Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter wonderland

Let's be real: I'm not cut out for the cold. Born and raised in California, my body typically starts shutting down organ by organ when the temperature dips below 50 degrees. But there are some places that make braving the cold more than worth it, and Interlaken, Switzerland is one of them.

I just got back to Europe after about a month at home, and hopped right off a plane to Rome onto a bus to the Alps for my Bus2alps orientation...makes sense. This is where I spent my last weekend before heading back to the states so I was more than ready to head back to this magical land. 

The weekend was a mix of meetings and snowy activities. We stayed in the cutest hostel that looks just like a little Swiss chalet and is a short walk to Lake Brienz, one of the most picturesque places on the planet. 

This was a weekend of a lot of firsts for me. I tried snow shoeing, which was basically a giant hike up a mountain followed by literally bounding down it in fresh powder almost up to my knees. It definitely involved more than one snowy tumble but was a ton of fun and provided some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.

There was also night sledding, which, it turns out, is not just sliding breezily down a hill. The whole steering thing kind of evaded me, but the following fondue dinner more than made up for it, and hanging out in the Alps after nightfall felt like a once in a lifetime chance. 

Suffice to say, I'm eagerly awaiting many more (I hope) Interlaken trips this season. Maybe next time I'll get brave enough to try this!