Monday, February 27, 2012

i'm officially in love with switzerland.  i spent this weekend in interlaken, the german part of switzerland and home to every extreme sport you can imagine.  after a ten hour bus ride, we arrived at our hostel, the funny farm, at 4:30am.  everyone was tired and miserable, and my roommates and i passed out immediately, only to be woken up 3 hours later to sign up for activities.  so many activities.  on a whim, i signed up for canyon jumping, skiing and night sledding in the alps... what was i thinking??  everyone was pretty pissy to be woken up so early until we opened the shades to our balcony and saw this...
surprisingly awesome view from the funny farm balcony
i never imagined that switzerland could be this magical place, but i was in for the time of my life.  everywhere i went, i felt like i was in heaven.  it reminded my of a little vermont/colorado ski-town on steroids since we were surrounded by ginormous swiss alps everywhere we looked.  the swiss people were beautiful and down-to-earth and fun.  all the buildings were made of logs and had giant fire places.  our hostel the funny farm was especially cozy, with a bunch of hippie-looking men with long hair working the front desk, playing reggae music, and a giant beethoven dog named spliff who hung out in the lobby all day every day.  everywhere you went, you were bound to make friends because the people were genuinely friendly and interested in you.  it was a treat coming from florence, where cars will run you over if you step into the street, and the people will either act like you don't exist or will be overly friendly to the point of creepiness.
me and my new friend spliff
so after exploring the town and meeting some of the locals, caroline and i set off to go canyon jumping in grindelwald (i convinced her to go with me).  apparently interlaken and somewhere in new zealand are the only two places in the entire world where you can go canyon jumping, so obviously i had to it.  we took a bus to the mountain with a group of other kids who were also out of their minds and wanted to jump off a tiny platform, free fall into a gorge, and swing by a rope while giant icicles fell from the mountains, threatening to stab you.  we hiked up the mountain, led by two cool hippie men, and suddenly found ourselves on the edge of a canyon with no guardrail.  after getting harnessed up (i was a little nervous since the guy tried to convince me there weren't any harnesses small enough for me), we were ready to jump.  as ready as we'd ever be, at least.  i wasn't too scared until it was my turn, and then i almost peed my pants.  after the hippie man pried my hand off of his shoulder, i jumped, trying to look at the photographer who was suspended over the gorge.  then i blacked out, but it went a little something like this...
contract we signed before jumping

luckily, i lived.  and as if that wasn't enough adventure for a lifetime, the next day i woke up at the crack of dawn to hit the slopes.  in the swiss alps.  i can't even remember the last time i skied, but it all came back to me like riding a bike.  it was the most amazing skiing of my life.  beautiful mountains, fresh powder and white everywhere you looked.  at the end of the day, we skied all the way to the bottom of the mountain, across roads, passing restaurants, people's houses, farms with actual animals just hanging out in the middle of the slopes.  it was awesome.  that night, i headed back to the mountains to go night sledding, and ended the trip with dinner in a little log cabin-restaurant with swiss cheese fondue.

farm on the ski slopes
night sledding

pretty much my future home
well, i don't really know what else to say about switzerland, other than it's the most amazing, beautiful, wonderful place in the world.  and it's the first place i've ever been to in europe that i can actually see myself staying forever.  it was just like heaven.

and if you made it to the end of this, check out the video of me canyon jumping on youtube: FREE FALLIN

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