self-guided tour you realize that it’s really just a small room, maybe the size of your living room, with a couple half-assed displays and that it is really a commercial scam designed to herd you into the Lindt Chocolate store where hundreds of frenzied Chinese tourists are snatching up candy as if chocolate has replaced the yuan as legal tender in Shanghai.
But let’s try to remain positive here. The train rides were spectacular (I seem to be using that word a lot here in Switzerland), with postcard views of Alpine lakes, massive glaciers, and towering mountains in every direction.
When they weren’t obscured by the summer storm, that is.
UPDATE: Based on the crash of the Chinese stock market today, chocolate candy may, indeed, replace the yuan as legal tender in Shanghai. Foreign exchange is a crazier casino than anything Las Vegas has to offer.