Down in the Valley

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Down in the Valley

I’m kinda over traveling in cities. I’ve seen a decent amount of churches, museums, castles, fountains, statues, etc. Nature, however, I can’t get enough of. (Except maybe the bugs.) Within three weeks, I made two trips to the Bernese Oberland and it’s definitely a place I’d re-revisit. The Lauterbrunnen Valley, specifically is completely under the control of the weather. My first time there, my hiking was cut short due to a snow-covered pathway up to Mürren. My second time there it was so warm that I did the majority of the hike in my bikini. The warmth also meant that the waterfalls were becoming stronger and more numerous. This hike starts down in Lauterbrunnen as goes all the way to Mürren. What this means is that instead of taking two gondola rides for the 5000-feet-high view, we hiked to it.

It doesn’t take long to realize why this region is the most popular hiking destination in Europe. Down in the valley, you can see the surrounding waterfalls and once you start ascending, the breathtaking Swiss Alps become closer and grander. It’s basically like walking through a postcard; definitely top recommended.

Ski Weekend

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Ski Weekend

With spring (slowly) approaching, I made my last adventure to the slopes this past weekend. And with so much style. The exchange program through my school organized a ski weekend that was crazy cheap! It included: two lessons, two days of skiing, two nights accommodation, two dinners, two breakfasts and transportation. We stayed right at the base of the ski resort so in the morning it was just a five-minute waddle in our ski boots to get to the lift. While the conditions were poor and the snow was unimpressive, it was still a great weekend. The highlight for me was getting to do the Swiss version of night skiing. Unlike American ski resorts, none of the ones here have lights on them meaning them close around 4:30. What my group had the opportunity to do was ski with flaming torches! We skied down without poles with the slope only being lit by the people with torches.

The second day was the longest I had ever skied in one day but that didn’t stop me from après-ski-ing at a Mexican bar in the village. The last day had the best weather, with great visibility which led to a faint goggles tan. At the end of the weekend, I was incredibly exhausted at the action-packed weekend. With my ski season in Switzerland coming to a close, I feel thrilled to say that I’ve done a third of my skiing in the Swiss Alps and that I definitely improved my skiing abilities. I will miss the mountains but I’m excited for the warmer adventures I have planned in the near future!

“Study” Abroad

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This past Friday was the orientation day for exchange students. It started with a bottle of local red wine at our free lunch but then ended with a free tote bag full of brochures and papers.

For those of you who don’t know, I haven’t even started real classes. The first day of class is the February 18, but even then isn’t the real first day of class. For the French (as a foreign language) classes, we will be told on Monday after an interview with a professor, what classes we are allowed to take. For the regular university classes, the first day of class is basically an info session on the class. These classes are just two hours once a week. (If you’re feeling any jealousy, stop right there because I need to take SIX classes total.) We have three weeks to decide our schedule for these classes too. It’s been almost three months since I’ve been in classes so hopefully I remember how to study.

Les Truffles

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Les Truffles

     After chillin in this amazing cafe called Cafe de Grancy for a few hours, I popped over to this little tea shop across the street. I was honestly just looking for some cookies, but when I didn’t see any I was guilted into buying something. (This was already after I had a chocolate croissant for second breakfast and a hot chocolate at the cafe.) Four francs later, I had three truffles: rum, amaretto and caramel. As you can see, I ate one before I took my camera out and it was definitely the rum one because I could distinctly taste the rum flavor. I died a little it was so good. I also spotted a poster in the tea shop that for vermicelli ice cream. It’s vanilla ice cream that looks like pasta and then is topped with strawberry sauce and shaved white chocolate. Looks like I know where to go once it’s ice cream weather!