Posted on 15-07-2007
Filed Under (Switzerland, Elation, Disaster, Adventure) by admin

Getting internet in Europe, apparently, is not as easy as we had originally discovered. The last time we easily found internet was in Epinaye, which doesnt say much for the rest of the continent. The last post I made was from the ground in front of Migros shopping plaza, tonight, I am in “FIRENZE: Internet Point”, a little Internet Cafe in Florence.

I’d love to write all about Florence and catch everyone up, but I feel it would be best if I finish off Interlaken, and then do all catch up on Florence tomorrow. So, here goes.

It seemed like it would be difficult to beat skydiving; the day after looked to be a relatively uneventful day, and I guess for the most part it was. We woke up a little hung-over from the the night before (celebrating after a good jump!) and didn’t really feel like doing anything too intense. We hung around Balmer’s for a bit, picked up the Skydiving DVDs from the Xtreme Desk and headed out to grab food.

We’ve begun the simplification of our lives; we now do our best to have one decent meal of typical food for the area we’re in, but then shop out of grocery stores. For example on that day, we picked up a baguette, some turkey from the deli and Camambert cheese. This lasted us for 2 meals, and came out to something like 3 Euro a person. Things are really expensive, so we’re doing our best to trim down on extras.

After that, we hung around outside Migros, the shopping mall that had the grocery store, and found internet access. I updated the site, checked email, and took pictures of people going by. We were feeling a bit bad for being so lazy and were interested in doing some of the great hikes we heard people talking about, so we headed back to Balmer’s and Mike began looking through his books for a good trail.

He found one that was one of the “more popular, but slightly steeper” trails. We considered a few others, but that trail, which was supposed to take about 4 hours, seemed like the best option. Interlaken is split into its East and West, and has an Ost and West (Pronounced Vest, since its part of the German-speaking Switzerland) train station. Our hotel is on the West side, so we took the train to Interlaken Ost. The trail would then lead us back to Interlaken West, towards our hostel.

Judging time here is really difficult because it stays so light until so late. It was probably about 8:30 pm when we started our hike, but the sun was still high in the sky; it felt like 3 or 4 pm. So, a 4 hour hike seemed like a completely feasible idea.

We crossed the river that passes through Interlaken, and eventually found the start of our trail. It was amazing. We would hike over all sorts of terrain, and the switchback path kept things interesting. We would criss-cross up the mountain, passing by large trees, beautiful flowers and rest points that overlooked Interlaken. We crossed bridges that looked unsafe (but seemed to be once we were on them…), and areas where water would flow down the mountain, creating a small brook through the path.

Once again, my watch was actually incredibly useful! We started the hike at about 1600 feet, and steadily watch ourselves rise. At about 2300 ft., we were going up a fairly steep hill when we saw a car barreling down the rescue path. It had been awhile since we saw any other form of life, so it was a bit reassuring to know other people existed. We yelled hello as the car passed, and although it was a few hundred feet, he seemed to have heard us and stopped. We waved, he yelled “Ahoy!”, and drove away.

As the started sun set though, I started wondering if he stopped so quickly because he thought we were either crazy for hiking so late, or lost and asking for help. The sunset was beautiful, but we slowly started to comprehend that sunset meant darkness, and, expecting a short hike, we just brought our small packs. I think we all silently realized that things were getting iffy, but kept going with the hike as the sky turned pink.

Back in time, for just a moment, the three of us were at Interlaken West train station. We’ve been seeing this water spouts all over Switzerland and contemplating whether or not we can drink them. Finally, I decided to ask at the train station. The woman I asked didn’t understand, but apparently a man online did, because he came to me outside where we were sitting and said “Water, ok drink.”

On the train we were discussing this Swiss water, when a woman overheard. She began telling us that the water from those spouts is Swiss water, almost directly from the mountains, and it’s purer than any bottled water. She said, with great pride, that they actively maintain that water to be as pure as possible from the tap.

We continued speaking with her, and she began telling us that the next 4 days are the best in Interlaken to go hiking and camping. She said that there were literally only 4 days every Summer where it would be warm all night and without rain, and these were them. So, I think it was at this point where I sub-consciously thought… “Screw Balmer’s, let’s sleep on an Interlaken mountain!”

Back on the mountain, as the shades of pink where hugging the horizon more tightly and the sky began turning dark blue, Hayley was beginning to want to start heading back the way we came. Mike and I wanted to push on, though. And convinced here we’d be able to get to the top soon… We were at just about 3200 ft, and the summit of the highest mountains in Interlaken were all around 4000, so we had to be getting close.

Of course, I think we all knew we couldn’t make it in time. The truth was though, we would have had to turn around long ago if we wanted to make it to the bottom before we were walking through pitch black. The only real option was to find a nice spot to camp out for the night. .. And that spot came as we followed a wooden railing slightly off the trail to a looking point at about 3500 ft.

It was perfect. We had a little roof with benches on three sides, we were surrounded by rocks on three sides, and from the North and East, there were cliffs, so we were fairly protected from roaming animals. In front of us, North, was all of Interlaken… It was spectacular. We began identifying everything in Interlaken we knew, and had created a pretty accurate composite of everything we knew by the end of the night… “No no, THAT must be Centralstrasse, see how it curves around those green lights that are the train station lights?”…”Those aren’t green lights!”

There was another interesting light spectacle that night, which happened only about half an hour after we arrived at our camping-site and the sun had completely set. Staring into Interlaken, we noticed a dot moving quickly across the mountain across from us, on the other side of Interlaken. Suddenly, it started hissing and fireworks sprayed out! It would stop shooting fireworks, move around somewhere else and two minutes later, more fireworks! We realized it was a helicopter, and for about half an hour it would just fly around for a few minutes, shoot off some fireworks from both sides, and fly somewhere else to do the same thing. It was an amazing site, that I’m sure we would have completely missed were we not camped out on a mountain.

I maintained pretty high spirits the whole time… It was really exciting to be outside at night, and see Interlaken in such a unique way. But, it was getting pretty cold and we were not prepared for camping out like this. We hit a water spout halfway through the mountain, so we had plenty of water, and we bought a baguette of bread just before heading up on the trail, so we were well fed, but a flashlight and blanket would have been priceless.

We we arranged the huge wooden benches into a large bed and shivered together talking and complaining most of the night… At some point we realized my computer had a full battery in it, so I took it out and we started watching a movie. We’d been hearing wind moving leaves and animals scurrying around all night, but it seemed that the noises increased a great deal after the computer was on. We were afraid we were attracting animals, so we turned it off, and just enjoyed the lights some more.

Soon after the laptop was on, though, I thought I’d heard the more distinct noise of just two legs stepping through the leaves coming from our East. About 15 minutes later from behind us, and then again from our West, where the only entrance from to our spot was. I was a bit afraid we had attracted more than just a small animal, but maybe a person that realized some camping-newbies had some sweet electronics with them.

I think I was partly just hypersensitive to such noises and situations after all that had happened, the darkness and the situation we were in, but I just pictured a guy waiting for us to hit the hay, and the pluck us of our valuables. Luckily, Mike and I don’t sleep much anymore, we were up pretty much all night and nothing came of that. Too bad, robbed us of a good story!

I’d enjoyed the night, but by about 4:30, it was incredibly cold, and I was in a short sleeve shirt, shorts and sandals… It was hot when we started! Shivering, we made our way back onto the path with my laptop as a flashlight and found a point that seemed like it would be great for watching the sunrise. We parked there, and enjoyed the show before moving to one more spot and viewing it from a slightly higher angle. It was incredible.

It may have been a lot of work, but we got a lot more out of this hike than we expected. Unfortunately though, our hopes of crossing Interlaken from East to West were shattered, when we saw that the our trail was closed at the summit and seems to have been for awhile. It was too bad, but we made it to just over 4000 feet, and survived an incredible hike and camp-out.

We made it back down the same way we came, but it all seemed a bit different anyway, approaching it from a different angle. In other words, I was in awe on the way back down too. We saw some people going up as we went down, and they seemed confused as to why we were heading down so early in the morning. We, nevertheless, exchanged polite ‘Good mornings’ and continued on our way.

At some point on the way down I slammed my foot into a rock and got a cut on my toe that bled pretty relentlessly all day. I know, I know… Why was I wearing sandals on a hike… blah blah. Really, I’ve found my feet to be so much more comfortable in my sandals than in my shoes, even for long trecks with my back-pack. This was something of a test, to see if my sandals would hold up in the toughest of conditions. And, I think they did. My feet felt great the whole trip, and I’m sure would have been hurting much more if I was in normal shoes. Either way, I realized today in Florence that I left my sneakers in Balmer’s, so I’m going to have to justify their loss by saying I realized I didn’t need them anymore.

Anyway, Hayley, Mike and I happily took our step back to 1600 ft at around 7:15 and it felt great to have overcome that night. We rushed back to Balmer’s, got breakfast, a very, very needed shower, quickly packed up our stuff and had to sprint with our full-packs on to just make our train to Spiez, where we would then take a train to Milano, where we would then miss our train but graciously be allowed on a more local train to finally make it to Firenze…

But that’s all for tomorrow… Ciao!

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Hello again from Interlocken… Or Interloken, as I see it spelled here. Mike and I are, at the moment, sitting in front of a Migros shopping mall, on the ground, plugged into an outdoor electricity socket, leeching WiFi internet from someone’s router. Perhaps a strange site, but Interloken is truly a backpacker’s town.

It also happens to be the extreme sports center of the world. Everywhere you look there are advertisements for canyoning, bungy jumping, ice climbing, zorbing, hang-gliding…and Sky diving. Hayley, Mike and I had been fantasizing for a long time about going Sky Diving in Interloken, but all had some feeling that it was one of those things that just didn’t work out.

But yesterday, the first thing we did after checking into Balmer’s Hostel was go to the Extreme Sports desk and book a trip with Scenic!Air to jump 11,000 feet over Interloken through the Alps. At this point, I found that I was, surprisingly, more excited and less scared… We did the whole process pretty quickly, without really processing what we were getting ourselves into.

We had about 3 hours to hang around Interloken before we would go, but that went quickly and we soon found ourselves in the van which took us for a beautiful drive through the mountains of Interloken, and to a small airfield. In front of us there was only a runway, a hangar, and a big garage full of jumpsuits, harnesses and adrenaline junkies.

The guys and girls at Scenic Air were awesome; they were funny and kept the mood light. We’d already signed our life away at the hostel, so all we had to do was get in jumpsuits and take a 30 second crash-course on how to position our body while in the air. There were 3 simple steps… In the plane, we lean our head back and grab the harness, for the first few seconds we keep our hands holding the harness, we get a tap and then we get let our hands go and enjoy the ride… We were on the second plane, so I found myself racking my brain, going through the steps hundreds of times while we waited.

Even so, I was still less nervous than I’d thought I would be. Sure, my heart was pounding a bit more than usual, I was thinking about what the moment would be like. But I was really just so excited… Something about the incredible Swiss scenery made it a lot easier to deal with (Besides, if my sister can do it, there’s no way I should be worrying).

I met my tandem jumper, Hans, who was actually the guy who gave the 30 second instruction and seemed to be of high-rank in someway, so I was “In good hands with Hans.” Hayley, Mike & I, with our tandem jumpers and camera crew, started a short walk across the airfield to the blue plane idling on the runway. Hayley had said she wanted to go first, but as we started filing in, Hans said to me, “Last on, first off… Make sense?”

Suddenly I got a little nervous, but convinced myself I wanted to be the first one out, and we hopped in the plane. The space we were in was tiny. I always pictured a pretty large area where we could all comfortably sit and tap our feet nervously, but there was just enough room for the people we had, and our legs were all sort of interwined; I wondered how we’d all maneuver to get out.

Since I was the last one in, I was right at the sliding door of the airplane. The tarmac was 2 feet from me, with the door open as the plane started taxiing away. Hans allowed me about 45 seconds to nervously wonder if we’d be taking off and flying around with the door open the whole time, before closing it as we took off.

The scenery was spectacular. Interloken is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and we were flying through it in a tiny airplane, with an absurdly good view. Seeing the town from this perspective, I finally truly understood the name Inter-loken… It was a city clearly Inbetween (Inter) two incredibly blue-colored Lakes (Loken).

I recently received a very nice watch as a gift from my Aunt & Uncle that has an altimeter built in… For the first time, I really got a chance to use it. Paying a bit more for the camera man was also like paying a little more for a best-friend up there, and they kept us sane as I saw my watch slowly creep over 6,000 feet.

“How ya feeling?” Hans asked, in his awesome Swiss accent. “I’m doing ok… How are you doing?” I wondered, making sure the guy in charge of my life was in peak condition.

“Eh, I’m feeling a bit sick.” He joked.

We had about 15 minutes in the air to go sight seeing, but the higher I saw us getting the less I cared about the mountains. 0 to 6000 feet took about 10 minutes, so when I looked at my watch and suddenly saw us at over 10,000 feet, it hit me that this is it.

Hans started tightening me in, we attached our shoulders and torsos together, and he gave me the last few instructions. My watch hit 11,000, and seconds later Hans slid the door open.

The rush from the air through the door was incredible, we were going so fast. But there was no time to be scared, no time to back out. My camera man climbed over me and out the door, hanging on the wing support. Hans and I twisted our bodies onto the doorstep, and VOOSH, he pushed us out.

If words could describe how it felt, it wouldn’t be so expensive… But I guess its worth a shot. All the fears drop away, air is pushing your face and body so hard, but it feels great… The noise of falling 125 mph is loud, much louder than I thought. I was screaming, but I could hardly hear it.

As Hayley put it, “The Earth below looked like a toy train-set.” Jumping through the Alps was also probably the best possible way to do it (A sky-cameraman originally from Munich that we were talking to for awhile actually said Interloken is in his top 3 places to jump). The clouds and mountains were beautiful as we plummeted from above them to below them, but to be honest that wasn’t really what was on my mind at this point.

Hans spun me around, we played with the cameraman, screamed, made faces, and then I felt a tap, and VOOSH again, the parachute opened up and it was a completely new sensation.

Now it was just Hans and me, I felt completely safe with him. He loosened my harness a little so I could be more comfortable, and took off my goggles. We were still quite high, and the trip down lasts about 7 minutes, so we talked and had some fun.

The control they have over the chutes is amazing. He did some maneuvers through the air that gave me as intense a feeling as when we were falling. There’s something about seeing the parachute in front of me, when I feel like it should be above me, that really gets me screaming “WOOO. YEEEEAHH.”

Hanging there, Hans asked me what I thought, “Freaking incredible”, I replied (Though I wasn’t so clean-spoken at the time). “It’s the shit, eh?” He replied.

It was the shit.

We did a few sharp turns, and Hans asked me to put my head down so he could see, making sure not to drop us into the river below us… Not a bad idea, I thought. We swooped down towards the grass of the airfield at what seemed like far too fast a speed, but with a tug of the lines just as we were about to the ground, we slowed down, seemed to hang a bit in the air, and glided onto the grass.

We were all euphoric… We still are all euphoric. We’ve decided to just come back home now, because we cannot top that, ever. We hung around with the skydivers and watched the other groups go, enviously. The skydivers told us that once you’re licensed and have your gear, it costs about $25 a jump, so Hayley, Mike & I made a pact to do it and go skydiving around the world (kind of like a pact we made to go backpacking through Europe?).

Since, I’ve relived the experience in my mind many times, and they played clips from mine and Mike’s jump in the Metrobar, at Balmer’s, where we hung out at night after enjoying a cheap fondue dinner.

Interloken is incredible. We will definitely be back here sometime in our lives, hopefully with loads of cash to spend on every extreme sport possible.

Pictures and video are on the way, but the only thing Interloken is missing is good internet, so that may have to wait until we leave.

-An elated Nicky

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Posted on 11-07-2007
Filed Under (Switzerland) by admin

Last night was a loooong night, but since then, things have much improved. I stayed awake most of the night watching over our things, everyone else around fell asleep, entrusting their belongings upon me. Things went smoothly, though, and I took a nap at around 3:30 am. The mall had been freezing all night, but as the doors were opened more and more frequently, it got colder and colder… And by the time I woke up I was glad I’d been carrying that fleece sleeping bag with me the entire time.

A train to Bern, where we would then connect to Interlocken, was leaving at around 5 am. We were weighing the options of either seeing a little of Geneva or just getting right to Interlocken. It ended up being a pretty quick decision…We were cold, tired and sick of Geneva, so we decided to hop on the 4:56 train to Bern and happily waved good-bye to Geneva.

We all were dozing in and out of sleep for both train rides. On the way to Bern we spoke briefly to a woman getting off there too, and she luckily alerted us when we arrived. The scenary I saw, in between dreams, on the train ride was amazing… So once again, I was really hoping that would be somewhat reflected in Interlocken itself.

This time, we were luckier than last. Interlocken was perfect. The air just feels more crisp and refreshing here. There was a huge board of hostels and hotels near the train station. Each had an identification number that could be dialed in below, which would light up, on a map, where its location was. The number could also be used to make a free call to the hostel and check for availability. After many attempts, we ended up finding a room for three at a hostel called “Heidi’s House.”

It’s a 5 minute walk from the train station, and amazing. As we walked in the door, Heidi herself, an cute old swiss woman, was misunderstanding what some visitors were saying as they tried to extend their stay. She identified us as the ones that needed a three person room, and told us she would give us the bigger one.

The key we got was one of those classic, old style, big metal keys and we walked through what looked and smelled like a slightly large but typical grandma’s house. Our room, though the bigger one, consists of a large 2 person bed, a bunk bed and about 1 ft. of moving space. It’s perfect. There is a sink right in the room, and a bathroom with a door that doesn’t really close…While I was taking shower #2 of this trip, Hayley’s blow-drier blew the fuse, so I finished my shower in pitch black, knocking over as much as possible.

We have internet here, so I fixed some things on the site and did some work while Hayley & Mike got some sleep. We then asked Heidi for some suggestions for dinner, and made our way to the Golden Anker. We were hoping for some Fondue, but they didn’t have any there… Instead, we all got the special of the day, which came with soup, an entree and desert. The soup was Karrotencreme… Carrot & Cream… and very good. The entree was an artfully crafted plate of moist chicken, salad, corn, peppers and other vegetables. The waiter and waitress were both helpful, and kept asking if we liked the food… We did.

During dinner we started planning out our next 5 days and how we would get to Florence. Anytime we can travel at night instead of get a hostel, it makes sense, so we can sleep on the train and cut a night of lodging out from our spending. We’re actually planning to travel backwards with our Eurail passes, so we can take an over-night train to Florence from Basle.

Tomorrow we’ll be staying in Balmer’s, a hostel aimed for backpacker’s our age. It is a dorm-style hostel, though, so Mike & I walked over to see what it was like, and if where we’d be able to leave our packs and things. There was a security guard outside, so it was definitely designed with safety in mind. He let us in, and there were a lot of kids our age hanging out. Balmer’s has their own bar and similar facilities, so it seems like it will be a good time for the next two nights we stay in Interlocken.

We’re now sitting in a communal kitchen at Heidi’s, tapping away on our laptops. There were recently some Japanese girls in here making some food and talking, and we met a girl from California who is leaving Interlocken tomorrow to see France, but has been hiking and seeing things here for the past few days.

Interlocken is really perfect. It is exactly what we’ve all been wanting and needing after being in so many bustling cities. We’re surrounded by the Alps, and the smell of fondue is everywhere.

There’s really no exciting conclusion to today! Things are going well, finally, so maybe we’ve gotten over the peak of absurd adventures… I sure hope not. :)

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Posted on 10-07-2007
Filed Under (Switzerland, Disaster, People, Adventure) by admin

Well, I am writing this sitting on the cold marble floor of an underground metro-shopping mall in Geneva at 1:30 am… But we’ll get to that in just a bit.

I haven’t really mentioned it, but Sam had been pretty down about this whole thing since the mugging, and has been wanting to go home pretty badly. Finally, even though she got back her bag, she decided to go back to the US.

We got her flight booked last night and, this morning, went with her to the subway that would take her to the airport. It was sad to see her go, but it was definitely what she wanted…

And then there were three.

So, Mike, Hayley and I have been trying to figure out where we’d go next. Geneva was next on our original itinerary, but we decided to try to get to Interlocken first.

We had some time to spare, though, before heading out so we decided to do a quick run through some of the sites in Paris. We checked out Notre Dame, then did what I realllly came to Paris for…

We had a delicious meal at Le Relais de L’Entrecote… My favorite restaurant in the world. I was a bit nervous about going there though; it is a fairly fancy restaurant and we were dirty, in old clothes and carrying huge packs… I really just expected to be shunned away.

But, we walked in, I asked if we could have a table for three in French, and they gladly seated us. Not only that, but they found us a spot to put our packs out of the way and a group of waitresses came over and tried to lift them up and joked around with us.

I’ve said it a few times already, but the extent that people go out of their way to be helpful and friendly here is astounding… Especially in a place like Paris that is stereo-typed to be snobby and anti-american.

Anyway, at L’Entrecote, there is no menu. You sit down, and they immediately bring you their salad to start, which has walnuts and a delicious dressing. Then, they bring a plate of their famous steak & french fries, with their secret sauce. The best part is that, soon after you’re done with you’re first serving, they bring around another serving and you can start all over!

So, the food was incredible as usual, we had wine and our waitress was a cute French girl… Life in France was finally going well. We gave her a good tip, and as we were leaving she stuck her head outside the door to thank us.

We were taking our train to Switzerland from Gare de Lyon, so the Louvre was on the way. It started drizzling on the way, but it felt good. Once there, we had to keep it quick, so we just took some pictures of the outside, hung out a bit and then continued on to the RER.

We walked for quite awhile aiming for a particular subway entrance on the map. When we finally got there, we mysteriously found no way to buy tickets. It was one of those moments that’s just like, “Whhhhat is going onnn?”

Eventually we saw a sign that said it was an entrance only for ticket holders, and that there was a ticketing station a few blocks more, so we had to continue on a little longer. We got to Gare de Lyon soon after that, at around 2:00 pm, and had to reserve tickets from Paris to Bern, and then from Bern to Interlocken.

Of course though, after speaking to a woman at the ticketing counter, we found out that all the seats on trains to Interlocken were booked until 7:00 am the next morning. We were weighing our options, and found that we could get on a train to Geneva that afternoon, so we decided to just do that.

Sitting on the ground by the ticketing area, waiting for our train, a little, 3 year old Indian boy ran over to us laughing and screaming and sat next to us. He had apparently also came over and sat on Mike’s lap while I was away getting food. He was so funny, and his 14 year old friend would come over and apologize.

This happened many times, and the 14 year old boy knew English pretty well, so we started talking with him, and playing with the 3 year old who had now brought over one of his toy cars. It was fun to talk to them in French casually, instead of in a situation where I was actually trying to accomplish something. At some point I asked how to say some word that he wasn’t sure of, so he asked his mother over, who was an English teacher in Marseille.

We spoke to her for awhile about our trip before leaving the three of them to hop on our train to Geneva. It was a really nice way to close out our experience in Paris.

The train ride was beautiful, so we were looking forward to moving out of big cities and into something a bit different. This turned out to not be at all what we got.

So far, Geneva has been by far my least favorite destination. At least in Epinaye sur Seine interesting things were going on! As soon as we got to Geneva we began looking for a place to put down our bags and relax. We knew Geneva wasn’t the most easy place to find a hostel, but figured just going to a hostel, instead of booking one online, proved to be better in the case of the guys we’d met on the way to Paris.

We walked about a mile or two to a hostel we heard was good, and found out it was completely full. So, we went to another one that was in one of Hayley’s books, but it was also full. So, we checked out a hotel that was down the street, but it was also full… So, we checked out another hotel we saw down the street some more, but it was also full…

After checking 15-20 hotels, ranging from hostels, to small hotels on backroads to large 4 star hotels, we decided it was totally hopeless… There was no where in Geneva for us to stay. Literally, no where. It was a truly surreal feeling to be searching for a place to sleep for an hour and a half, going door to door and finding absolutely nothing, no one willing to help. We were homeless.

We went back to the train station we came into and found lockers we could leave our bags. I’ve been finding my pack surprisingly comfortable to carry around considering its about 50 lbs, but no matter how comfortable it is, getting it stored away somewhere else safely being free from its straps feels incredible.

Now less weighed-down, we went back into Geneva to find something to do. We went to a bar/restaurant to eat our second meal of the day, and waited around for awhile, until I asked a waiter if we could sit down and eat. The general thoughtfulness of people between Paris and Geneva was incredible. Here, few people really seem to care at all about each other, let alone us.

When we first left the train station, we’d seen a waiting room with some chairs, the only ones in the entire train station, so we headed there. It was really difficult to find the room, so it was a relief when we finally did. About 3 minutes after I got my computer out, a Swiss police officer came into the room and told us and a few others that the train station was closing until 4:00 am, so we all had to leave.


We asked him if there was anywhere we could go, and he seemed to understand we were planning on staying in that room for the night. He asked us where we were going, and we told him Interlocken, since we wanted to get there as soon as possible. He told us there was a train there at 4:26 am, and that it would be safe for us to stay on the floor in the shopping mall below the train station until then, as long as we stayed away from corners.

We were the first in our little spot here, but since 3 others have joined us, so maybe we’ll just get a few beds and start our own hostel here… Geneva obviously needs it.

Anyway, I’ve been incredibly positive this entire trip, and I really still am… We came to figure out what parts of Europe we like and which ones we don’t like… I can safely say, I do not like Geneva at all. The people are cold and the city primarily comprised of hotels that are all full.

The trip so far seems to be filled with mistakes and challenges and lessons learned… There is definitely a secret to planning ahead so we get the train we need, and a good cheap hostel that is safely and centrally located… We’re still working hard on figuring out what exactly that is.

Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve added, by request, some of the pictures I’ve taken. Select the city/place on the left, and then click through the pictures. Clicking the thumbnail will pop up an enlarged image. Right now, you can only click through big images 8 at a time, but I’m working on changing that and some other things.

Sorry for such a long post, but I have nothing else to do and it’s nice to write about something besides muggings and police officers.


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