***Pictures will be added as soon as I can get WiFi strong enough to Upload them
So let’s talk about the hostel. I am in a tiny room with 3 bunks beds, so a total of 6 girls. That is no problem. Our only source of fresh air, opens to the front of the building so any noise or smoking comes right in our room. Our door, opens to the communal showers, so you hear people showering all day/night and if kept open, it can get a bit muggy in the room. We have 4 boys with us, there room is pretty well an apartment. They have a kitchen, and two bedrooms, each with two single beds and wardrobes. The other girls dorm, was just like ours, minus the showers and the windows to the front, so there was some jealousy in the luck of the draw!
Now that I got that rant out of the way, I must say the circumstances, plus the fact that the bunk beds move and squeak at all movements, it gave way to quite a laughing fit last night with myself and two of the girls. Sometimes, you just have to laugh!
I had a bit of a struggle getting out of bed this morning, but the fresh mountain air was really great! Interlaken is a really cute town that is surrounded by mountains and has two huge lakes on either side, that are connected by a very fast, cold, beautiful river.
Breakfast went better, toast with jam and yogurt with granola. The coffee was instant, but with the addition of Swiss hot chocolate, it was really good!
Today I have booked an excursion, canyoning. There were a bunch of adrenaline inducing activities, but Interlaken is so expensive that I had to chose just one, and I figured I would chose the one that I have never done before. There was a group of 5 of us booked it for the afternoon, since it involved water, and figured it would be a bit warmer in the afternoon. With the morning open, a bunch of us headed to check out the lake.
The views just getting to the lake were quite amazing. To look ahead and see 3 mountains, two lush and green and one snow capped, it’s a sight to see. The lake itself was beautiful, albeit cold. I put my feet in, but that was the extent to swimming in the lake. I must also note, that we are getting quite good at navigating around and using public transport, especially since I could read very little in this town.
We headed to the local grocery store, which I think this may have been the hardest trip, as again, I could read very little and had to do a bit of guessing. I purchased the staples, bread, peanut butter, jelly and some fruit and veggies.
I realized too late that I left my case that attaches my GoPro at home. I tried to purchase another one, to no avail, so I had to rely on the guide to take pictures and video of the Canyoning, so I will do my best to describe it.
video here: https://cloud.outdoor-interlaken.ch/s/K9CQvSvgkZCRsIs
When we get to the shop, that is 2 doors down from our Hostel, very small town, we changed into bathing suits and put on our wet suits. I would say the thickness was probably at least a 4mm. Next we went down to get out wet suit boots, and jackets and finally our harness, life jacket and helmet.
With gear in hand, they drove us up a mountain road, which was terrifying! We parked and still had a bit of a hike up to our starting point. In our wet suit and harness and carrying the rest of our gear, this was quite a feat, but we all made it up. In addition to our group, there was another group with newlyweds with the brides father, the grooms brother and a best man. They were a fun group to have with us! With it being the end of the season, the guides seem to be a bit over it, which I think is my only negative to say about the whole day… well and the walk up in the wet suit and harness!
On each of our helmets, we had names, mine was Ewok. In my group, we also had Maurice, Pickles, Gangsta and Vritney. For the trip, we were to refer to these names. We arrived at the start point and we made our way down the river in the canyon. Thankfully it was a warm day, as the water flowing through was very cold, yet with all the gear, you don’t notice it that much. The current was also very swift and moved quickly down the canyon. Picture the parts of the river you would go white water rafting down, except with a bunch more rocks and not as deep.
To get to the end, we did a series of bounding between rocks, repelling down a line, jumping off rocks into pools of water and sliding down natural rock slides. Three jumps stick out in my mind the most, the first one, where we were to jump and land on our back, like a reverse belly flop. The guide was more than happy to help you, and I told him he might as well plan to help me, by pulling me back when I jumped, to make sure I landed correctly. The next jump stands out, just because of how high it was. That moment when you are airborne that you have that “oh shit” go through your head before you hit the water. The last one stands out, because you needed to do a “superman jump” where you are to land on your side. But not only that, you were to jump out close to the rock wall to your left, but not hit it, and avoid the rock on the right. It definitely added some more intensity to the jump.
For me, the repelling was probably the most challenging, as my legs got a bit tangled underneath me, although I was able to demonstrate how flexible I really am! There were a couple waterfalls we went under and one that once we went under it, we pushed off on the rock and get shot out. The last part was a natural two part rock water slide. You go down the first part on your own, and then before you go down part two, the guide turns you around and has you go down backwards. I really enjoyed the day. It had all things I like to do, although I find myself more calculated and cautious then I was before surgery when climbing and going rock to rock.
When we got back, I took a little break in the hammock at the hostel. A couple of us walked and went to explore the town a little, and we purchased some Swiss chocolate as well as purchased a mocha at the chocolate making shop. For the mocha, the shop used their own chocolate, it was very good. For dinner, myself and 3 others went to the Irish Pub next door, as it was the only place that was reasonably priced, and even that was pretty pricey. I ordered the steak dinner that was the special of the evening, and we had some Sticky Toffee pudding cake for dessert, that is so delicious.
This weekend, they were holding a marathon, so while at dinner, there was a parade of Swiss cows with traditional bells around their next, being led with only sticks. When they passed back by, they were led by goats. The funniest part was watching the “handlers” try to catch the run away goats, with just a leading stick.
The rest of the evening was spent in the club that was under the Hostel where a group of us went drinking and dancing into the morning hours. I did not get to bed until 2am, but it was such a fun night with my other travelers. One of the German hostel guest had us all dancing what seemed equivalent to the electric slide, which was really fun to learn and dance.
Fun Facts: The water in Interlaken is so fresh and clean, and especially compared to French water, it was delicious, and you can get it from any tap or faucet you can find around town.
At the hostel, they had a bathroom instruction guide and asked all guest to sit while doing their business.
Switzerland is big on recycling and conservation. In the hosel, you had to keep pushing the shower facet, as the water would only run for 30 seconds at a time.