Trip Start May 15, 2006
Trip End Sep 29, 2006

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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Monday, June 5, 2006

Interlaken is one of the coolest places on earth. We were coming from Lucerne on the train and I was trying to write in my journal and I just couldn't pull myself away from the view travelling through the Swiss Alps. We didn't think that the views could be better than the train until we disembarked at the train station and it just blows you away.

We walked to our hostel from the train station and into what appears to be a frat party but it happened to be our hostel. Balmers is considered one of the coolest hostels in the world(top 10 actually) and it lives up to its reputation. Interlaken is the adventure capital of Europe and maybe the world and Balmers has an adventures activity office in the hostel. They also have their own club that everyone in town goes to at night. It is the place to be any night of the week. They also have any number of activies to do for free at the hostel and it is just filled with very friendly people. It is extremely loud and there are about 15 people per room(12 that paid for beds and 3 that just sleep on the floor for free) which doesnt lead to much sleep but that is OK. You can sleep when your dead.

After setting our stuff down and getting situated in town, we rented some scooters for 16 Euros and headed about 20 minutes out of town to a huge waterfall. It is 900 plus feet high and you can take your scooters right to it. We rode around wearing shorts and a t-shirts in 70 degree weather just enjoying the scenery. That night we came back to a huge party at the hostel with everyone down dancing and drinking and just having a good time. We met one of the coolest guys so far on our trip. Kevin from Colorodo hung out with us for a couple of days before he left this morning but we figure that we will see him again during the next couple of months.

Day two in Interlaken started with a little hang gliding. It was so much more fun that I would have imagined. I jumped with an Aussie named Ed who let me take the sticks for a little while and then showed me a couple of tricks like the mid-air stall at 2000 feet, the 500 foot dive, and the huge looping bank turns where you hit about 4 G's. Then on landing, some Indian guy ran in front of our hang glider and he had to get pulled out of the way so we wouldnt it him. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and I wouldnt think I would top it....well until today.

This morning we got up and did an adventure sport that I have never heard of. It is called Canyoning and you get fitted for a wetsuit and booties and then go and climb around in glacial run-off, slide down natural water-slides, and jump into pools between raging rapids. I cant even explain how cool it was. It seems so dangerous but somehow they get away with taking about 80 people a day around to do it. We jumped off a 60 foot jump into a pool about 10 feet wide and we had to land on our backs so we wouldnt hit bottom. We also swung out over cliffs and then repelled down those cliffs. It was one of the most intense things I have ever done. We had so much fun that we are going to try and do it again when we come back this way after Spain.

The rest of our time has been spent walking around town and spending lots of money on food and entertainment. It is just really expensive here in Switzerland and when you start doing adventure sports, it just gets more expensive. It was so worth it though and like my parents always say "the great thing about money is that you can always make more."

We leave tomorrow for Gimmelwald which is a town of about 200 people. It is supposed to be the most beautiful place in the world but after Interlaken, I dont know how much better it could be.
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