Week 3: Interlaken

Ciao Ciao!

I couldn’t wait to write this post because Switzerland was just the most amazing weekend. I had to put it all in words as soon as I possibly could to even attempt to do it justice. Here goes my best shot:

Thursday night we departed Florence by bus for a long seven-hour journey to the Swiss Alps. Despite the lengthy trip, the movie choices were quality selections and made the limited amount of legroom tolerable. We stopped once on the way at an awesome rest stop, which is worth noting because in comparison to American rest stops this one was top notch gourmet. After a short nap we arrived to Hotel Alpenrose in Wilderswil (a small town just a few bus stops from central Interlaken). Considering it was around 3am, we were all exhausted and slept until Friday morning.

When we woke up, we decided to explore the town after a quick breakfast. We quickly learned that the prices in Switzerland are outrageous. My friends and I literally got up and walked out of a restaurant because there was a “special” for $16.50 lunch. And yes, that meant that a Caesar Salad alone would cost 16.50. After seeing the absurd prices, in an effort to please my mom who would have probably questioned why I spent $16 at a pub, we left to find a new place to eat. I’m guilty to say that for a few moments I seriously contemplated eating lunch at McDonalds, but we finally ended up at a place called Ox, where I got a traditional Swiss hash brown-type dish with mixed vegetables, which was quite delicious despite being super expensive (again, sorry mom).

After brunch we went to the most incredible chocolate store ever to get our hands on some authentic Swiss chocolate. Let me tell you – that stuff is NOT overrated. I don’t know what kind of cows or milk or cocoa beans they’re making there but whatever they do, they’re doing it right. One thing I realized about chocolate stores in Europe in general is that they all seem to have some sort of chocolate model of male private parts, and sometimes chocolate boobs; Europeans are honestly just bizarre sometimes. Not to get too sidetracked with that, my favorite chocolate came from this store called Läderach. Whatever that word actually means, in my mind it translates to heaven in a bite. After shopping for some chocolate, we attempted to go see the lake only to miss the bus, so we just decided to head to the rental store to prepare ourselves for night sledding and pick up some ski gear.

Fast forward to 6:30, when we met up with the company to journey out to night-sledding in the Alps. We picked up our sleighs and took a cable car to the top of a mountain, where we were given instructions regarding how to steer and red lights to wear on our backs so we werent lost. The sledding was actually incredible. It wasn’t the traditional hill that you have to climb up and then slide down, but a groomed trail on a mountain that was so much fun and actually involved quite a strenuous core workout. Good thing I burned some calories doing that, because after sledding we ate traditional cheese fondue which is made with Swiss beer (unclear how I felt about that), and some pasta that was fine but nothing in comparison to what we have in Florence. Then we returned to our hotel and went to bed to prepare for an early wakeup for skiing on Saturday!

At 7:14am I woke up to knocks on my door from my friends to realize that I had overslept (oops!). I got ready super quickly and went to the rental store to pick up a helmet and the rest of my ski gear. We then took 2 trains that together took about an hour to reach the top of the mountain. It was snowing a LOT, but the views were still breathtaking. After doing one run, my friend dropped her glove and it conveniently rolled down a black trail, which is a lot more intense in Switzerland than it is in the U.S. In addition to not being able to see five feet in front of you, the trail had surprisingly large patches of powder, which I ended up appreciating because they padded my numerous falls on this trail. Overall, I still feel like a rockstar for skiing a Swiss Alp black diamond. Special shoutout to Mount Snow for preparing me for this momentous occasion. We then continued to ski in the beautiful mountains (the pictures don’t even do it justice!), and at around 4pm we headed back to the hotel. Sunday morning we took a long walk to Lake Brienz, which is gorgeous and if you look at my photos (see above) it looks like I’m standing in front of a green screen. The long walk was definitely worth it, though!

That’s pretty much it for my Swiss adventures in Interlaken & the Alps! Check back next week for updates on my weekend trip to Amsterdam (though I can’t promise you’ll be getting all the details).

Ciao for now,

BCow

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