Switzerland, oh Switzerland.

When I was on my train from Germany to Switzerland I felt very at peace. This was just the beginning. This was my first country-to-country travel for this trip. I felt thankful. At ease. Ready. 

 View from the train as I entered Interlaken.

I arrived at the Interlaken Ost train station. I got off with my large backpack and headed off to my new home for the next few days….on foot. It was about a mile away, and it was hot. I was struggling to get there – wanting to just leap into bed. Exhausted. Dehydrated. In need of sleep. 

As I got closer – I also got a better view of the Swiss Alps. This slowly turned my exhaustion into excitement. There wasn’t time to sleep right now.  

  Is Switzerland even real?

All I could think about were the hikes waiting for me. I started planning. I found a market, bought a beer….and some Swiss chocolate, and started figuring out what I was going to do here the next few days. 

 
That night, I went for a walk and saw lanterns lighting the sky and heading towards the Alps. I decided to head out and figure out where they were coming from. I saw a white tent with hundreds of people dressed formally in beautiful gowns, holding wine glasses in their hands and laughing with one another. I was taking photos of the sky when a woman approached me. She noticed that I was intrigued, and asked me if I would like to join them. I smiled. Of course.

I headed over to the tent in leggings and a flannel. I don’t think I could have stood out anymore.

I lit a lantern and watched it head up into the sky, floating around the Swiss Alps.

  Lighting the lantern. 



After this moment, I fell asleep happily. And slept very well. 

I woke up the next morning. Ate breakfast. And then signed up to jump off of a mountain and paraglide in two hours. Wait, what? Yep. 

While I was sitting in my room waiting for my turn to head to the mountains…I heard “oo, I like your tattoo”. First – it was nice to hear English. Second – we became friends. I ended up persuading her to go paragliding with me. Her name was Kira. She is from Utah. And she is quite the gal.

It was time for our jump. The drive up the mountain was actually insane. I was in a little van, and we were speeding up a windy one-lane road. I thought I was going to die then.

Outside the window on our way up to the tippy top.

I got out of the van and started gearing up. I’ve jumped out of a plane on more than one occasion, why was I nervous? Oh, I don’t know…..maybe because I was leaping into the midst of the Swiss Alps?

  Preparation before the leap.
  Kira and I with our instructors.

Then, there I was. In a matter of seconds I was soaring into the sky throughout the Alps, over the water, and above the beautiful city of Interlaken.  

   
 
NAILED THE switzerLANDING!

What an unreal experience. Thanks to the GoPro camera I got amazing photos and embarrassing videos of this adventure. A last minute decision turned into a memory of a lifetime.

 And me and my instructor might have become bffs. Thanks, Andres!   

Kira and I walked and walked. We found a market, beautiful blue water, and cheap super market food for lunch.  

 
  
We ate mystery lunch meat, bread, cheese, and melted ice cream bars with a view. And screeched at every dog that passed by (and didn’t come say hi to us).

What else did Interlaken have to offer?

Researching before I left the U.S., I read about a hike to Harder Kulm. I promised myself I would do it. And hike it – not the easy way by taking the tram. I talked to someone about it who lives in Interlaken and she told me not many people hike it and it might not be smart to hike it alone – it’s steep, it’s hot outside…could be dangerous. For those that know me, you can guess that I did it anyways.

The next morning I packed my backpack and headed for the mountains….also on foot.

 Pointing to Harder Kulm from the sidewalk below. That little point – I would hike to it.

So yeah. It was hot. I was overdressed. I was alone. And I was loving it.  

The trail to Harder Kulm.  Water breaks are needed and smart.  

I heard bells halfway through. Cowbells. I ended up in middle of a cow farm. Yeah. In middle of a cow farm in middle of hiking a mountain. Welcome to Switzerland. 

Sweating, ugly, and happy to selfie with a cow. 

The closer I got, the happier I became. Mostly because the views continued to get more and more amazing.

Almost to the top….almost cried when I saw this view.  

 And then I made it. I jumped up the last step – – screamed “WOO” and let out a sigh of relief. I took out my GoPro and snagged some hella cool pictures from the top. I made it.

  

As time passed, I continued to fall in love with Switzerland. I left stories out. I left adventures out. But I shared the most important.

The last night in Swizterland, I was sitting outside. Drinking a beer. When a guy approached me and lured me into joining a……..pub crawl. Why the hell not? I went. I met amazing people from all over. And we drank. And pub crawled. And danced with happiness with each free tequila shot handed to us. 

  How many bars, beers and tequila shots in were we at this point?

I crawled into my bed around 4:30 AM…..my train to Milan, Italy was leaving at 6 AM. I didn’t shower. I didn’t change. I barely packed. I got on the train drunk and headed to Italy.

It’s safe to say that I enjoyed every moment and breathtaking view that Switzerland had to offer me. As I said, I left out many things – but tried to tell the stories of the most extravagant events. The culture in Switzerland was amazing. This country is so clean, so friendly, and so awe-inspiring. It really took my breath away. Mostly when I stepped off the mountain, though. 😉

Thanks for having me.

And as Schwarzenegger said.

I’ll be back. 

   

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