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Life Changing Experiences

Footloose, Fondue & a Few Farewells – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Grüezi parents and family from Interlaken, Switzerland!

A lot has happened since we last spoke in Tignes and many of the trip members have fallen in love with this new country.

The drive to Geneva was brief and brought us straight to our beautiful hotel. We spent the afternoon visiting the United Nations in Geneva and got to witness some of the meetings that go on day in and day out at one of the most important buildings in the world. They told us that they hold roughly 12 000 meetings annually which comes out to approximately 40 meetings every day! We also got the chance to purchase some UN souvenirs at their gift shops. Some sweaters, postcards and interesting books were bought!

Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy at the UN

Once we returned to the hotel, we got ready for our first authentic Swiss meal. We were surrounded by musicians who let us come and test out their Swiss trumpets, better known as the Alphorn. We had authentic cheese fondue and were stuffed! After dinner, we went for a beautiful walk along the water when we came across a gorgeous park that had been turned into an outdoor movie theatre. We got to watch Footloose (in English!) with an incredible view of the lake as our backdrop.

The following morning, we went down to see the famous Jet D’Eau, a massive fountain that sprays water up to 140 meters high. It also just so happened to be the day of the Geneva Triathlon so we were lucky enough to witness thousands of athletes swim across the lake! Quite a sight! We concluded our short visit in Geneva with a quick ferry ride to the old city of Geneva where we walked along cobblestone streets and got our first taste of authentic Swiss chocolate. Let me tell you, we are hooked!

The train ride to Interlaken provided us with breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. Upon arrival in Interlaken, we were eager to explore and we roamed the streets of this charming city filled with watches, Swiss army knives, horse-drawn carriages and of course lots of chocolate!

The next day, we went to an outdoor swimming pool complete with water sliding, a unique version of mini-golf, and a high-dive where many trip members showed off their diving skills. The afternoon consisted of an activity that we had been greatly anticipating – white-water rafting! We learned the various techniques of rafting and paddled along exciting rapids along the mountains. It was truly an experience none of us will ever forget!

At night, we had a competitive game of human-scavenger hunt where trip members had to find local tourists that matched the various descriptions set out for them, racing around the city to win a coveted gelato. It was a great time had by all.

Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy in Geneva

The following morning, we partook in a challenging excursion going through Europe’s largest indoor ropes course. Many trip members chose to go through expert level ropes complete with ziplines and hamster wheels and we managed to come out on top. Such troopers!

Our last evening in Interlaken was spent at a nearby restaurant with very entertaining waiters, who played instruments and stood on our tables. To top it all off, we got to indulge in Swiss Chocolate fondue, a dessert we had all been awaiting since arriving in Switzerland. It was definitely a great way to finish off our visit!

As we wrap up the first half of our trip, and for some the last evening with the group before they head home, words cannot describe how amazing the trip has been thus far. Our banquet, which consisted of re-enacting moments on the trip in groups and preparing skits, reminded us how much has happened and all the memories that were created.

For those leaving us tomorrow, you will surely be missed! And for those staying on, stay tuned for lots of updates of all the pasta, pizza and gelato we will be enjoying as we eat our way through Italy!

The Westcoast Blogger

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