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 adventuring...so 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).