It was a nine hour bus drive from Florence to Interlaken. Nine hours of driving through the Swiss Alps. It was gorgeous, but I got a little car sick from all of the weaving back and forth. When we finally arrived in Interlaken I was so glad to be on solid ground even. I was only in Interlaken for 24 hours but let me tell you, it was a glorious 24 hours! The night that we arrived in Interlaken we were able to go to a grocery store. Like an actual grocery store. Those things just don’t exist here in Europe! Everyone was in heaven and we all stocked up on snacks and other necessities.
After grocery shopping I went on a run through the city. I love running. I mean I love it as much as you can. By all means I am not obsessed with running but I love running through new cities and seeing places you normally wouldn’t. I love exploring and with running you can cover so much ground in a shorter amount of time. When I go running in a city I have never visited before I feel like I am able to understand the city a lot more.
The next day was a big one. A few girls and I booked tickets to go paragliding through the Swiss Alps! Can you say YOLO? (Wow, I can’t believe I actually just typed that. Embarrassing?) But really, what an adventurous opportunity! I really couldn’t pass this one up and let me tell you it was so worth it! It was a blast to go to the top of the Alps, run off of the Alps and then glide into the air. My paragliding tour guide, Jeff, even let me steer. I loved being able to soar through the air and see the mountains and the town. The view was incredible.
Right after we landed we had to hurry back to our hostel and get ready to leave for Gimmelwald. Gimmelwald is this quaint town nestled high in the Swiss Alps. Our bus driver was able to drive us to a nearby city but we actually had to backpack and hike into the actual town of Gimmelwald. It was a good 2 hour hike through the Alps to reach Gimmelwald. The hike was steep too! I certainly worked up a sweat hiking uphill with a backpack on.
We stayed at a mountain hostel that was an old wooden cabin. I think this hostel is my favorite thus far. It reminded me so much of my cabin in West Yellowstone so this hostel was a little taste of home. And plus, cabins are just so much fun! Everyone just gathers around under big blankets and tells stories. Right after we reached the hostel, a group of us unpacked and went hiking further into the Alps to a gorgeous waterfall. We must have been crazy because at the end of day we had hiked for over 8 hours. Dang!
On the third day we hiked down from Gimmelwald and hopped on a bus to Bern. As a group we were able to do temple work at the Bern LDS Temple and experience the city of Bern.
Switzerland has been an adventure unlike any other. I love that I am exposed to such a wide variety of experiences on this study abroad. I love it that within one day we go from being in one of the most populated cities in the world to a remote cabin in the mountains. I love that I am able to experience big cities but at the same time able to paraglide and hike through the Swiss Alps.
Can someone please pinch me? This trip is just too perfect, I swear I must be dreaming.