A Travellerspoint blog

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Best stop on the trip by far.... INTERLAKEN!!!!!

overcast 21 °C

So I haven’t updated anything since leaving Milan. Interlaken in Switzerland was just sooooo busy for us that I didn’t have time. So we took 2 trains from Milan to Interlaken and got there in the afternoon of July 6th. We checked into our hostel which was so awesome. Interlaken is the adventure sport capital of Europe but it’s got a very small town feel, so the Balmer’s Hostel has everything you need. It’s huge to begin with then it has a club, a bar, so many common areas, a relaxation room with hammocks and couches and stuff to hang out. Tons of stuff to do, happy hour and a bbq every night and then club Metro, which is open to everyone in the town since there’s only 2 clubs so lots of locals and backpackers. Leah’s bf Mike flew in to travel with us for 2 weeks so we met up with him at the hostel after getting settled. Switzerland is known for their fondue, so we went to a little fondue place and had an amazing dinner. We heard Switzerland was expensive but had no idea it would be THAT expensive, but this is a once in a lifetime trip for us so we try not to let expense dictate too much. Interlaken for sure ended up being the most expensive stop for us. We had dinner and then went to the bar for a couple drinks and then headed to bed. Shannon, Sheena and I stay in an 8 person dorm at the hostel and Mike and Leah got a hotel for their first night. Woke up the next morning and decided which excursions we were going to do. Everywhere you go they advertise all the sports and things available, adventure is definitely what people go there for. There’s canyoning, rafting, skydiving, bungee jumping, parasailing, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, renting quads or mopeds, and probably a lot more. We decided on rafting for the first day. So we got picked up at 12:30 and went to the base tent and got our wetsuits and helmets and everything then headed to the river. Our guide Todd was from New Zealand and he was awesome, super nice but also knew the river really well and knew what he was doing, being as the river was a class 4 at the time and class 6 is not possible to raft on, it made us more confident for sure. That last for only a few minutes lol.. we put the raft in right in the middle of the first big set of rapids and within a minute we almost lost everyone out of the boat! It was definitely intense because the water was low and FREEZING. At one point you have to pull your raft out and bus down about 1 km because there’s a fish farm at one point of the river and because that part of the river is so dangerous the Swiss police made it illegal for anyone to kayak, raft or anything in that area. So we pulled our raft out and then launched again further down to finish the river. It was such a great day on the river we all really enjoyed it. Headed back to the base for a couple beers and to pick up our pictures that they took along the way. Went back to the hostel and grabbed a bite to eat and started the best drinking game ever Kings Cup with a bunch of people... stocked up on drinks at happy hour and then made our way to the club downstairs for some more drinks... had an awesome night met some guys that work at the hostel and partied til the club closed. It was so weird, after it closed Shannon and I and a couple of the guys that work there were standing at the front of the hostel and I looked up and some dude was hanging out of the 2nd story window from a planter with his back to the ground! The planted snapped off he bailed so hard onto the cement. Everyone was choked cuz they thought he was just wasted, so Sebastien and a couple other bouncers went over to kick him out of the hostel but it turns out he was sleepwalking! lol soooo messed up but he was sober as could be and couldnt remember how he ended up outside! lol anyways had to add that in cuz it was so funny. We all headed to bed for the big day the next day... BUNGY JUMPING!

Posted by courtney21 09:46 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

BUNGY JUMPING!!!

sunny 17 °C

So we all woke up regretting having paid to go throw ourselves out of a gondola 450ft above a lake lol. We all kept trying to tell each other it would be ok. We wanted to take our minds off of it since our jump wasn't until 430... so we went and rented quads and took them up to a couple different waterfalls outside Interlaken. It was beautiful, everything is so green and gorgeous it looks like it could be fake, with all the little chalets and everything. Definately my favorite place on the trip! We took the quads back and tried to decide what would be best to eat before being hung upside down lol. Had a bite and then got picked up and taken to the base of the first gondola... thank God they gave us beer on the way lol the nerves goin through that bus were crazy! We got there and took the gondola wayyy up the mountain to the base of the gondola we would be jumping out of! You get weighed and geared up and then we got split into 2 gondolas, shannon and I were in the first one (so happy about that) we all crammed into the gondola and headed up and they stopped 450 ft over the lake and the adrenaline pumping through that gondola was INTENSE! they had music pumping and tryin to hype everyone up... 3 guys jumped then shannon went and then it was my turn.... I though my heart was actually either going to stop or jump out of my chest! lol but its so quick you dont have time to think, I looked down and the cows below seriously looked like the size of a cat and thats when I knew we were freakin hiiiighhhh! then Boom.... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and you just throw yourself out, theres no other option... and the feeling was undescribable, the breath is actually taken out of you for about 10 seconds and its just free falling towards the water, then snapped back up and they eventually lower you into the boat waiting below... no joke I was high on adrenaline for like 3 hours after the jump... shannon and I got paddled back and then it was Leah, Mike and Sheena's turn... they all did shots before they went ( not sure if that would have been better or not ) lol they all went, Leah went VERY last which musta been so hard, and Sheena's terrified of heights so it was awesome we all did it.. we ended up back at the hostel around 10pm, made some dinner and then went back to the club to celebrate how much we freakin rocked for doing that! lol Had a good time and went to bed around 3.

Posted by courtney21 09:52 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Interlaken to Munich

overcast 21 °C

So day after bungee jumping we woke up and packed up all our stuff, had some breakfast and left our stuff at the hostel to go reserve our train to Munich. We did a little shopping on the way, I bought a Swiss Army knife and a couple other little things. Booked our train and then stopped at the grocery store to grab some sandwich stuff for the train ride. Went back to Balmer’s grabbed our stuff and went back to the station, not worth walking around with your backpack trying to figure stuff out, better to get everything organized and then grab your backpack, we’ve definitely figured that out by now. We caught the train around 2 and then had to change trains 2 times on the way to Munich. So about 8 hours later we finally arrived in Munich and found our hostel, Jaeger’s, just across the street from the train station, couldn’t be a better location. We were all a little curious to see what it was going to be like, we had booked a 40 person co-ed dorm for the 3 nights we were staying there. The hostel was really nice, had an awesome bar and then a nice common area. The 40 person dorm wasn’t so bad either, it was a huge area split up into 4 horseshoe shaped areas of 5 sets of bunkbeds. We went across the street for a bite to eat and decided we were going to do Dachau concentration camp the next morning so called it a night.
We woke up pretty early and grabbed some breakfast at the hostel and then went to the train station to meet our tour to Dachau. The town of Dachau wasn’t very far, so we took a short train and bus to the camp. I had tried to mentally prepare myself for what we were all about to see but it’s hard to know what to expect. Everyone’s demeanor changed once we got there and it was very eerie, but it didn’t affect me like I expected until we were shown a video with interviews from some survivors and then a video the SS took while Dachau was in use. I’ve never felt a pit in my stomach like I did at that moment. Piles of bodies; not even bodies actually skin and bones, just dumped on top of each other like trash. Everything we saw that day was so disturbing that you begin to wonder how this is even true, how human beings actually had that much evil in them. All I could think about was these people that were put into incinerators, not even cremated but incinerated like garbage, all had families. None of us really talked for most of the tour. I kind of made my way off on my own, not in a talking mood at all. Our tour guide was great, so informative, but very respectful of the impact his information was having on everyone. The tour was about 4 hours long and very eye opening but I’m very glad I did it, learned a lot I probably would have never known otherwise. Back at the hostel we decided we were going to do a pubcrawl that night, so we showered and got ready and went to the youth hostel next door to meet at the pub. For 15 euros you get all you can drink for the first hour and then 3 Jager shots throughout the tour and they take you 3 different “pubs”, which were really beer gardens and beer halls but same difference. After the first hour of slamming back beers as fast as our stomachs could take lol we walked to our first destination, a 7000 person outdoor beer garden. It was beautiful, hundreds of picnic tables underneath hugeeee trees. That’s where the drinking really began, we figured the beer steins held about 6 to 7 beers each and they were only 6 euros each! I’m not much a beer drinker but I sure became one on this trip. I actually drank a lot of radlers which is half beer half lemonade, sounds gross until you try one. We spent about an hour there, drank and ate their massive pretzels and then headed to the next place, Augustine’s. This was more of a restaurant with a big drinking area, we were all getting hungry, or just the drunk munchies but couldn’t figure out the menu at all, we hadn’t really had a problem up until now but this was a very traditional German menu, so our solution was sneaking McDonalds in in our purses haha… we ended the pubcrawl at the Hofbrahaus, a very famous drinking hall where Hitler used to go. It was very loud, very German, and very fun. The best part about drinking a huge stein of beer is just lifting the glass is a good arm workout, I literally had to use both hands all night sooooooo much beer! Lol we made our way back to the hostel and decided we were pooped from starting drinking so early in the night, definitely bed time. The night before had been fine, hostel wasn’t very loud at all, had good sleeps. But tonight would be a different story. At about 430am a big group of Swiss guys come yelling and screaming and wrestling around OUR beds of course, not even trying to be quiet, trying to open their beer bottles on the metal stairs and just being soooo rude and inconsiderate to the fact there’s 30 other people trying to sleep. Anyways, I’ll explain later why they probably came to regret that. Didn’t get much sleep after that, so we got up and headed towards the city centre to do some shopping. We were surprised to walk right into the centre of the Munich Gay Pride Parade! It was awesome though, so many interesting people there and so much to see and look at, not all things we wanted to see though lol lots of gay people are very proud to show they’re gay not just by holding hands and kissing! Let’s just say Mike clung to Leah the entire time lol. After the interesting festivities we went shopping and after a couple hours Mike and Sheena were ready to go back to the hostel but Shannon, Leah and I wanted to look around a little longer. So they headed back, and we finished our shopping and met up around 600 at the hostel and had happy hour at the hostel bar. This is when Mike and Sheena informed us on our revenge against the drunken Swiss guys lol. They went to take a nap while we finished shopping and noticed all the guys had left their big bottles of water by their beds. Well Sheena remembered she had eye drops and thought a couple squirts wouldn’t do too much harm, but realized she didn’t have enough left for everyone… so she pondered, what to do, what to do… solution = go to the pharmacy around the corner and get a bottle of liquid exlax! Bhahaha anyways, they got theirs, maybe they won’t be so loud next time. The guy who works at the hostel told us we had to check out a club before leaving Munich and since this was our last night we decided to check out one he suggested called the Red Sun. We got ready and went for a very traditional German dinner of schnitzel and bratwurst at Augustine’s; and then walked not too far where all the clubs are, but were told that on weekend nights unless you have VIP cards or guestlist you can’t get into Red Sun, so we went down the street to another club which was actually the biggest in Munich. Drinks were soooooo cheap, we got 2 shots of jager, a redbull, a strongbow, and a vodka redbull for 13 euros! And my favorite was 1 euro tequila shots haha.. but there was great music and it was PACKED so we stayed for a few hours. Shannon and I danced most of the night going back and forth between the hiphop and the techno rooms. Got knocked around a little bit by the HUGE German dudes takin up all the space lol good times though. Made our way home eventually and went to sleep.. QUIETLY like respectful people do lol.

Posted by courtney21 12:32 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Pit Stop in Heidelberg

all seasons in one day 18 °C

Waking up the next day we didn’t know where our next destination was. We had 2 nights in between Munich and Amsterdam that we didn’t know what to do with. So we pulled out a map and decided Heidelberg is in the direction of Amsterdam. We packed up and went to the train station and hopped on the next train in that direction. This was the first time we decided to go somewhere with no reservations, no hostel, no info on the city or anything. It was kind of exciting/nerve racking, my main concern was it’s a smaller city and we would be able to find hostels but they would all be booked. Well luck was on our side, we went to tourist info once we arrived in Heidelberg and the first hostel they recommended was a couple streets away from the train station and they had room for 5! YAYYY! She actually gave us a room for 4 and put an extra bed at no charge. She was a very sweet lady, who runs the hostel with her husband and they have the cutest little boy. The hostel was in an industrial building but we found out it’s only been open 2 months, so everything was brand new and so clean, it was awesome, full kitchen, everything. We hung around the hostel for awhile and then went to explore our little pit stop town. We walked all along the canal by a gorgeous park and ended up finding and cute little international restaurant. We all had a good variety of food, we had taco salad, chicken wraps, schnitzel, spring rolls, veryyyy good food at decent prices. Everything ended up being pretty cheap there because the further you get out of the touristy, big cities the cheaper everything gets. We went back to the hostel and went to bed early. In the morning we had breakfast and then took the bus to the Heidelberg castle and took a guided tour, which was very interesting, we learned a lot about the city not just the castle, and then took the tram all the way to the top of the mountain that the castle is on. There was a beautiful view of the entire city so we decided to sit down and have an awesome lunch. We made our way back down the mountain and decided to take the bus back and stop at the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner. Well getting on the bus going the wrong direction didn’t make this a very speedy decision lol we ended up looping around 2 cities on the bus finally making it to the grocery store about an hour later lol which should have taken maybe 10 minutes lol. Oh well cheap tour of the city! Once we finally got back to the hostel we started making dinner, having some drinks and playing a Rummy tournament. After the tourney was over we headed to bed excited for the next day… AMSTERDAM!
After packing our stuff up and saying goodbye to the hostel owners, we went to the train station to catch a train to Amsterdam. It was about 1230pm and there was a train leaving at 1 but it had 4 connections getting us into Amsterdam at 830. Or there was a train at 330 with only 1 connection also getting us in at 830. We chose the 330 because it’s SUCH a hassle changing trains with all our bags and running to different platforms. So we set up camp with all our stuff in McDonalds for 3 hours. Caught our train at 330 and were to change trains an hour later in Frankfurt. Our connecting time was only 10 mins so we were ready to run. Well we get off the train and can’t find our next train anywhere, running up and down stairs and platforms bouncing around with all our backpacks and bags, dripping in sweat, can’t find the train anywhere. So we finally find someone to ask and he tells us our train was cancelled and to get on the Frankfurt Airport train leaving in ten mins and get off there to catch another train to Amsterdam. So we do that and arrive at the airport 15 mins later, just to find out the train to Amsterdam left about 2 mins before we got there… nobody really knows what to do, we had paid for reservations on that train and it was now gone. So I eventually find out the next direct train is in an hour to Amsterdam and will get us in at 10pm. Anyways, after a crazy travel day, we are FINALLY on the train to Amsterdam and will be arriving in 20 mins! So that’s my update on the last week or so. Miss everyone, I’ll be home soon!

Posted by courtney21 12:35 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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