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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Nestled in Alpine Clouds

Nestled in Alpine Clouds 2

Hello from our latest haven, nestled amid the clouds, Zermatt!

We have had a great week, jumping from city to city, as our Euro Disco has hit its stride. Leaving Paris early on the week, we arrived in the city of Annecy in Eastern France. Annecy, where we have pretty well all agreed to retire to, was an active destination for us, as we explored the incredible old city, ate canal-side dinners, sampled fondue, and rejoiced with gelato. The morning after arriving, the majority of us took to the lake, not to swim but to bike, where we cycled around Europe’s second largest freshwater lake, retracing the route of previous Tour de France’s. “The biking was great, it was really cool to see the misty blue/turquoise lake,” said Ali. While our bikers saw the glacial lake from atop two wheels, the non-cyclists got to enjoy it from paddle boats, all before lunch and a visit to the city’s beach and recreational area, the Champs de Mars. Following that jam-packed day, we ventured into the Rhone Alps for another morning of adventure; this time being a beautiful day of whitewater rafting and time with our fantastic outfitter’s puppy, Jo, who greeted and played with us, stole some socks, and barked as we left to go and explore the city. According to Tyler, “rafting was really awesome, the best part was jumping in and swimming along the calm canyon, the water was great!”

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Annecy was followed by the most scenic drive yet, into the Alps, up several thousand feet, to the tiny ski and alpinist town of Zermatt. Even before actually arriving into town, we were taken aback by the beauty, as we peered out of the train, riding up to our carless destination. After an evening of exploration and billiards, nearly half of our trip members woke up early to trek up to the top of the skiable Matterhorn and enjoyed a beautiful morning of 9 degree Celsius (approximately 48 degrees Fahrenheit) and shockingly great conditions with granular snow! While that group was skiing, the remainder of our group enjoyed a leisurely visit to the mountain’s midway point, to take in the fresh air and spectacular Swiss scenery. What may be the most special part of our Swiss visit however, is that the day following our departure was the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the world’s most recognizable mountain. The village was completely abuzz with excitement, and as we were heading to visit our first disco of the trip, the path first taken to reach the apex of the horn-like rocky top of the mountain lit up meter-by-meter until the pinnacle was illuminated in commemoration of the milestone anniversary.

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We now head off to Venice so for today, we say “Ciao Bella!”

-The Westcoast Blogger

Interested in learning more about Westcoast Connection’s student European tours? Explore our European Discovery 22-day and 30-day teen tours!