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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Now THAT´S commitment (or maybe it was all the Swiss chocolate…), Backpack Europe

Where in the world is Backpack Europe? Let’s find out!

The Westcoast Blogger

Hello and greetings from Interlaken, Switzerland. We have been here for a few days now, right after our brief stay in Lucerne where we did the Golden Round Trip up and down Mt. Pilatus starting with a beautiful cruise on the water (one of Keely’s favorite Switzerland activities thus far) before heading up the mountain via the world’s steepest cogwheel train (cable car). After exploring the breathtaking views from the top and sampling some of Switzerland’s finest cuisine, we made our way back down by cable car and then two gondolas (we were THAT high). The old pedestrian city of Lucerne, with its winding, narrow streets was a great place to browse shops and sample fondue (did you know that Lake Lucerne is filled with swans?).

We have two members named Abby and both have been more than dedicated to maintaining physical fitness on the tour. One of their Switzerland highlights was enjoying a postcard-perfect trail run along Lake Lucerne with one of the tour leaders before everyone else was up for the morning. Now THAT´S commitment (or maybe it was all the Swiss chocolate…).

Besides seeing the Alps by train, boat, cable car, gondola, and bus, we rode trotti bikes down a mountain in Grindelwald which was a particular adventure for two Floridians, Daniel T. and Halle haha. However, Michelle will probably be rushing to E-bay to find one of these scooter-bicycles to purchase for home as she had particular fun riding them (watch out!).

Buds from home and buds on the trip, Brandon and Gary both are particularly amazed with the scenery of Switzerland- the glacier river and lake water (so blue!) as well as the mountains, but don’t forget the “chill” town atmosphere we’ve been experiencing!

As for Interlaken, often referred to as the outdoor adventure capital of Europe, we have had amazing times both whitewater rafting and completing runs on a ropes course. Annica was particularly proud to show her macho rafting guide Manu (who suggested perhaps recruiting a guy for her all-girl rafting crew) that girls can be strong too, especially proving it when her raft out-paddled everyone else to the finish (even with a slightly scared Halle in her raft who was very proud to brave herself into getting in the raft in the first place but of course ended up loving it). We must mention that like Alex says, the water was freezing, but we wore wetsuits and had a complete blast! It was definitely a perfect place for tour members like Justin, who has never been whitewater rafting before, to have their first experience on class three and four rapids.

Tour members overcame fears of heights as they embarked on various high ropes challenges. This course was a cross between Robin Hood’s Sherwood forest and Peter Pan’s Neverland and provided a diverse range of courses, including ZIP LINES! Judah and Daniel R. both completed every course and the Abby’s, along with Keely, resembled spider-women as they scathed the course with ease. It was hard to get them out of the trees! Gary, Alex, Sam and Brandon also proved to have the “skills”.

Now for a few random and inside things you should know about our trip. We have a morning song, along with dance moves, that gets played each morning. It may be just the song you want to have playing in the car when you pick up your tour member from the airport at the end of the trip; it is “Blame it on the Boogie” by Michael Jackson. Also our tour has an imaginary friend named Brian that we often reference, talk to, take pictures with, and get asked by strangers about haha. Judah, Devyn, Bethany, and Justin came up with a creative skit during our mock Saturday Night Live game to explain how Brian became invisible in the first place so this may be one other “inside” thing you can joke about with your member at the end of our time together.

Well for now we must close up and head off to Italy.

Danke (“thanks” = Swiss German),

Trip #50 Backpack Europe

Do you want to start planning your next trip? Get ready for our France and Switzerland tour, including the Eiffel Tower, Swiss Alps & more.