Interlaken, Switzerland…wow. My initial impression of Interlaken was the apparent and jaw-dropping beauty of this quaint town. Walking to our hostel from the train station ,upon arrival, was a serene experience. With mountain ranges completely surrounding the town, we were amazed.
CR 11 was lucky enough to participate in some extreme sports activities in our first full day in Interlaken. I decided to go ski diving and canyoning.
Both were incredible experiences. In this blog, I am going to focus on just ski diving.
On the way to the Hanger, morale was shakey. We are all very nervous, to the point where Madelyn Hicks sang her own rendition of “Amazing Grace” to calm our nerves. Rain was persisting on our way to the drop zone, yet the group retained a firm optimism that we were going to jump out of an airplane on that day.
Fast forward, I am in the plane with Tim, my steadfast instructor, attached to my back. Madelyn Hicks has just flung herself out of the plane, into the abyss. One by one, my CR familia is being dropped out of the plane, and, finally, it is my turn.
It is hard to describe the feeling of a pure free fall. It is both exhilarating, terrifying, and liberating all at the same time. Wind rushing in my face, my breathe escaping me, I was enthralled by the feeling. Deploying the parachute and gracefully gliding through the air was one of the most still moments I have ever experienced. Taking in the beauty of the mountains and lake below me was incredibly peaceful.
Finally, touching down on the ground and embracing my familia that also survived the free-fall was a very special moment.
Inherently, extreme sports in Interlaken were undeniably fun, yet as I reflect on the importance of these activities, I think that it highlights something about the culture of Interlaken. The significance of the outdoors does not only play out in just the extreme activities but also in the community aspect of the town. Through out the entire day, people could be seen walking the streets of Interlaken, socializing, shopping, and just enjoying the outdoors.
Although Interlaken is probably significantly more beautiful than any place in the U.S., sometimes I wonder if people from the U.S. take the beauty of nature for granted. There is something freeing about experiencing beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, and valleys that connects people to an inner peace.
Moving forward, I hope that because of my time in Interlaken I would come to appreciate the magnificence of nature in smaller, daily manners. I hope to constantly value the soothing bliss it has on the soul.