Howdy ho, neighbors! It’s Monday and that calls for another Montage Mondaze. I realize in my last post I hadn’t mentioned the time frame of when I embarked on this adventure, but in case you were wondering my vacation in Europe lasted from October 9th to the 28th of 2015. Today’s post features Catdog’s (AKA me and Catherine’s) traipse through Switzerland. Video and pictures below. Enjoy 🙂
Catherine and I took a flight from Copenhagen to Geneva, where we landed in the late evening. This was not a city of choice, but somewhere we just needed to lay our head on the way to our actual destination, the Swiss Alps. Regardless, we made the most of it. After checking in to our hostel, we quickly realized a) Geneva has no night life, b) Geneva definitely has a red light district (cue creepy guys trying to solicit us as we wander the streets in search of food), and c) there may or may not be a Thai mafia den in operation in Geneva. Item C we came upon at this Thai restaurant called Le 1668 (one of the only late night dining options) where they played really bad Asian karaoke music videos and there were suspicious parties of drunk Asian men that looked straight out of a scene from Rush Hour.
We wandered around in search of SIM cards and found that Geneva is generally very costly, but also very cosmopolitan. Not surprising considering UN, Geneva convention, etc etc. For the most part, Geneva was very uneventful. I would say if you are doing Europe, do not come here unless you are just passing through like we were.
We caught our train after lunching at this cute little outdoor restaurant. I couldn’t tell you the name but it looked like it was a Shire home for Hobbitses. Our train was bound for a little town called Gimmelwald in the Swiss Alps.
After taking a train to Interlaken, we had to catch a bus to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is the base village you need to travel out of if you want to go to the Schilthorn (peak) or any of the villages along the way. The only way to go up is by gondola, which was a pretty awesome experience in itself.
So we finally got to Gimmelwald and the hostel that we booked is called Mountain Hostel. This was a Rick Rec.
Starving after our meager fruit parfait brunch, we beelined for the restaurant area of our hostel. They don’t have a huge menu, but our crying stomachs were not picky at this point.
After our linner, we went up to nest in our room and snap a few selfies before bundling up to explore the outdoors.
It may not look that cold from our clothing, but we were wearing thermals underneath. This is a key tip to surviving the Alps. Layer up!
There were so many animals along the way, but our favorite was definitely this horse we dubbed Gwyneth Paltrow. She is so graceful and sweet.
It really can’t be captured in pictures, but I felt like someone ripped a page out of Heidi and threw two Asian girls in there. The colors were so vibrant, the grass so lush, and the air so fresh and so clean, clean.
So while we were hiking up the mountain and a bit scatterbrained, we ran into this dude we had seen sitting in our hostel earlier. He had a Led Zeppelin shirt on and seemed pretty chill, so we introduced ourselves and he gave us a few tips for our “hike.” Quotations because we were not equipped for actual hiking and really only walked on the beaten path. I definitely want to come back and do a real hike up to the Schilthorn some day. Thorin Oakenshield (not his real name, but he had the long dark hair and seemed to own the mountains) asked us if we’d want to join in for a bonfire later that night and we said yes. Making new friends, yay. We finished up our hike and somehow found our way back in the dark with no flashlight. Thorin had wrangled up the rest of the hostel mates while we were out and so we all trudged out with supplies for the bonfire and most importantly, wine.
Above left you can see Thorin in his Led Zeppelin shirt. He is nowhere near that grumpy, but I think he is doing his best evil troll of the mountain expression. Above right is the beautiful bonfire that he built with his bare hands. Thank god for people who have actual survival skills… it was pretty damn cold.
This is the last picture of the night. We drew this on a picnic table next to the bonfire. Not pictured is the night sky. Imagine the most untouched vista point in absolute pitch black with billions of stars just piercing through, up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky. LOL I can’t put it into words, but it was the most humbling feeling. I felt so small, and so full of awe–like the whole universe was there in my eyes in that moment. Love.
We totally cheated and took a gondola up to the Schilthorn (the peak) since we didn’t have the time nor the gear to do the real hike. This place’s claim to fame is that 007 was filmed there. They really really REALLY do not let you forget that. Unfortunately, we were there on a cloudy day so the visit was kind of moot. No breathtaking panoramas for us 😦
Don’t waste your time on this museum if you are short on time. It’s just a bunch of cheesy James Bond exhibits. We literally ran through (always running late) and I snapped the above terrible picture mid-sprint.
So that wraps it up for this post. Check out the video below and expect more Europe stuff (hopefully) soon! And remember, appreciate the little things, always.