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Winterlaken

Winterlaken

With winter weather warnings in Rome, it ended up being the perfect weekend to head to the Alps. Six of us from JFRC, took a “Bus2Alps” trip from Rome to Interlaken for an adventurous weekend. We left Thursday night from Roma Termini and were on a bus for a total of 12 hours all the way up to Switzerland. With movies playing and a little sleep medication taken, we were in business and the ride actually went by rather fast. Next, after waking up from our long nap we dropped our things at the hostel and were ready to hit the slopes. We bundled up in many layers, and were able to rent all the gear that we needed for 2 days of non-stop skiing.

This was possibly my favorite weekend so far. Switzerland might just be my place. This country is magical. The massive mountains encircle quaint little towns, with so much to offer. Each little chalet is like an image from a storybook. The atmosphere here is chill. We spent both days on the mountain and then had some much needed food, beer, and sleep. Our hostel was awesome, very comfortable and clean.

About the skiing,… incredible! We took a bus and a few trains to get all the way up the mountain. Skiing in the Alps is not at all like the Rockies or anywhere else I have gone in the States. Let’s just say, you should know what you are doing before taking on these slopes. Getting up to the ski area we took the steepest gondola I have ever seen over the front of the mountain. It is amazing how the Swiss have engineered getting about these mountain towns. Getting off the gondola we were set right in the middle of the mountain with the most amazing views I have ever seen all around us. With that inspiration we stayed on the slopes until the hill closed both days. There were a few cute places at the top of the mountain to stop for lunch. We enjoyed breaking for beer, hot chocolate, and the best hot dog I have ever had.

It is very easy to visit this city on a budget, I had only spent 40chf (swiss franc) the entire weekend. Our hostel provided us with free breakfast, coffee machine access, and wifi. For dinner we found a cheap burger joint, and an Irish pub the were both very reasonably priced, with great food.

On Sunday we took a walk to one of the two lakes that surround the town and we were able to get a better look at the charm of Interlaken. This small city only gives you a little taste of what Switzerland is like, and I definitely have to come back and see more.

Skiing the Alps is a bucket list like activity that I am very lucky to have accomplished at such a young age. The program “Bus2Alps” is awesome and it was really nice to have their guidance for getting our equipment, hooking us up with such an ideal hostel, and also, we were able to have a nice community of other study abroad students from all over Europe in the group.

This weekend is going to be hard to beat, although you have to take each new place for what it is and live out your time there to your absolute fullest. You only live once!

Auf Wiedersehen!

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