Marco, our intrepid bus driver, had learned about a shortcut, which was fine until the first hairpin switchback, a turn which a tour bus could only dream of making. I was sitting in front and had a good view of the little guardrail meant for cars and the abyss below it, while Marco burned out the clutch trying to maneuver away from the edge.
Did I mention that it was 25 degrees out at 6:00 a.m. with a coating of snow on the ground? Or that since Tom was the group leader, I knew we were the ones who had to go down with the ship? But the Swiss police were wonderful, they kept everyone safe, and invited me to sit in the squad car to keep warm (See photo).
Long story short: the tour company found enough minivans to come up the mountain and rescue us. We made the original flight to Newark, thanks to the company warning the airline that we would be arriving in “bits and pieces,” and the airline holding the plane until we did.
There's a thin line between a story to regale people with and disaster, but we managed to land on the right side this time. I made it back to remind everyone to pack light. You never know what you might have to carry down a Swiss mountainside.