An 8am departure (will we ever get a sleep in?!), meant lots of tired faces on the coach. I, however, was so excited for our next stop- The Swiss Alps! It was a place I had always wanted to go, and one of the main reasons, other than Paris, I chose this trip.
On our way, we stopped in Lichtenstein, the sixth smallest country in the world. It was raining, so though the scenery looked beautiful, we huddled into a little restaurant for lunch. I sat at a table with Mel, Georgia.S, Emma, Sophie and Rachael, and we all enjoyed a hot chocolate and burger. After this, Rachael and I headed over to a pharmacy so we could buy some much needed medication, because Contiki cough is a real thing!
We also made a stop in Lucerne, where we went and saw the Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne, which commemorates the Swiss guards that lost their lives during the French Revolution. The inscription at the top translates to “To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss”, and it has been called the most saddest and moving rock in the world, which I definitely agree with.
We also got to see the Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, which crosses the Reuss River, and was absolutely beautiful with all its flowers and the views across the river.
After crossing the bridge we headed to Harry’s Swiss Watch Shop, where we had a talk about the different types of watches and pocketknives available to buy. After this, we headed over to a cafe where we had our first taste you Swiss hot chocolate which was absolutely delicious!
We then headed to Lauterbrunnen, where again we were staying in Contiki-run accommodation. However, the views from the accommodation were absolutely stunning! We were surrounded by snowy mountains, and there was a stream going right though the campsite. And to make it even more magical, it was cold, which, though I don’t usually enjoy the cold, was a welcomed change.
After settling in, we headed down to have dinner. Tonight our entree with cheese fondue- very Swiss! After dinner, we headed back to the rooms to shower and get ready, before heading down to the bar- The Bomb Shelter. The bar was at the bottom of the accommodation, in a basement which was pretty cool. However, the drinks were sooooo expensive! i made friend with one of the bartenders, who is from Sydney too, and he ended up giving me cheap or free drinks which I was so thankful for! I ended up cuddled up in bed with Cam, as my room was “occupied”, and I am honestly amazed that we didn’t keep the whole room up with our snoring!
The next morning, breakfast was served at 8AM, which was surprisingly a bit of a sleep in. After eating and changing into warm clothes, we headed to the railway station, where we made our way up to the Jungfraujoch Mountain on the highest cog railway in the world.
Exiting the railway station felt surreal. Snow! I have seen snow multiple times before, but there is something different about seeing snow in Europe whilst feeling like you’re on top of the world. We, of course, all had a massive snow fight which was heaps of fun! It was surprisingly not as cold as I thought it was at the top, but the sun was so blinding and my sunglasses would just not do! After looking around for a bit a couple of us headed back inside to chill out and have lunch before meeting everyone to go back to the campsite. A lot of us ended up falling asleep on the train back down, which was probably a good thing considering what the rest of the afternoon held.
After arriving back at the accommodation, we had an hour or so to spare before we headed off again to the Jungfrau Adventure Park. I think, had I really thought about it and known exactly what it was in advance I wouldn’t have chosen to do it. It was a massive high ropes course, which was fun, but for the money paid to do it, it almost wasn’t worth it. I’m sort of afraid of heights so it definitely wasn’t my favourite part of the trip, but as Contiki motto states “No Regrets” I got on with it and managed to complete two of the courses which I was pretty impressed with.
Back at the accommodation, we got ready for the night- a Swissco Disco! Taylah wasn’t feeling well at all, so the three of us girls decided to move rooms in case it was contagious. That meant dragging our slightly packed, mostly unpacked suitcases into the boys rooms where we would be sleeping that night. Because the bar had been so expensive, we decided to pre drink in the rooms, which ended up being a lot of fun.
But, eventually, we headed down to the bar where we would dance the night away! At some point during the night, Georgia.S and myself decided to start trouble. We ended up getting into a fight with the other Contiki group staying there as they wanted to shut the door to their rooms as we were being to loud (c’mon guys, its Contiki for goodness sake!) which would have shut off the girls bathroom. Georgia and I being our drunk crazy selves were having none of that and it led to the other Contiki boys being all in our faces yelling at us, and our Contiki boys coming over to make sure nothing bad happened. The security eventually came so we ran and hid in the bathroom with Emma and Mel, and got to overhear security telling the other group off for wanting to close the door. Classic drunk Georgia and I!
Back to the bar and again, the bartender was giving me cheap or free drinks, and after they shut the bar for the night they all invited me to stay back. So, I ended up sitting on the top of the bar having shots with all the bartenders. They even exchanged all my Swiss Franc back to Euros which was the best! It was a good end to a crazy night!
“Live life with no excuses, and travel with no regrets”.