Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oh, what are men compared to rocks and mountains?

Bonjour, Guten tag, hello!

We have come to discover the Swiss are trilingual. When anyone looks at my name, they speak french to me. And then when I can say "je ne parle pas francais" they switch to English. Katie looks more German, so they speak German to her. On the train, when they took my ticket, they said "merci" and then looked at katie and said "danke" unfortunately, they finally realize we're American and halfheartedly say "have a good day."

I don't think anyone could have a bad day in Switzerland. That's what I've decided. Everywhere is absolutely beautiful and majestic. The first two nights we stayed in the valley of Interlaken in the oldest hostel in Europe. It actually seemed very new and was extremely more organized than our hostel in Venice, and they gave us local "Swiss cheese"!! The view from my window was overlooking the tallest mountain in Europe, called Jungfrau.

Our full day in Interlaken was spent being pretty outdoorsy. We took a hike for the first half of the morning passing a brewery, playing around on old castle ruins, walking by a river, and walking into town to take pictures of the extremely picturesque wooden buildings with amazing carvings and brightly colored shutters with flower boxes in each window. The second half of the day was awesome. The most exhilarating two hours I've spent in a long time. We went white water rafting down the river that cuts through the valley. My biggest fear was falling out. The only scenario I didn't think about was losing my paddle. So of course, ten minutes into our two hour excursion I lost my paddle. I got my paddle back about 20 minutes later, but for those 20 minutes our guide had to make fun of me, and christened me group photographer, so I moved to the back of the raft with him and filmed and photographed the rest of the team. He saw I was enjoying myself way too much and claimed I did it on purpose and scoffed "women." After I got my paddle back he used his paddle to dump water on my head.

So all that being said, I did NOT fall out. And the trip down the river was extreme, and I was definitely under a two-hour adrenaline rush. It was awesome.

Today we headed further up the mountain to a picturesque town called Lauterbrunnen. (Don't even ask me how to pronouce that.) The most charming feature of this small town is not its 930 inhabitants, an amazing view of the tallest Alps, or the little wooden houses dotting the side of the moutain, but the HUGE waterfall that gushes out of the side of the mountain. It's the predominant feature of the town, being able to see it from every point because it's so large. Unfortunately, I can't upload pictures right now, but if you want to google "Lauterbrunnen" you'll definitely get some good pictures.

Our hostel is run by older mothers. We have to take our shoes off to enter the house, and there are signs everywhere that say "you are old enough to clean up after yourselves." Katie and my beds are in a loft, and our own personal window has a view of the waterfall.

Today we took a train to the top of Jungfrau (the tallest mountain in Europe.) We can officially say we've been to the top of Europe. The view was spectacular, too aweseome for words. So I will post pictures as soon as possible.

Tomorrow we're going to take it easy and hike around this area, then head back down the mountain and we're off to the sunny beaches of south france. C'est la vie!


Jan said...

Keep up the great writing!

VeggieT said...

Local Swiss Cheese! That's Awesome! Keep up the writing.