Interlaken, Switzerland has rocked my freaking socks all the way off. Absolutely phenomenal are the best words I can use to describe this unique little city nestled between two lakes. I knew we were headed somewhere special when we began to see the beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps from the train windows. As we took our first steps off the train and into the sunshine, a member of the familia literally burst into tears of happiness…and she’s not even a senti girl??? All jokes aside, I think this was a special moment within CR11 where we were simultaneously filled with amazement at the incredible experiences we have/are currently partaking in as well as the inspiring individuals we get to discover and learn with. I am so grateful for each and every day of life, and these past three days have been exceptionally blissful.
WE DID WHAT??
As we got settled into our hostel and prepared for a traditional fondue-style dinner (in which we were left speechless as we unexpectedly witnessed a talented yodeling group perform live,) we also signed up for extreme sports for the next morning. I can honestly say I had no idea Interlaken was the extreme sports capital of the world, but I most definitely agree they live up to this standard. No matter where you were, you could almost always look up and see a paraglider high in the sky— a dot above the many shops and parks and mountains below. Fortunately, we were all able to participate in a couple of exhilarating activities.
On a whim, I chose to try out hang gliding and canyoning for the first time. Each was quite a different experience that evoked various emotions, but caused the same slightly alarming pace of my heartbeat. Chloe, Sarah, Gabby and I all woke up to go hang gliding around seven in the morning. After an amusing van ride, a trek up a steep hill carrying backpacks full of at least 30lbs of gear, and several minutes of waiting for the rain to pass, the time had finally come for me to essentially run off the side of a cliff with a complete (and thankfully certified) stranger. If we’re being completely honest here, I may have shut my eyes completely when sprinting off the side of the cliff. Anticipation is one of my biggest fears in life, and this moment was full of it. The second we caught air and took flight, I felt as though I was on top of the world (and I kind of was!) Joe, my instructor, was a real hoot. He played some high quality pop remixes on a speaker and performed the perfect amount of twists and turns as we soared through the air. The sensation of flying 1500 feet above some of the most breathtaking sights I’ve ever seen was truly extraordinary.
A few hours later I tried out another intense sport by the name of canyoning. Little did I know, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Turns out, canyoning is a mix of jumping, sliding, repelling, and maneuvering around massive canyons as fresh white water is rushing on all sides of me as I’m zipped up more snug than I imagined possible in a wetsuit. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Canyoning was one of my favorite things I have ever had a chance to do in my lifetime. It challenged me both mentally and physically and pushed me to step outside my comfort zone. I had no idea what was coming around the next corner, and it took everything in me to trust my guide when he instructed us to “super man jump” into a small pocket within the rapid waters. Feeling more accomplished and adventurous than ever, I was left the best kind of exhaustion—one that consists of personal fulfillment. Sometimes it can do a lot of good to do something a little crazy.
Interlaken was a place where laughs were a little louder and bonds grew a little closer. A few of my favorite memories include:
-an impromptu hike up a mountain in which we were joining Lauren’s search for a geocaching tube and instead stumbled upon a hidden gazebo with a jaw dropping view
-our amazing walk through the Valley of 72 waterfalls in which we took the best CR group photo yet
-looking in the various tourist shops to find the perfect “vintage interlaken sweatshirt” alongside Dr. P himself
-Thai dinner with everyone squished around the table and yummy chicken wontons
-protecting our laundry in a cramped downstairs hostel (shoutout to Cooper, Peter, & myself)
-eating pizza on the patio together on the last night here as we enjoyed each others company. Conversation with Lauren, Chloe, and Sarah was indeed rich!
As you might have guessed, I’m looking forward to many more.
Take it easy,