Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 5: Interlaken

We woke up to find it was perfectly clear!!!! We jumped out of bed for our 8:30 paragliding departure. Although I had butterflies every time I had mentioned this to someone earlier in the summer, I surprisingly had no nerves that morning. Maybe because the thought of not being able to do it was so dreadful to me, I knew I wanted this. We signed in and drove up the mountain, where I met Dani, my paragliding partner. He was SO painfully quiet, but still a very nice guy. We waited for the fog to clear for almost an hour, but life isn't so bad at the top of a mountain watching the fog rise to become clouds surrounding you. Suddenly, it was time to go! We quickly stood up and Dani yelled 1, 2, 3 and we started running off the mountain! The entire experience was peaceful and absolutely beautiful. This is something I would do again, again, and again, and I hope I have the ability (and funds!) to do so in the future. Landing in the middle of downtown Interlaken, I ran to give Jamie a high five. We did it! Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at a cute sandwich shop for awesome, Swiss turkey +cheese sandwiches. We decide to walk back to Interlaken Tent Village, and along the way changed our plan for the day entirely. Instead of a hike, we were going to go to the Top of Europe, Jungfrau. I'm soaking in every opportunity I have to just make and change plans on the spot, or not make any plans at all. This freedom is something I have never experienced before, and am sure is not the same in "the real world" either. Anyway, I am SO happy we made this decision. Even though it was a longggg journey to the top, the view was incredible. Once we made it to the top, we did not even know where to begin. First, we checked out the surrounding views, before realizing there was a Lindt "Chocolate Factory" upstairs. It was the perfect snack break. We continued to walk around Jungfrau, which actually had a ton to offer. First, the tacky moving walkway about the history of the railroad to the top. Then, a giant snow globe showcasing Interlaken. After, we moved to the real deal, I have no idea what to call it except the "Ice Castle" as Jamie has named it. This puts every Ice Bar/Pub to shame. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all made of ice, and we found ourselves shuffling down hallway after hallway looking at various ice sculptures. It was HUGE! I had a great moment singing "Let It Go"and dancing around like a child, while Jamie wandered into every ice cave. Finally, when we couldn't feel our feet, we went to the veryyyyy top of Europe, which you reach by elevator. Once there, we legitimately could not see a foot in front of us. There was so much fog/clouds/snow that the entire world looked white. Given we had seen plenty of views on the way up, this was honestly better, I have never seen anything like it in my life. From there, we went on our scenic train ride back down the mountain. Back in Interlaken, we stopped at the grocery store for dinner. So far, every country has made me miss the wonderful currency in Prague, Switzerland is SO expensive. We opted for "homemade" dinner and stopped at the grocery store. I enjoyed a wonderful meal of rice cakes, hummus, and more of this local turkey that I loveee, which sounds odd but was actually a wonderful combo. In a way, it actually was nice to not have restaurant food for once! Now, as I write this, sitting on a couch by the bar with beautiful views of sunset in the mountains, life is pretty good. I can't wait for another day of relaxing tomorrow, the Swiss countryside is so great.

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