Saturday, August 1, 2009

Climbing, Canyoning....and the top of Europe!!!

Wow, it has been a few fun-filled, action-packed, adventurous days since we last said hi to all of you! Where to begin...

The day after we jumped off the mountainside, we decided to see it a little more up close and personal, but no less precarious. (Oh, and mom, the first picture of the two of us paragliding in the last post was taken by me (Amy) and showed my wing and Sherri waaayyyy off in the distance...) On Wednesday, Sherri and I did a climbing course called Via Ferrata, which means "with iron" and is a sort of climbing obstacle course that spans from a town called Murren and descends about 1000 feet to the town we were staying in, Gimmelwald. The course took about two hours and included FUN stuff like rock climbing, tight rope walking over a waterfall, a zipline over a waterfall, and a long and narrow suspension bridge over a VERY high canyon! Don't worry, we had a guide and we were strapped into harnesses that were constantly secured to the guide cable attached to the mountain (thus the reason it is called Via Ferrata). It was danger....but a safe sort of danger! :)

On Thursday, as if we hadn't tested our muscles enough yet, we went canyoning in Grimsel Canyon. It was AWESOME and FREEZING cold, even with a thick wetsuit on. We rappelled around 150 feet into the canyon, where we immediately plunged into rushing water that had just melted off of a glacier at the top of the peak. COLD!!!! or as the Swiss like to call it, "refreshing." But let's just say that at the end of two hours, my hands were blue and about to fall off!! After the rappel down, we climbed on rocks, slid on our bottoms down smooth boulders and waterfalls (on purpose), and rode a zipline over the edge of the waterfall where we then dropped about 15' into the frigid pool below.

We also jumped off of a cliff about 30' into the base of a waterfall, too! Talk about an adrenaline rush!!! After we were done, they rewarded us with a meager lunch of bread, cheese, and beer! (We bought pictures of the adventure, but sadly, they are being mailed so we don't have any to post.)

The next day, we decided to rest our weary and aching banged up bodies a little by sleeping in. But we couldn't take an entire day off from we took the train up to the very top of Europe. When we chose to stay in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, we had no idea that the highest point in Europe was right above us, only a two hour train ride up, up and up. So we couldn't be here and not experience that, could we? The highest point that people can get (aside from the crazy professional climbers who think its fun to freeze their behinds off actually climbing to the peak) is called Jungfraujoch, at 11,333 feet above sea level. Sherri and I layered up with all the warm clothes we had...each of us was wearing 3 shirts and our fleeces, and Sherri even put on two pairs of pants. The temperature at the top was a balmy 24 degrees farenheit! We ventured out on to the various observation decks, but that wasn't enough. We walked out onto the portion of the glacier that people are allowed on and threw a few snowballs at each other!

Today, we have decided to take off, even though today is Switzerland's National Day and the fireworks are tonight. We will miss them, but we couldn't find a place here to sleep. So we are hopping the next train to France...hoping that we will make it as far as Reims or Paris, but not quite sure where we will land or where we will sleep. Ahhh, adventures!!! Not to worry though...we'll find a bed somewhere, rather than a bench in a train station. Now we feel like real backpakers....just hopping trains and figuring it all out as we go!

So, until next time....
Auf Wiedersehen (or goodbye to all you English speakers).
Love, Amy and Sherri


Anonymous said...

Good morning gals. My stomach just did a flip reading your blog. lol. I don't know if I could have done that. Your pictures are amazing. Sherri are the creative juices flowing??? I pray so. Amy I can't wait to see what kind of buildings you will design after this trip :). Happy August!! May your day be blessed with more of God's architectural beauty and delightful people. (update).. Maria graduated boot camp in El Salvador. She says all is well with her. I love you both. Rosie

Anonymous said...

one more day until we join you girls! i can't wait to hear about paragliding! that is something that i have always wanted to to but never have. gimmelwald seems like it was totally amazing. canyoning seems like the coolest thing. can't wait to see the two of you soon. love, erika

Wayne said...

what are you trying to do to lizzy?jumping off mountains hanging on cliffs tight rope zip line! you are as bad as ben looking for a reaction you sure had one from me.(OH MY GOSH) did you say you had a guide or a guy
you better be careful who you hang(LOL)with.
waiting for more action packed adventures
praying for you

Anonymous said...

Alright.... it's 3:51am as I'm reading this blog and I had (that's right... HAD) insomnia... but thanks to my girls' blog about fun filled, action packed, mountainside jumping, paragliding, Via Ferrata, rock climbing, tight rope walking, ziplining, canyoning, frigid waters, wet suits, rappeling down, jumping 30' off cliffs, catching a train to Europe, climbing Jungfraujoch, no place to sleep, hoping trains to France, sleeping on a bench in a train station... I'M TOTALLY EXHAUSTED!!

Thanks guys.... I'm going straight to bed now. You wore totally wore me out!

Auf Wiedersehen
Love & Prayers

Anonymous said...

WOW! You two are really having non-stop adventures! What an incredible trip! This must really feel like a dream...going from sitting on beaches to climbing snow capped mountains. I am so happy for the two of you (and a little jealous), and cannot wait to see all the photos! Love ya! Cass