Arrived the evening of the 9th to find another top deck tour staying with us for the next two nights in Switzerland (left on the 11th). Stayed in cabins at this camp site place in the middle of the most beautiful valley in the world. There was a river running through the middle, steep cliffs either side and waterfalls down the rocky cliff faces almost every direction you turned.
Had a walk down the main street of Lautenbrunnen and checked it out. Saw a vending machine with condoms and pregnancy tests in it along side all the normal snacks of a vending machine.
Headed back for dinner in the top deck tent and had some swiss cheese fondu to start us off, followed by potato gratin pork medallions and heaps of broccoli and carrots.
Got ourselves ready for the following day before heading to the campsite bar with the rest of the bus. Sampled swiss cider in awesome pop top bottles and had a gay ol time really. The peak of the evening must have been the excitement on everyone's faces when our tour group started dancing on the tables. Even Emily our tour leader jumped up and had a boogie. The night ended early and a little messy for our Aussie friend Sam and we put her to bed after a few waters.
Tried to stop a fight between the kiwis and the welsh marines. Ended the evening hilariously with sharky putting everyone to bed slash forcing us to go to our rooms, telling us to lock our doors and checking they were locked before saying ok goodnight.
Had a few hours sleep before getting up for early sky divers breakfast then went down to the shop.
Got sent back due to the weather not being ok at 7am.
Slept for half an hour and went back at 8. Then we all had a decision to make whether we would go or not due to having to miss out on jungfrau if we chose to do skydiving. Probably sat there and change our minds about 10 times. Emily was set on doing it having already psyched herself up for it and slowly everyone else came around as well. Dave and thabi had walked out already then chose to come back in again.
Due to the weather being bad in the valley we had to move out near interlaken. They managed to do 3 trips and just as Emily and i were up, they stopped for an hour over lunch (being a Sunday they always make sure they take time out).
We were getting pretty hungry too but were too scared to eat before falling out of the sky.
Picked up 3 other foreign people after lunch at around 1.15 and headed back to the helipad only to find out we were going to go back to the valley and sky dive from there (as originally planned) since the weather had cleared up so well.
We found out from Stefan the main guy that it was a far better spot and meant that Emily myself and josh (Aussie mate) could all go up together as the helicopter was bigger. We were stoked!
Since there were new people we also had to go back to the main shop in Lautenbrunnen so they could sign theirs lives away (pretty much literally).
So we sat and waited to head to the new helipad, by this time the nerves were pretty much worn away and we were keen to just hurl ourselves out of this helicopter already.
Finally we were back on the road (not a long one evidently) and the normal jump spot was just up the road past our camp.
Got back into our jumpsuits and harnesses and we were up first.
Suddenly the panic and realisation set it and it got a bit real.
Found out my jump master was Ralph and I was stoked. I'd been watching the others all morning and had decided that Ralph was the most thorough with his safety checks and thought he'd be my best bet.
By now we had been hanging out for a good 8 hours so knew these guys pretty well by now and I think everyone was pretty excited. Got a bit scared when Ralph started saying the clips on my harness were a bit rusty, they were also the ones they had bought on eBay and for me to just check once we had jumped out that he was still there.
I think I kept quite quiet when he was saying this.
The others were laughing tho. Thanks guys.
The helicopter ride up was amazing, our DVDs showed that I was doing a little bit of yelling when we took off I think I suddenly realized it was too late to turn back and we were actually doing this.
We flew up the valley and turned left up towards jungfrau. Had the 3 mountains pointed out to us the virgin the monk and the ogre, jungfrau was the virgin apparently.
We also saw the mountain top restaurant and where all the other top deckers had ventured to for the day. We even saw a glacier and of course lots of snow which josh being from
Perth was excited about.
When we had reached 1400ish feet it was time or Emily to open the helicopter door and drop out the side. Watching her drop was a crazy sight and very sobering.
Ralph and I awkwardly shuffled along the seat and sat with our heads and feet outside the helicopter.
The view was literally breathtaking. Only had a few split seconds before we fell forward and out. First few seconds was a bit of a drop of stomach but when I got the tap on my shoulder to put my arms out it honestly felt like I was flying.
The best feeling in the world.
I didn't stop smiling or saying how amazing it was the entire time.
Only time I may have hesitated was the sound the parachute made when it was out. Didn't really sound normal to me, Ralph assured me it was fine though and I'm still here to tell the tale so it must have been.
The feeling of this was unexplainable and you have to try it. I absolutely loved it and it was worth waiting the entire day to do. The instant we reached the ground I wanted to run back to the helicopter and do it again. Was very jealous that the jump masters got to go twice more after us.
Only found out later that Emily pretty much nearly died. Her parachute was twisted and thank goodness she had such an experienced sky dive instructor who was able to do some fancy spins to untangle it quickly. If it was any more tangled or he wasn't able to do this, the back up parachute wouldn't have been any use either. Scary. Bit of a sobering moment finding that out. But we did sign a death waver and joked that it was a pretty great way to go in terms of being so happy doing it. When the 5 of us from our bus found all this out we had a slight bit of hesitation in doing it again but it was so much fun that we all agreed that we probably would. You only live once and the chances are still extremely small.
All in all we went back to camp on a high that night. Had an epic dinner of creamy mushroom white wine chicken on potato gratin with veggies followed by apple strudel with custard and that berry stuff. After dinner joined the two Aussies who met us jumping for a couple drinks before I slipped off early to bed dreaming about flying.
Super duper sad to leave Switzerland today. I want to live here.
Managed to get a Swiss army knife before crossing the border into italia.