July 13, 2017

The ten hikers on my Switzerland trip by the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Big Rookie Mistake
Embarrassing. I should know better.
It's "Elementary Travel 101."

And yet, foolishly feeling invulnerable, I ate luscious, delicious, uncooked tomatoes in several local restaurants in a poor developing country.

A few weeks later, soon after I arrived in antiseptic, spotless Switzerland, I was hospitalized near St. Moritz.
View from my expensive hospital room in Samedan, Switzerland where I was totally misdiagnosed!
My vaccinations for Hep A and Hep B did not help.
I'd gotten mild, less famous, nonchronic, Hep E!

Reactions from seasoned travelers:
  • "What? Never heard of Hep E!"
  • "Cool! E is my favorite hep!"
  • "Seriously? You travel a lot and never got hep before?"
Plus recaps of their serious battles with "real hep" not my wimpy version.

No medicine exists to treat hep E so it is up to your body's defenses. Within 48 hours my liver rebounded and was defeating the hep. Doctors promised that I was not even slightly contagious, so I rejoined my group, catching up with them in Zermatt, but taking it easy for a few days.

Turned out (after I uploaded this original post) the
Swiss doctors completely misdiagnosed my ailment.
It was just a gallstone, later removed in Liverpool.

Our itinerary covered famous parts of the Swiss Alps (St. Moritz, Zermatt, Interlaken, Grindelwald) plus three key cities (Zurich, Bern and Luzern) in the flatter north.

The Swiss railway and bus system is a marvel of precision.

With leader Pam who got me to the hospital
and later got me to the top of Jungfraujoch.

While getting my strength back, I took it easy on the high altitude hiking.
But happily I was ready to stroll around the 11,300+ feet (3,400+m) altitude of Jungfraujoch.

Europe's largest, the Aletsch glacier, viewed from the Jungfraujoch.

Of the charming Swiss cities we visited, Bern was my favorite.
I backpacked in Switzerland after college and more recently I'd gone through Zurich on the way to Liechtenstein, but this year I got to see a lot more of Switzerland, despite the detour to the scenic hospital.

I did not get to do the relentless hiking and touring I'd expected, but it all turned out surprisingly well under the challenging circumstances! Lots of credit to the upbeat, supportive fellow travelers and leader Pam.