Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Interlaken & River Rafting!


Last Saturday, Michelle, Adam, Simone, Mark and I hopped on a train and headed to Interlaken, located about two hours from Lausanne. Interlaken is a town located in between two lakes at the base of the Jungfrau mountain range. It is gorgeous! The landscape is all green, with beautiful blue lakes and snow-capped mountains. Although the town is small, there is a lot to do in Interlaken. It is a hot-spot for extreme sports, and we took advantage of participating in them!

We checked into our hotel, Hotel Krebs, and then walked went for a walk down the main street. We came across a store that booked sporting excursion, and Simone, Mark and I decided sign up for river rafting! Alpine Raft picked us up from the hotel at 4:00 pm and drove us to their retail location in town. We got set up with wetsuits, life jackets and helmets. After being fitted up with the proper gear, we drove about 2o minutes to the Lutshine River. Our guide Koryn gave us a safety talk and instructions about paddling through Class 3/4 rapids! We practiced in the boat on land first and then put the boat into the water and set out down the river! The water was 8 degrees celsius, equal to 46 degrees Farenheit.....very COLD! The wetsuits kept us pretty warm, but my hands were freezing! The first set of rapids were some of the craziest, and it was a wild ride for a minute! There were 6 of us in the boat along with our guide, who sat in the back and steered. Following the instructions that Koryn yelled to us, we were able to successfully move down the river, getting drenched by the rapids along the way! I had a brief scare when we hit a rock and I felt myself start to tumble over the side, but I held onto the rope on the side and my cousin, sitting behind me, grabbed my life jacket! Thank goodness! I was pretty freaked out about that, but managed to paddle on!

Halfway through, we manuevered our way to the side of the river and got back in the van for a 2 minute drive. We were required to drive around a set of Class 5 rapids, which were too dangerous to go through. That area is also classified as a nature preserve, so the rafting company can be fined by the government if they go through this area. We got the boat back in the water and hoped in for another wild ride down for the second half! Again, we hit another set of crazy rapids. Towards the end, the river was much more calm and we got a chance to take in our beautiful surroundings. The river ends into Lake Brienze and we all jumped out of the boat into the ice water for a quick swim to shore! It was, although scary!, an amazing experience! We enjoyed our first Swiss cheese fondue dinner that night (Michelle ate schniztel)!

On Sunday, we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel. Then Simone, Mark and I headed to the funiculare while Michelle and Adam went paragliding! Yes, they each jumped off the side of a mountain (with a guide!) and soared with a parachute over Interlaken! The funiculaire took us 8 minutes up the side of the mountain opposite the Jungfrau mountain range and provided an absolutely fantastic, post-card perfect view of the snow-capped mountains! We got a chance to sit and stare at the amazing view while eating lunch there as well! We headed back down after taking a lot of pictures and met Michelle and Adam back at the hotel to start out journey home. It was an awesome weekend...I can't wait to go back!

No comments:

Post a Comment