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One Summer in Europe: Switzerland


The snow capped mountains visible from Bern had me pumped about my upcoming prospects in Switzerland. Around town I found a Bear Park, which housed a couple brown bears on a hillside enclosure. The nearby Rose Garden had a nice view over the city. I also visited the Einstein Museum. I was a little disappointed as it dealt mostly with Einstein’s life and the world history of his time, rather than trying to explain his theories in some comprehensible manner or his thought process that led him to them. Still, it was an interesting place.

Downtown Bern
A bear in Bern!


The Jet d’Eau, shooting 130m into the air in Geneva

I was still recovering from a persistent headache while in Geneva, so I did not venture out much into the city. I found its waterfront though, with the absurdly tall landmark jet of water shooting into the sky. It seemed like it would drench the nearby marina if the wind shifted. I found more reformation history, with a large statue of famous Swiss reformers, although I do not agree with them. I also had the chance to attend an English language Lutheran church while here. It was the most diverse service I had ever been to. Not in the stupid sense of diversity found in absurd policies of large corporations, but that many people from different backgrounds happened to be living in this city now and attended church here. It was great seeing the wide range of people in God’s kingdom.


Thunersee approaching Interlaken

I took the boat across Thunersee, which was a very scenic, if slow approach to Interlaken. Unfortunately for much of my time in Interlaken and surrounding mountains, I was fighting a severe headache that left me very tired. I was still able to enjoy the beautiful mountains some though. First off by paragliding. After seeing all the people flying off Dachstein, I knew I wanted to also partake, and the opportunity worked best here. After a van ride up a nearby mountain, my guide strapped me in, inflated the chute, and we took off. Paragliding was not quite the flying sensation I had hoped for, but I still enjoyed floating high above Interlaken and admiring the views. We caught some updrafts off a ridge and flew for an extend period of time. I was not completely with it during the flight because of my headache, but I still enjoyed the experience overall. And unlike skydiving, I could hear afterwards.

The steep valley walls above Lauterbrunnen

I then headed deeper into the mountains, staying at Lauterbrunnen. Unfortunately due to my aforementioned headache and some cloudy weather, I did not venture into the mountains as much as I would have liked. I at least hiked up to Mürren. A steep path led up the side of the valley and along its length towards the town. It mostly went though the woods, but a couple spots had clearings and great views of the mountains and Jugenfrau. I eventually reached the hamlet of Mürren, which was a collection of B&Bs and restaurants for tourists staying in the mountains. A chair lift went up to Schilthorn, with a panoramic revolving featured in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but clouds completely encircled those mountain peaks, so the expensive lift ticket was not worth it.

I also wanted to make it to the top of Jungfrau, despite the ungodly expensive tickets, but any time I felt halfway decent the peaks were covered in clouds, so I never got a chance to go up and dejectedly headed out of the valley without having had much of a chance to explore the Alps.

Looking towards Jungfrau