Bugs and Bravery

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Oct 11, 2008

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Where I stayed
Lake Lodge Hostel

Flag of Switzerland  , Bern,
Friday, August 29, 2008

Sooo, after the long drive from Verona to Iseltwald (a very small town just outside of Interlaken), we checked into our very pretty hostel (with a very pretty view of the Alps and Brienz Lake). We had reserved 2 beds in a room with 7 beds in it. As we swung open the door to our "7-bed" room, we found, not 7 beds but 2 shelves with person-sized intervals spaced out with 2-by-fours. It is hard to describe, but let's just say I wouldn't hire their interior decorator. We were disappointed, but decided to make the best of the room by only sleeping in it. We set off on a hike along the lake and enjoyed the beautiful scenery (Alps, lake, waterfalls, forests...) and the indescribably clean-smelling Swiss air. Exhausted from our hike, we had some mediocre dinner and settled down in our "beds" with our books. Little did we know that we would have company. Company in the form of blood-sucking parasites, that is. You guessed it. Bed bugs. One of the most disgusting little critters imaginable. Ryan killed two on his body before realizing that the whole "bed" was infested. We discovered many of the nasty little guys happily squirming around with full bellies of our blood, and screamed and ran to the other side of the room. After some grumpy words with the hostel staff, we were moved to a better room, and they promised that they check all the time, that it must have been "those Indian guys," that they would take care of it, blah, blah, blah. Does that put the blood back in our bodies?? Or take away the traumatic shivers and near-gagging? No. Nevertheless, we had to catch a good night's sleep because of our adventure the next morning.

We went CANYONING! Ryan wanted to do it...it is really his thing more than mine...jumping off cliffs, abseiling down huge areas of sheer cliff side, falling, sliding, and choking in glacial melt water (VERY friggin cold), but we both had fun nevertheless. I'll let him describe it for you...

It all started with a 50 meter rappel down a cliff, where our kiwi guide cheerfully informed us that "if you fuck up you die". It was a terrifying and exhilarating experience for me. Patti messed up in the middle and had to be lowered the last 20 meters, shrieking and flailing ineffectually. Imagine canyoning as a natural water park for adults. We jumped from cliffs into freezing pools, slid down "water slides" made naturally by melt water, zip-lined into more icy water, and enjoyed climbing around the gorgeous Gremsel Canyon. Patti was weary at times, but we got through it together and had a blast overall. Check out the pictures. We only have the canyoning pics right now, but we'll upload more Switzerland pics later. Tomorrow we will do some more hiking in the Alps, and then we are on to Bern. More soon. Miss you all.
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