Thursday, October 02, 2008

Switzerland (Lauterbrunnen)

We got to our campsite sorry..Gasthof and went straight to dinner. Which was awesome! Chicken in cream sauce and potato..bits and salad! Really really good. We haven't been eating all that well at the Contiki places which has annoyed me. I turn into a real mardy bum when I'm hungry or tired and most of the time its been both on this tour. Actually I will add in what was the entree - fondue. Which was REVOLTING. Imagine the stinkiest, most awful cheese you can imagine - melted, with vomit added. Then dip bread in it. That was fondue. I'm pretty sure that's not right. Its cheese, melted - it should be awesome!
After checking out the bomb shelter nightclub (a nightclub in the Gasthofs bomb shelther) I went to bed pretty early. We were sharing a room with one of the other couples who warned us they snored. I was so tired and the thought of another night with no sleep didn't amuse me. Lucky I had investigated ear plugs before we left. Before I went to bed I went and had a shower in what I called 'the swamp' - pretty sure the whole bathroom..with 10 or so showers only had one drain. My ears were so wet the earplugs stuck in really tight and I could not hear a thing. Brilliant!
I was a bit concerned I wouldn't hear my alarm so of course I woke up ages before I had to. The reps at the Gasthof told us that Jungfrau mountain is really expensive and we should go to a supermarket before and get food for the trip. In true Jenu style I was up at 6.30am and walked into Lauterbrunnen.

The first place I got to was a Backerei (bakery) which didn't have much and the supermarket didn't open until 8am, which was no good. On the way back I walked up to a massive waterfall overlooking our Gasthof (did I mention we were in the swiss alps?) I didn't go in because it was dark..and wet and I'm a girl.
Got back for breakfast - cold milk and....HONEY SMACKS!! Or if you preferred a cooked breakfast (instead of two gigantic bowls of HONEY SMACKS!!) you could have toad in the hole. But you'd have HONEY SMACKS anyway because they're awesome.

I had an 'animated discussion' with some misguided kiwis who thought HONEY SMACKS were really called honey puffs - they did have some honey puffs jingle prepared. Then we walked down to the train station and caught the train up Jungfrau mountain.

As the brochure says, Jungfrau mountain is the top of Europe (did I mention we were in the Swiss Alps?) The trip was good, took about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to 3454m or 11333ft for you imperial folk. We went and had a look at an ice palace - which was..well cold. Then went out to the 'plateau' and had a snowball fight until our hands froze. After that we went to check out the sledge dogs (sled dogs..sleigh dogs?) which we were going to have a go on but one was injured so they weren't going. The man and Kara and Paul had a go on a flying fox but I was starting to feel a bit woozy so sat it out and offered to take photos. I got the man as a dot in the sky, got an average shot of Paul and didn't even get Kara in a photo. To be fair I was so dizzy and nauseous I didn't know if I was going to pass out or throw up..or both. I settled for sinking down to my knees in the snow.

We all decided it was a prime time to leave and pretty much slept all the way back down, in between snacking on pringles. I'm sure 3500m is nothing but it sure knocked me around for some reason.

When we got back we walked all over Lauterbrunnen looking for something to eat, which took ten minutes. We settled on beer and chips. The pub had internet for free, well if you bought a drink. The pub we were at was a meet up point for BASE jumpers so while we were looking at all the jumping paraphernalia we debated about what BASE stood for. Well the 'B' and 'S'. Then some random came up and asked us if we were jumpers. I think that was a pretty stupid question considering we didn't even know what the word stood for. Anyway the guy was saying they jump from as low as 35m and as high at 1500m.

After our snack we walked up to the waterfall which I'd been to that morning. The fact waterfalls are wet had not even occurred to me. Waterfalls are wet - remember that.

On the way back to camp we went to the camp shop and tried to spend up our swiss francs. I was desperate to find a red swiss shirt and hadn't found any in town. We found no shirts that interested me but bought the man a case for his army knife, some boxers and a small pair of boxers for me to wear as pyjamas.

We then headed back for dinner, and a surprisingly big night. Dinner was home made burgers which were decent. After dinner we went to the camp shop and stocked up big on beers which were 10 for 8.50 CHF (swiss francs were almost the same as AUD while we were there). Some of our group were heading to the pub but armed with our collection of beer we decided card games might be fun. Except I am just no good at them. I can never remember how to play and so have to re-learn each time which is no fun.

So the man's table was playing 500 while I started up a game of kings cup on the lower class table. Kings cup involves cards...but more drinking than card playing. Every time I play the game its with different people who have different rules. The American girls had some good rules, one was everytime you had to drink you had to first take the imaginary little green man off your cup, place him gently on your lap - drink - then pick up the little green man and gently place him back on the rim of your cup. It was international rules, so no pointing at people (which is actually hard to do), no saying the word 'drink' (consume works just as well though), no using peoples names (hard). Everytime you stuffed up you had to 'consume'. But not before you removed the little green man. This is on top of the actual game.

We moved our game down to the bomb shelter because it was getting a bit rowdy and some of the others had come back from the pub. A few of the site reps had joined in too. Then suddenly I got the last king from the deck - and had to consume the contents of the cup in the middle, which thankfully was only warm beer. Then all of a sudden there was a full on party. Chelsea Dagger came on and everyone was jumping around. Then Mecha had our day song put on and was passing around shots of red bull and something revolting. Which I declined because I was still digesting my warm beer. After I lost the drinking game I stopped drinking but still had fun filling up the empty shot bottles with beer, putting the cap back on and giving it to unsuspecting drunk people who thought I was AWESOME! Only two people picked up that it was beer. Immature - but fun.

I snuck off for a shower and bed and when I woke up only felt slightly seedy - yay! Awesome breakfast of pancakes and HONEY SMACKS then off to Paris!

- Jen

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