Extract: ahhh noooo!!!! i said as if diving ...

Trip Start Jul 27, 2000
Trip End Aug 17, 2000

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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Thursday, August 10, 2000


"Ahhh, Noooo!!!!" I said as if diving through the air to catch a bullet fired at the president.

It was too late...



As the trip rolled along, the break neck pace took it's toll. When we reach Switzerland, as you'll see in this entry, we decided to shift the gears down a little and take it a little easier... after all, this was a holiday no?


-- Mountains, lakes and glaciers... yummy!

As we rolled into Interlaken it was clear why everyone I had ever talked to about Switzerland had raved about this place. The train from Bern to Interlaken cut through towering Alpine mountains, crystal blue glacier lakes and rolling green fields, picturesque to say the least. Switzerland's little jewel...

-- Balmer's Hostel

Although a little reluctant after our stay in the student accommodations in Budapest, we decided to stay in a hostel which seemed to be highly recommended by all of the guide books... and for good reason!

Balmer's Hostel, a mix between a summer camp and an alpine cottage was a clean, *very* well run and cozy, hostel. Seeing as how absolutely everything in Switzerland was outrageously expensive, the 70$ a night hostel accommodations were a huge relief. After chatting up the people who were going to take the last double room in the hostel and persuading them that they would be much better in a dorm we weaseled our way into a great little room.

Balmer's had a large assortment of fantastic ( yet ludicrously expensive ) activities available, 8 pamphlets and 2 pints later, we had booked ourselves on a Hang Gliding and a scooter tour.

Long lake side strolls, quaffing pints, Swiss army knife shopping and napping made up the other half of our stay in Interlaken.

-- Hang-gliding... piece of cake... no really...

Surprisingly neither Julie nor I were a slight bit nervous about our impending pre-scheduled plummet from the alps strapped to a thin piece of fabric. Hang Gliding seemed like the best thing to do in our minds. The beautiful alps all around, crisp cold air, strapped to a thin wing and flying around while our tandem pilot did all of the work.


I was to go first... Having gone sky diving before, we had decided to go Hang Gliding rather than the, more popular, Paragliding which seemed to be what all the others were into, as a matter of fact, we were the only 2 going Hang Gliding while we were at the field. It's always a little unnerving when you're the only one, you find yourself thinking "Is there something we don't know?", "Maybe someone just recently fell out of the sky from his hang glider and we are the only ones who don't know about it!" ... well it was too late to turn back now.

Strapped into my cocoon-like body vest and looking straight down at the edge of the cliff my tandem pilot yelled.

"OK, SO YOU SEE THAT LEDGE?" He said in a strangled voice yelling over the wind while holding up the seemingly heavy hang-glider.

"Uh huh, Uh huh..." I said nodding my head obediently.


"run fast... passed ledge... don't fall...... " I though, going over the instructions in my head.

"OK GOT IT!" I responded back.

"READY?" he asked, face red from straining to hold up the glider.

"Yep!" I said while repeating the instructions in my head.

"3, 2 ... " he paused slightly as though thinking of waiting for some better wind
"ONE" he yelled in a louder tone.

And we were off, running madly as if escaping from a burning building. My feet pounded the ground until the ledge, then in a quick pull, we were tugged off of the ground and launch into the air.

For the next 15 minutes I grinned like a mad jester while the cold brisk alpine air washed itself over my body. The flight was fantastic! Cutting through the wind like some strange bird with 2 humans strapped to its under belly, we eventually came to a gentle, rolling landing on the grass.

What a brilliant experience! "That was great" I gushed to Julie as she was getting ready for her flight.


30 minutes later, Julie came gently plummeting out of the sky with the same big grin I had had just minutes ago... what a ride... what a ride...

-- Scooters and switch backs

I highly recommend renting scooters while in Interlaken. Tight narrow switch-backs up the side of the raging Alps gave us the best view Switzerland had to offer. Blue crystalline lakes, snow capped mountains, breathtaking country sides, our tour had just what we needed for an easy going afternoon.

After having finished up our planned Interlaken events ( which actually only consisted of 2 events over 3 days :) ), we spent a few hours attempting to update TravelPod while a technician at the cyber cafe tried to explain to me that my TravelPod entry was about to be lost because of "Different connecting channels on the Internet".

Although Julie almost broke out laughing at the techie's attempts to snowball me with Internet jargon, I managed to diffuse the situation and "tactfully" let him know that I knew a "little" about the Internet myself and that I could fix the problem if he could only let me get to the Linux console.

Unfortunately he, as if in slow motion, all too eagerly double clicked the little X in the top right corner of my Netscape browser which disappeared from the screen with all of my carefully crafted entries alone with it.

"Ahhh, Noooo!!!!" I said as if diving through the air to catch a bullet fired at the president.

It was too late... Vowing never to get angry while on vacation, we swallowed back the frustration and quaffed a few pints to ease the pain.

-- Off to Paris

Finally, we had been to a city and had not had a crisis involving schedules, visas and/or soap. Deciding not to push our luck, we headed off to Paris for our last 3 days...

We'll send up the Paris entry shortly, till then, Cheers!
Luc and Julie
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