Monday, September 7, 2009

Yet another country checked off the list - this one is the best so far!

It happened. I totally stayed out until 4:30 am on my last night in Venice and missed my 9am train! The great thing about European train travel, is that there is always another train. Although I had to pay a bit of extra money to change my reservation. C'est la vie. So what did we do on our last night in Venice to stay out so late? Party on the beaches of Lido with all those hitting up the film festival of course! The beach was soft! The wine was crazy cheap at the hostel (6€ for a bottle!) so I split one with another girl, then we went to some wine fest and had a FULL glass of wine for 1€ then bought another bottle on the walk to the beach at Lido. Needless to say, most of the rest of the night is fuzzy, but I do know it was awesome. So after cursing myself for getting up so late (still got up at 9), I hoped on a train to Milan, then to Brig, then Speitz (sp?). I was tired enough to sleep, but I was always to nervous to miss my stop, so I didn't get much rest and I finally arrived in Interlaken at 6:30 excited but exhausted. I tried to take a nap when I arrived, but that didn't happen either. I had a quick dinner at the thai restaurant next door (yes, not very Swiss, but it was quite tasty!) Did some socializing with other travellers and met two guys who are from Ottawa! I dont know them at all, but its neat to be able to talk about places back home and they actually know what Im talking about! Had an early night 1-beacause of the night before and 2-because I had an early morning the next day because I was going canyoning! Found in only a few places in the world, Canyoning is in one word, crazy! Its all repelling, jumping, sliding and ziplining through glacier waters in a canyon. I went on the middle difficulty level one and it was easily the most terrifying thing Ive ever done! Im not one for heights, and this didnt help. Not to mention the fact it was so cold here yesterday! (though we did have wet suits) The van pulled over to the side of the road...a tiny road that hugged the side of a mountain and said, ok every one out. We then had to repel the side of the cliff, which I had never done before and don't think I will again! lol Then like I said, it was jumps and slides into the water. Terrifying because if you land wrong you hit a rock and are in big trouble. I guess thats why its considered an extreme sport. (Trivia moment: Interlaken is the extreme sport capital of Switzerland) The ziplining was probably the scarriest part of all. They loosely tie a rope around your harness and tell you to use all your strength to hold it tight. You only hold rope for a few seconds before plumetting into the pool below. Nuts! Its definately a once in a lifetime experience because I really dont plan to do it more than that! I spent much of yesterday afternoon warming up and relaxing. I met up with the Ottawa guys for dinner and we actually made our own meals because the cost of everything in Switzerland is crazy expensive! A meal goes for at least 15francs (and we're not talking anything fancy), which is pretty close to Canadian dollars exchange wise. Its too bad too beacuse I really wanted to have an actual Swiss meal (like fondue or raclette) but they're just too far out of my price range and the longer I stay on this trip, the more aware I am of my dwindling finances. So home cooking it is! Good thing I'm a good cook! After dinner, it was another fun night of socializing and drinking. Met some other Canadians, some Australians and a couple American guys in the US Air force who are currently based in Germany. One told me he's been stationed there for 3 years and hasn't done much travelling in Europe in that time. I think I looked at him as if he had two heads. lol My intention today was to take the train to Jungfrau...the highest train station in Europe. The view is supposed to be spectacular. But for some reason when I woke up this morning. I wasn't super keen to go. Its quite expensive (135francs) and I really just wanted to relax all day. This is one of the benefits of travelling solo. You don't need to talk to any one about changing the day's plans. So, I walked around the town of Interlaken this morning. Its ridiculous here. Ridiculously beautiful. The mountains surround the town and are so majestic. The sky is clear and blue. The river is a light turquoise colour, and I'm quite sure it runs down from the glaciers. I love the Canadian Rockies, I love the Swiss Alps - I need to move to the mountains! So that's been my time here so far. I was to stay in Luzern tomorrow night, but decided to stay here instead and travel there as a day trip. They say this hostel (Balmer's) is one of the best in Europe for good reason. I dont want to leave!

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