11th September 2011
Today we travel to the Swiss Alps!! On the way we stopped by Swarovski Crystal world. After viewing the amazing museum of stunning crystals it was onto the shop... This was super dangerous!! I spent a good wad of money here but in saying that I had been really good with my budget so I was allowed to spurge a little bit. After buying many a crystal it was off to Switzerland. We stopped for lunch in quaint little Lucerne. Where I devoured some delicious spring rolls, tasted the local wine and had an amazing iced coffee to top it off. It was then off to the mountains of Switerland. Now nothing can prepare you for this lands beauty. It is communities built on the side of mountains and ice cold rivers running straight off the mountains. Then the moment you set eyes on the crisp white snow, it's love at first sight!
We settled into a hostel with 2 other CONTIKI groups where I shared a room with Jodie, Emily and Zoe. we settled in and had showers then it was time for dinner where we had cheese fondue - yummmmmm followed by a chicken and rice number followed by a mouth watering Apricot crumble and custard. Tonight we had another theme night which is being held in an old bomb shelter/bunker. The theme was GI Joes and Army Hoes - I went as a GI Joe of course. The night was alot of fun and we were able to get to know some people from the other tours. Switerland is a very miliatary based country. All houses are required to have access to s bunker/bomb shelter, the schools even have bomb shelters. The roads do have dynamite lying under them in places in order to block tunnels or blow up bridges if it ever became necessary. Some buildings and houses even have grass roofs for camouflage. The place we are staying is home to the worlds biggest free falling waterfall - meaning that the water goes over the edge of the cliff and free falls for a distance without hitting rocks. Our tour manager said they turn it off at 9pm every night, yea she had me going a beauty I was racking my brain trying to think of how they could possibly do that. She also managed to convince me that they let the cows on the grass roofs in summer - I fell for that one big time.
The following day it was our full free day on Mount Jungfraujoch. It cost 134 Swiss Francs to go up and took two hours of a fairly steep incline to get up there by train. We stopped twice on the way up to check out the stunning views of the snow and glaziers. The train went up inside the mountain where we were dropped off. The air was fresh (cold) and definitely thin. Coughing and laughing was hard to do. So this was going to be my first time at the snow. I was super excited. It was a perfectly clear day and as I walked out onto the snow for the first time I was in awe of the beauty of this place. Such a stunning part of the world. After having a mini snow ball fight I went up the lift to the top of the world. Photos can never do this view here justice. Purely breathtaking scenery, one side of the snow and the other of the snow turning into the rolling countryside where you could see for miles. It was then time for lunch and I talked myself into learning to snow board. There would be no better answer to someone who asks me where I learnt to snowboard - the Swiss Alps. So I went and got organized and had Adam from the adventurer tour show me the basics to get my started. Before I knew it I was sailing down a mountain. I did the run a few times but had to stop and I knew I shouldn't have been doing this to my poor foot. it was the best fun ever and when I get home im getting an outfit in the end of winter sails so I'm all set for next year. I can't believe I had been missing out on this for 23years!! The was a massive stack on the slope, I was involved thank goodness but my mate Adam was and Gen from my tour. It was her first time snowboarding and she hadnt been shown how to stop. She had started gliding down the hill heading straight for Adam who had fallen over and was attempting to stand up. As Gen was heading straight down the hill she was picking up speed. She ploughed straight through Adam and was in shock. I didn't see her coming and was about 5 meters away from Adam and all I saw was him get bulldozed without warning. They are both (thankfully) ok! It was then time to build a quick little snow man then head back down the mountain for dinner. The trains were packed as there had been a marathon on the mountain so we didn't get a seat on the second train and it took us 2.5 hrs to get home but in the nick of time for dinner which was soup, hamburgers and strawberry ice-cream. It was then time to head over the bridge to the other side of camp to see the local folklore festival where they played drums and giant cow bells. It was good fun. It was then off to the bunker for a couple of quiet ones where I took the bandage off my ankle which had turned into a cankle. Snowboarding was well work it though!
Some bad news though, some girls on our tour have been infested with bed bugs. They had to freeze all their clothes and bags and then wash everything. Fingers crossed they have been eliminated! The next day it was an early morning and a drive to the Rhine Valley where we drove into an electric storm with the loudest thunder I've ever heard. There were fire trucks and ambulances buzzing around everywhere. Apparently a train was derailed and we would need to detour to our hotel for 45 rather then a short 10 minutes. But before we headed off to the hotel we went into a stein factorynwhere there were many a stein and CONTIKI specific ones. We need moved on into what we thought was a dungeon but turned out to be a wine cellar for our wine tasting. We tasted a Reisling, Rose and an Iced wine. The iced wine was super sweet. It was then onto the hotel which is wh I type to you from. Tomorrow we are Holland bound- the mother land!!! I'm excited I might actually be able to find shoes that fit!! Yay!!!
Holiday is quickly coming to an end only 10 days to go, very mixed emotions!!!
Missing you all!!
Johanna Banana xoxo