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The tiny old car wound it's way up the steep mountain roads. In the front, a tall woman with silver grey hair was hunched over the steering wheel, trying to see the tiny signs at every junction. Next to her a very small older lady with large glasses and white curly hair was dozing with her mouth slightly open, a map just starting to fall off her lap.

In the back of the car sat two other woman of a similar age to the driver. One had dyed hair and was wearing a tight low cut blouse. She had taken a compact mirror from her purse and was examining every angle of her face, paying no attention to her surroundings.

In contrast, her companion in the back of the car was looking at everything out of the window in delight. She had permed hair dyed a very pale blonde- white, and was dressed in a tourist version of a Swiss national costume. She was exclaiming at every goat or cow that they passed.

" Oh Dorothy, Blanche, Sofia... This is so exciting. Oh look another lovely goat! Oh girls, this holiday was such a good idea."


They had reached a flatter part of the road, and Dorothy was able to relax in her driving briefly. She looked at the woman in the passenger seat and shook her head.

"It's a good thing there aren't many road choices, Ma has fallen asleep again. " she said.

" That's what you think." said her mother Sophia without opening her eyes. "I'm just getting my prayers in for when you throw us down the mountainside with your driving."

She opened her eyes and looked around her. " This isn't Italy, what happened to Italy?"

Dorothy sighed and waited a moment to answer, as she concentrated on avoiding yet another goat. Rose, the blonde in the back, waved at the goat in greeting and smiled happily.

"Ma, you know full well why we are here. We are going to visit an old penpal of mine, she is working in a school up here somewhere. We went to Italy and accross to Sicily last week, we are not going again. "

Blanche, who had finished looking in the mirror, shut the compact with a snap.

" Well Aii just hope there are some reasonable men around, Aii was most dissapointed in Italy, Aii thought I-talian men were meant to be great lovers. The Germans were much better..." she drawled, looking dismissively out of the window at the scenery.

Dorothy looked at her in the rear view mirror. "Well, I will take your word for it Blanche. Judging by last few weeks you certainly seem to have been trying to do a comprehensive survey ... but perhaps you could hold off on the great European bed hop while we are up here, hmmmm? From the sounds of it these people at the school up here are quite conservative. I don't want to cause my friend any embarrassment..."

Her statement was cut short by Rose suddenly saying happily " Oh, this is WONDERFUL. All these cows with the bells make me want to Yodel, Yodelll- Aii- eee- ooooo!!!"

Dorothy considered just turning the car around, the chance of her still having a pen pal at the end of this visit seemed very slim.

But just at that moment they went up the final level and arrived at the Platz. She didn't fancy driving back down all of those bends, and after all, it had been a long time since she had seen her friend, she didn't want to miss this opportunity when they were over in Europe.

The little car drove up to the school and stopped outside.

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