Aug 12, 2014

Hiking the Alps

Bern, Switzerland was quite a departure from anything we had seen in Italy. There were gothic structures, overflowing flower boxes in every window, and animated fountains depicting local folklore on every street corner. We discovered panoramic rose gardens, fragrant bakeries and even a bear exhibit that we had very mixed feelings about. After our day of exploration we were headed to Lauterbrunnen, a valley village above Interlaken and below Grindlewald. It's nestled into a valley with over 72 waterfalls, framed by snowy mountain ranges and gorgeous hiking trails. Every picture we took was nothing compared to the real thing. Each day a new and more exhausting trail led us to a more picturesque place. I spent the first day running around on the trail singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music!" Marine asked what I kept referring to, so I promptly downloaded the movie off the internet and we spent the entire trip getting our Julie Andrews on. We also ate swiss cheese, chocolate, and fondue. The week was like stepping out of the illustration on an Arrowhead bottle.

Seriously, at this point we've been to what seems like 100 churches and towering man made buildings, but being out here in nature was a truly spiritual journey. Yes we'd laugh and joke and dance around like Frauline Maria, but mostly we were introspective, in awe, and climbing staggering heights we hadn't attempted before. We even hiked to Trummelbach- a waterfall inside of a mountain. It was slippery, frigid and exhilirating. I swear we took over 1,000 photos it was so gorgeous. Switzerland was the most expensive country on our itinerary, but it was worth every penny. Even our city tax got us free public transport. The people were sweet and helpful and the atmosphere was wonderful. But nothing beats the sense of accomplishment we felt after several hours of hiking to the top of a mountain, sweaty shirts sticking to our backs, sun to our face and valleys below our feet, all whispering "we did it."

Up next, Strasbourg and Paris! Follow us in real time on instagram @marineschmittie and @thatstarvingartist