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When the Universe Speaks, You Should Listen

Interlaken, BE, Switzerland
2 Kudos
Sometimes you just get one sign, and you’re supposed to listen to it. Sarah and I don’t catch on that quickly.

As pretty much everyone knows, we planned Interlaken as our main, must-do stop. 8 months ago, our friend told us about her experience in the Adventure capital of Europe, and we immediately decided that we wanted needed to go. She bungee jumped. Over a lake. IN THE SWISS ALPS. Like, come on. Does it get any cooler? Let’s just say that her Facebook photo makes everyone else’s profile pictures look, frankly, pathetic.

So we booked our bungee jump. 8 months in advance. Then, we spent 8 months mentally preparing. Every time work got to be overwhelming or every time life just got to stressful, we’d remind each other that in x amount of days, y amount of hours, and z amount of minutes, we’d be soaring off a platform, plummeting towards a lake in between a few mountains. And thus, a dream was born.

Every time we got catcalled in Rome, every time we saw someone peeing on the street, every dead bird we saw–we just kept saying “it’s fine; Interlaken, man, that’s gonna be our place.” So, our train pulled into Spiez, Switzerland. Exhausted and ready to chew off our left arms, we stumbled into a buffet at the train station, sat down, and asked for a menu. Then we choked. IT COSTS 24 FRANCS FOR CHICKEN NUGGETS AND FRIES. TWENTY. FOUR. FRANCS. Look, I hate McDonald’s as much as the next guy, but at least I can afford to eat there. So we split some nuggets and capitalized on the free bread, trying to convince ourselves that no way on God’s green earth could the whole country be that expensive. No way. Right?


So, off to a rocky start, we hopped on a train to Interlaken and got off to face pouring rain. Like the kind of rain that blinds you and actually hurts a little bit. This part, admittedly, is our own fault. We, in our confused state, got into a taxi. Hint: Do NOT take a taxi in the most expensive country in the world. Just don’t. It was a 4 minutes… and at the end, the meter read 18.26. I think I actually started crying in the backseat of the taxi.

Check in at our hostel was down, so we sat in the “lobby” for a few hours, huddled together for warmth since we were still in our Italy climate apparel. If anyone knows Sarah and I, you’re probably aware that, prior to this trip, we weren’t really touchy. We’ve hugged a few times throughout our friendship, and we both agree that they were sorta really awkward. Interlaken changed us. The hostel we stayed in was a collection of tents (The Tent Village), and while it was a unique experience, it was also a wee bit chilly. We willingly slept on a twin size bed, cuddled up and shivering. Occasionally, I’d roll over, see a spider or bug of sorts, try to kill it, and turn back over because I was just too cold. Living in a tent for 3 days was awesome, but I think I can check it off my list and maybe not do it again for awhile. Everything, thanks to the humidity in the air, would be sopping wet by the time we woke up. Our clothes wreaked and our towels never dried. Our tent smelled stuffy and moist. BUT I wouldn’t trade it for the world, because I got to wake up, walk outside, and stare up at the Swiss Alps, and that was pretty awesome.

Now, everyone should remember our dream. We were scheduled to bungee jump at 4:15 on Tuesday. Tuesday morning rolled up, we decided to go for a quick hike, so we asked our hostel dude for some directions and told him that we needed to be back by 4 to bungee jump.

“You’re not jumping.” LOLOLOLOL, OKAY CRAZY EXCEPT I BOOKED THIS 8 MONTHS AGO. Turns out he wasn’t kidding. The night before, a cable broke and, understandably, they kind of needed to fix it. Fine. We’ll just rebook for tomorrow. The good news? It was a perfect day for a hike up a mountain. I mean, b-e-a-u-tiful. So we donned our running shoes and headed to the base of Harder Kulm. Considering the hike was supposed to be almost 3 hours and basically straight up (hence the term “mountain”), we debated taking the 40 minute tram. Oh, except it cost 15 francs and I wanted to eat at some point that day. Off we went. Can’t be that bad, right? We’re both young and spry and not totally out of shape.


It was hell. A good kind of hell-don’t get me wrong. But hell nonetheless. I was dripping sweat and could, literally, wring out my hair. My thighs felt like jello and my lungs burned. We were stopping every ten minutes at one point. Using the excuse that we just had to take a photo, but knowing that we just thought we were dying. Three hours later, we made it to the top and it was all so beyond worth it. Amazing is an understatement.

So, even with doing quite a few things a little bit wrong, we definitely won this one.

The next day, we woke up to pouring rain. We did a little bit of walking, but quickly decided to retreat into our tent for a little while. It’s fine, though. We’d be bungee jumping that evening. So we patiently waited for 4:15. Our van drove up, we got in, we headed towards headquarters to get geared up. WE WERE STOKED. We pulled in, and a man walks up to the window. No bungee today. Something about it being windy? I’m not sure because I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of MY HEART BREAKING. The driver looked at me and just said “Oh, wow. You need a hug, don’t you? Please put your jaw back…” He actually gave me a hug. I actually needed it.

This company (Alpine Raft, which is an AMAZING company, by the way) also does rafting, canyoning, skydiving, etc, etc. Anything you can dream of. Thanks to mother nature, nothing was going on that night. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. And we had a flight to catch the next day. Our spirits were broken, but these nice gentlemen convinced us to give canyoning a go, leaving at 8:00am the next morning, weather provided.

So we drowned our sorrows in some free beer, got a pizza, and dragged ourselves back to the tent village.

Suddenly, come around 6:30pm, 30 Koreans swarmed the village. I’m aware of how that sounds, and I stand by it. They came in and just took over. Moving tables, attacking the grill, and running around in little groups. Confused, we all sat back and watched. Then, to our surprise, they invited us to a party. Yeah. A Korean party. With Korean games and Korean music. They even fed us (literally, a guy fed me, with chopsticks) Korean food. We drank Korean alcohol and they explained that they were a group of college kids backpacking around and having “culture parties” where they’d share about their culture and ask us about ours. It was actually one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. Then, just as quickly as they had arrived, our 30+ new friends packed up and left.

The next morning, slightly hungover, we crawled out of bed, packed up our smelly suitcases, and headed to Alpine. Then, for the next 3 hours or so, we jumped into canyons, slid down waterfalls, zip lined across gorges, and rappelled down cliffs. Ya know, the usual. It was pretty **bleep** awesome. So next time the universe tells us not to go bungee jumping (and then tells us again), I’m just going to listen, because I can be sure that there’s something even better in store for us.

So, while we ate ramen noodles and yogurt for 4 of our meals, Interlaken, in all of it’s rainy glory, was just as amazing as I had expected.
Story Details


Balmer's Tent Village--Stayed in tents in the Swiss Alps! Sure it was cold (even in August) and a little damp, but the view made up for it!

Points of interest

Harder Kulm
Harder Kulm
We chose to hike to the top, and while I almost died after an hour, it was well worth it. If you think you can do it, save a few bucks and get some incredible views by skipping the tram to the top!

On The Map