There is really nothing else to say about Switzerland other than it is perfection. It was the only place I have ever been outside in the snow, totally underdressed, and in pure bliss. Everything was so beautiful and quaint, and there is nothing prettier than seeing the Swiss Alps everywhere you turn! I actually teared when I left Sunday afternoon, but I’ll get to that in a little…
Thursday night me, Bre and Hannah headed to the train station at 6:30 for our 8 hour bus ride! Surprisingly the ride didn’t feel too long, we watched a couple movies and made multiple stops for dinner/bathroom breaks. I slept a little, but by the time we were in Switzerland it was pretty hard to get any shut eye because the roads are so windy and constantly turning. We arrived at the Funny Farm hostel at 4 a.m. and had to trek up 4 flights of stairs before falling sound asleep.
We had nothing planned on Friday, so we got to sleep in and have time to relax and explore. We were starving by the time we woke up and excited to finally see Interlaken in the sunlight! Our hostel lobby was basically filled with just study abroad students and it was a great atmosphere with a pool table, fire place and bar. Everyone was talking about this Irish pub across the street so we went there for some breakfast. The place was so cute, just like what you would think of a typical pub, and packed! After a little bit of waiting, we somehow got a table that had it’s own draft lines in it! It was so cool, you had to like put in a coin and pour your own beer – we didn’t use it though because we had already gotten drinks. Me and Hannah both ordered bacon & eggs and were shocked with how much bacon they gave us! I had at least 15 pieces on my plate. That’s not normal. As I was almost done, I realized that I’d probably die if I ate all that bacon so I left a few pieces. After breakfast it was snowing pretty hard so we went back to the hotel and sat by the fire and read! We were perfect snow/lodge-bunnies. I brought a Sarah Dessen book with me that was in our Italian apartment when we moved im and I’m still reading it now its so good! At 5 we met for a private chocolate tasting! YUM. The place was about a 15 minute walk through the snow but I didn’t mind at all because it’s not like I was in Massachusetts – I was in SWITZERLAND! At the tasting we got soooo many (dare I say almost too many) samples of milk, dark and white chocolates, chocolate with nuts & liquors & mints, chocolate galore! By the end of it I didn’t even want to look at chocolate anymore (did I just say that?!) and couldn’t think about buying any. PLUS I forgot to mention everything in Switz. is like 10x the price in America. And the exchange rate is just about equal to the dollar. The smallest/cheapest piece of chocolate was around 30 francs and that was something I couldn’t afford. Luckily, I kept some samples! Hopefully they’ll last until May, but who knows. That night we ate at the hotel restaurant because the snowstorm got pretty bad!
Saturday morning was the big day! We had scheduled canyon jumping! Apparently, Interlaken and New Zealand are the only two places in the world that you can make a jump so high from an actual canyon. Pretty crazy. The jump wasn’t until 2:30, so we got up early and walked into town to explore more and find the lakes. The stores and shops were all tiny and close together and I just kept thinking about how incredible Interlaken would be at Christmastime. If only! We went into a souvenir shop (where everything was still insanely expensive) and I bought some gloves that say Switzerland on them. The old guy who owned the shop was really cute and pointed us in the direction of the lakes. We just had to follow the river for about 30-40 minutes before it opened up. The walk was very cold, but very worth it, and VERY beautiful! The water there is crystal clear and teal – like in the Caribbean. So crazy! We had a little photoshoot (of course) in front of the lakes then had to rush back to the hotel to get picked up for canyon jumping!
I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into with this jump. The guy at the hotel was telling us about how scary it is and felt bad for us so he gave us some free shots of jager to loosen the nerves. That was greatly appreciated. We got picked up by the crazy looking guy with very few teeth, a long pony tail and a hat covered in skulls. Great. The bus had other future jumpers in it and we made some friends and all talked about our nerves. It was about a 30 minute drive to the canyon and I was sweating the whole time. When we got there the guy took us up a road covered in snow that was really steep and like a 25 minute climb. Luckily I was wearing sneakers with two pairs of socks so I wasn’t too cold in the snow. I think my adrenaline also kept me warm because I didn’t feel cold the whole time. We got up to the top and I could only think “this is insane” but reminded myself it was a once in a lifetime opportunity! A few girls went before me and my friends and they were absolutely insane – jumping HEAD FIRST off the platform, like diving. Ya right was I doing THAT. But seeing people jump so quickly made me feel a little better, thinking it wouldn’t be that scary once I was face-to-face with the edge. When it was my turn I don’t even know what I was thinking, it’s all a blur. The guy hooked me up to the cord, and I just remember doing the sign of the cross and jumping. Then I was free falling for a LOT longer than I thought I was going to, before swinging to safety at the bottom. The jump was over 300 ft and the guy told us we were falling over 70 mph. OMG. I wish I could post the video on here, but I don’t think I can. If you want to see it email me! Or I’m sure I’ll show everyone when I’m home! It was truly the funnest, most insane & crazy thing I’ve ever done! Something that I will never forget.
After the jump we got free beers and warmed up in a cute little cabin. When we got home we were starving and went back to the pub for dinner. I got the greatest club sandwich ever, it had grilled chicken, tomato, lettuce, bacon and eggs! And the french fries were just as amazing. I ate my whole plate in under 5 minutes. When we went out that night we met these really cool girls who are studying abroad in Prague. They were so nice and it was great to make new friends!
Unfortunately we had to leave early Sunday afternoon. We woke up that morning and went ice skating! I was so bad, I don’t even remember the last time I skated, and had to use a kiddy bar to push around in front of me haha. After a couple of minutes I could stand up on my own – barely. After that we went to a bagel shop that a woman from NYC owned. The bagels were delicious and I got this cinnamon raison cream cheese that was delish. We left Switzerland around 3 and got home just before midnight! The bus ride back was definitely long, and I actually cried watching the alps fade away.
This weekend was absolutely hands down the best weekend of my life (maybe after Countryfest last summer) and I continue to feel so lucky that I am here in Europe. I also was annoyed when people (my sister) talk all about how Europe is so amazing blah blah blah but It REALLY IS. Life is so simple and easy here & right now I can’t imagine ever leaving!