Friday, November 19, 2010

Switzerland

"Oh wait...so, is Switzerland not the same as Sweden then?"
"Well what about the cheese? Is Swiss cheese from Switzerland or Sweden?"
"They have really good chocolate!"
"Who has really good chocolate?"

Had you been sitting next to us on the two and a half hour train ride from Basal to Interlaken, Switzerland, this is the intellectual exchange you would have overheard. Bubbly and excited, we chatted away and attempted to play a few card games, while we waited, waited, waited. 

I don't think anyone of us knew what was in store.

Until, out of nowhere, Switzerland was upon us. We gazed out the window and were shocked by the beauty and radiance of it all. The lake was a perfect crystalline blue, and we could see the reflection of the breathtaking snow-capped mountains in the water. It was SO blue. There were rolling hills, and the most charming houses I have ever seen, against a backdrop of pure periwinkle sky. And to think, this is only the view from our train window. 

We arrived at the hostel (Balmers!) and were greeted by a warm, helpful staff member, who assured us Switzerland was going to steal our hearts in no time. After a good nights rest, the group of us got up early Saturday morning and decided what we wanted to do. Some went skydiving, others canyon jumping. While these things are all incredible, once in a life time experiences, I am not the adrenaline seeking type nor do I envision I would gain any pleasure by throwing myself off a ledge, or worse, a plane, and thus decided on a hike. 

Jordan and I stumbled into a lady at a nearby shop who kindly suggested we take the "Wengen" trail, which takes you pretty high up and provides a majestic view of Interlaken. Up up up up up we went, for an hour and a half, and it was so worth it. The sun casted its soft glow on the green, green hills, making them shimmer and sparkle. Everything was so open, luscious and serene, and almost too good to be true. The beauty of Switzerland completely surrounded us, mesmerized us, swallowed us; it was exhilarating. Even the cows looked pretty. 

Our flight left at about 1:30pm on Sunday, but we all got up at 5:45 in the morning to go watch the sun come up. We found the perfect spot where all of the mountains came together in one place, casting their glory in the reflection of the undisturbed water.

Then, as if this wasn't enough, a gorgeous white swan floated towards us, clearly just as entranced by us as we were by her. She decided to stay very close to us, and we all watched the vibrant pink sun rise over the mountains.

As we walked back towards our hostel to grab some breakfast and finish packing, we saw a large flock of ducks in the pasture nearby. We began chasing them, watching as they flapped their royal blue wings against the chilly air back towards the lake, their home.

Lately I have been thinking that it might be time for me to go home, too.

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