Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee

The Wonders of Interlaken

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When in Interlaken; do as everybody else does… throw yourself off a cliff.
This seemed to be the theme of this weekend’s excursion to Interlaken, Switzerland; the mecca of extreme outdoor sports. From skydiving, paragliding and canyon jumping to skiing and snowboarding in the Alps, options for adrenaline junkies were endless.
As soon as I heard there was paragliding over the Swiss Alps, I knew I had to do it! The adventure began with a short but beautiful ride from Interlaken and up to the mountains.  From there, we grabbed all of our paragliding gear and walked a few minutes to our jump off point.  Once helmeted, strapped into the appropriate gear and parachute prepped, my tandem professional paragliding partner and I were ready to fly. I was given the instruction to literally just run down and off the side of the mountain we were on, while connected to various pieces of equipment and the parachute, of course. I found myself aloft in a matter of seconds, gliding above the hills, mountains and lakes below, while completely comfortable sitting in what felt like a lounge chair.
Connected to my tandem partner, who was seated behind me, controlling our ascents, descents, speed and overall elevation, I was left to absorb the breathtaking sights and witness an experience that I could have never dreamed of. The vision of the three highest peaks in all of the Alps – the stunning, snow-capped Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger – right in front of us, the spectacular aqua-blue waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz just below and jaw-dropping vistas in every direction we turned, I was in complete awe. Honestly, I cannot say enough. The adventure was one that I will never forget and I cannot recommend enough.
The rest of my weekend was spent exploring the quaint little town of Interlaken. Picturesque is too little a word to describe this idyllically located village nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

 The beauty and majesty of the Swiss Alps is absolutely unreal. While hiking one day, I was struck by how glassy the lakes were. With a beautiful coral color, they were so clean and clear you could see right through to the rocks and pebbles. This made for stunning reflections of the vibrant green hills and rocky mountains towering above the peaceful scenery.

We wandered. Learned about the making of Swiss chocolate. Ate a lot of Swiss chocolate. Enjoyed a simple, but divine breakfast every morning consisting of coffee with homemade bread and jam. We relaxed and played a great deal of card games and pool in our hostel. Saw snow for the first time in a month. And relished in the incredible views of the mountains right outside our window. 

When people travel they hope to see wondrous sights, but Interlaken showed me much more. This small town resonates with peace and quiet. Here, you’ll find more bikes than cars, impeccably clean streets, organized pavements and a disciplined traffic scene. But most of all, you will find happy and content people.


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