Category Archives: Switzerland

My First Swissventure

I’m just going to start this off by letting you all know about how the circumstances must be uber particularly particular in order for me to properly blog.

– It must be evening (trying to get over this one).

– I must not be hungry in the least (I should really nix this one too).

– I must have already read all of my emails, checked all of my facebook notifications, and perused every new item in my google reader as of two minutes ago. Oh bum. I didn’t check twitter. Or pinterest. Ugh. I’ll soldier on through my neuroses.

– Oh and finally, I must be reclined in my bed with the covers over my legs, leaned against the back wall with a pillow under my lumbar and another behind my neck… and my knees bent at 90°… with my macbook on my lap. (In my Parisian residence, escaping my not-nice desk chair also means that I have to untether myself from the not-wireless internet)

Hi, my name’s Britt. Two weeks ago today I was still struggling to recover from Switzerland withdrawal.

My friends and I spent 4 days out of our first (of two!!) “spring” breaks in the Swiss Alps. Holy Hannah.

Let’s first talk about the necessity for me to actually leave Paris. I guess I didn’t actually realize that it was a necessity until I had left… and then realized that I didn’t know how I would have survived had I not left.

Paris is big, bustling, cultured, artsy, gourmet, and gorgeous… but it’s a city. Especially in “winter” (not what I call winter, but to each their own) big cities can be grey. Paris is no exception.  The trees weren’t gettin their leaf on… and the haussmannian architecture leans toward the monotone.  It’s also not… really.. clean. I don’t mean that it’s dirty like dirt dirt like the great outdoors, more like people dirt.  Paris has been lived in by bazillions of people. And bazillions of pigeons. And little tiny dogs. And you can tell.

Don’t get me wrong, it really is an important and supremely awesome part of the city. You can really feel the life and the history, but you can totally smell it too.

The metro isn’t all that peaceful, and the locals don’t smile for just anyone (with the exception of my cheese lady. I love you cheese lady). I mean I’m used to that of course, it’s just not like home.

Ugh… I even feel guilty for feeling like I needed a vacation from Paris.  A vacation from a vacation? Girrrrrl. Get some real problems.

Sorry, that was me getting serious with myself.

First world problems aside, Switzerland was the exact taste of home I needed. Swiss-German-French-Italian home.

Now let’s go over where exactly I went. My two Aussie friends Vic (roomie!) and Matt (downstairs neighbour who can very likely hear me do ab-ripper X) departed with me crazy early the first morning from the Orly airport.  We were awake before the metro.  Maybe we didn’t need to be in hindsight. But we were.

We easyjetted to Geneva, where we caught the train through the Swiss countryside, passing through both the beautiful Lausanne, and the Swiss capitol of Bern. As soon as we got off the plane, I knew we had arrived in a land of increased timeliness and cleanliness.

Take the train through Switzerland if you go, please. Loverly.

Our home base and train destination was Interlaken, Switzerland, where we stayed three nights at the Backpacker’s Villa Sonnenhof.

Interlaken is, surprise, located between lakes.  Also mountains. The hostel, more of a legit surprise, was the most amazing magical hostel/hotel/anything hospitable-ish experience I have ever had. The staff were undeniably friendly, but not in a, “woah, back off hostel creepers” way.  In a cool, “I speak Swiss-German and I’m a super ski bum” way.  The beds were more comfortable than the bed that my buttocks currently rests upon.  The EVERYTHING was incredibly organized. From our room keys, our mini locker keys, and our bathrooms, to the ski-room, open kitchen, restaurant and ski discounts/recommendations, busses, hot drink tokens, and breakfasts… they had it dialed.

Oh god. breakfasts. Free. Filling. Fdelicious.

Every morning, all you can eat.  Soft brown Swiss bread, granola, a vat of yoghurt, and nutella. Needless to say… we each went back for fourths on the last day… realizing that it would be the last free meal we ate in Switzerland.. meaning the we would have to pay real Swiss prices on the journey back home.

We spent our two full days in the Interlaken area skiing. Duh.  The first day was for the Maanlichen and Kleine Scheidegg areas. Oh baby. The mountain range was breathtaking. Jungfrau region, you knock my socks off. More accurately jacket off. You knocked my jacket off.  It was freaking warm. And sunny.  Spring skiing at it’s finest. Gotta love forgetting your sunnies and coming home with an eyeball burn. Yeah. That’s right. You can’t put sunscreen on your eyeballs people.  I had burn lines on the whites of my eyeballs. That is all.  I know.  Probably really ungood. I can still see.

On a non-eyeball related note: my lunch salad on the mountain was the size of Matt’s responsibly helmetted head. Amazing.  There was pineapple in this salad. I can’t even remember what other craziness was in that bowl.

We gave’er up the other mountain on the second day.  All the way up to the Schilthorn. I know.  It is entirely as epic as it sounds.  This mountain was wild, awesomely fun, and nearly as confusing as the pile of spaghetti-looking chestnut puree that some of us had for lunch dessert on the mountain.

Our second day involved:

Losing Vic on a Mogul run.

Last pictured here.

Finding her, thank the lord, over an hour later.

Watching Matt pull Blue-Steel while biting it.

Cutting it so dang close to the lift closing time that we wound up in the middle of the mountain… without a direct trail down the mountain.. or any other options other than taking the gondola down like the rest of the normal people (so not happening).. accompanied by a group of like-minded-but-more-German-speaking rebels.

Hiking our arses up a hill, cross-country style.

Letting a kind guinea pig test out every uncharted trail for us before the rebel hoard decended.

Sneaking under the rope that said “trail-closed” after the one mountain employee in our group relinquished all responsibility for our actions, because we sure as hell weren’t skiing cross-country in our alpine gear just to find out the trail that we were determined to get to was freaking closed.

Skiing down the closed trail with an extra dumb smile on my face, making race car noises, while thinking about how I am likely the most brave, intense, courageous, heroic, rule-breaking individual in the world at that moment. Except guinea-pig guy.

Giant pots of boozy-melty cheese, and friendly swiss ladies who won’t tell you the ingredients for anything. ever. regardless of their big smiles and kind words. don’t even think about asking about the salad dressing.

Switzerland? Surreal.

It was like the pill that I didn’t know I needed to take, but when taken, cured me of the digestive discomfort I never knew I had. Or maybe it was the chocolate and cheese.



Filed under Switzerland, Travels