Monday, November 12, 2012

Midterm Break Part Four: Swiss Adventures


We were so sad to leave Italy, it was so welcoming and beautiful (and delicious) and we didn’t want to go! But we already booked the hostel in Interlaken, so we said Ciao! and went forth into Switzerland. I expected a snowy excursion with hot chocolate by the fire, the relaxation after a fun but busy week in Italy, but the Swiss would have none of that. The hostel we stayed at hosted a number of activities, such as skydiving, canyon jumping and paragliding. However, we were in between seasons and it was tough to book certain things. 

Courtney, Suze and Me
Visitors to Interlaken typically know to go on the Top of Europe, where you basically take a cable car on a 2.5 hour trip up the most enormous mountain to the highest point of Jungfraujoch. I did not partake in that adventure, as I was completely satisfied looking over Interlaken from the beautiful village of Murren. Murren, was the most picturesque town I have ever seen, and the closest to Candyland it could possibly be. Our cozy hostel did provide a venue to sip hot chocolate and lounge around, which we did plenty of (a true vacation, I’d say), although we did feel guilty not doing the crazy adventurous things everyone else was doing. 

Such an attractive picture of me!
As a result, we decided to go horseback riding. I am not the biggest fan and I was definitely hesitant, but I like to think I’m somewhat open-minded, so I gave it a whirl. Somehow Courtney and I were the only ones to be placed on horses without guides, so we were largely left to our own devices. Surprisingly, we were the only ones without issues, as it seemed everyone else’s horse was trying to buck its rider off, run off course, or trying to eat the other horses (yes, eat). So we got lucky, but our mishaps caused us to miss the Chocolate Show we planned on attending. Of course we wouldn’t dare go without the chocolate, so we got some treats of our own and were perfectly fine. 

This picture does not do the water any justice...
One thing I found remarkable was that the water was gorgeous in Switzerland, and is actually quite drinkable despite warnings to refrain from drinking foreign water. The Aare river in Matten, near Interlaken, was an intense shade of blue that I have actually never seen naturally occurring, but it was so beautiful I didn’t question it! The Swiss are very interesting people, a combination of French and German that is unique to this nation. Another thing unique to Switzerland is the Swiss Franc, which surprisingly is not possible to exchange anywhere in Britain, if you can imagine my dismay. I loved Switzerland because as much as I loved Italy and I enjoyed every sight and every touristy thing we did, it was my real vacation, a vacation from a vacation if you will. Instead of running around trying to get everything done, I was finally able to go at my own leisure, and I appreciated that so much about Switzerland that I would absolutely love to go back just to capture that peacefulness. 
Out of this world!

Favorite Meal: Anything that had to do with Swiss chocolate or Swiss cheese, which was every meal. Swiss cuisine is extremely rich and hard to have for every meal, so a baguette and some Swiss mountain cheese was fine by me!

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