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Matty’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 05 Aug 2007

Location: Interlaken, Switzerland

MapSwitzerland. Whoa.

It's been awhile since we last touched base, here. We're actually in Brugge, Belgium right now, but I've got a lot to catch up with.

Ok. Where was I? Switzerland. Whoa.

Aside from the country being amazingly expensive (we're talking 28 euro for a meal), I love this country. The place we stayed at in Interlaken was a brilliant little hostel on the lake, surrounded by mountain scenery on all sides. Picturesque doesn't even begin to describe it. The hostel owner was even nice enough to drive us around and join us for a beer. Take that, Czech Republic!

Why was Switzerland so great, aside from the obvious I've already described? Well, it's the adventure capital of Europe. All three of us have pushed ourselves to the limit, laughed in the face of death, and said, "Fear, you are now my bitch. Get me a Cola."

First off on the day was an activity called canyoning. If you've ever been white water rafting, it's like that, except instead of a boat you use nothing. We strap in with helmets, life jackets and carabiners, and use only our wits to survive the rapids. Woohaa.

Diving off of 30 foot cliffs, belaying down rock faces, floating lifelessly down the river...all sweet. I had never heard of it before, but Dave and Ryan both have photos that'll explain it. Do it as soon as you can.

As soon as we finished the canyoning in the morning, we set ourselves up for the pinnacle of our Swiss adventure. No, it wasn't bungee jumping. That's for sissies. We went Canyon Swinging!

Picture this, if you will. We're on top of a platform the height of a jump station. On both sides there is a deep canyon, with a raging river below. We are harnessed onto a single climbing rope by the belly button, told our knots were "good enough", and asked not to dive headfirst. Apparently you can get strangled if that happens.

As Ryan says, the next step is to saddle up, and let er buck. We free fall for 55 metres, until the rope catches and you swing (Canyon Swing, duh) 15 feet above the river, in between the canyon walls, while simultaneously wetting your pants and cursing your friends for talking you into something so stupid.

That's all there is to it. Gravity pretty much takes care of it all, but you get the rush of a lifetime.

Uh, not much else to say about that great country. I'll write something about Paris in a bit, but for now we're off to enjoy Brugge for another night.

Keep on rockin' in the free world. We're staying at a hostel with Neil Young's guitar on the wall. Booya!