Day 40: Living On The Edge To The Alps

After drinking my daily cappuccino, I began researching hostels around Interlaken, Switzerland that still had rooms available (talk about some last minute planning). I ran into plenty of dead ends or towns with hostels way out of my budget. Luckily, Interlaken had a hostel for a reasonable price and I ended up picking out three different ones to piece together my stay in the valley of the Alps. For booking that day, I got very lucky considering some nights only had one hostel available. Some people couldn’t handle that stress but at this point I’ve gotten to be very flexible and easy going. After spending a good chunk of the morning figuring out my trip to the Swiss Alps, I went to the grocery store to stock up on food for Switzerland. After learning my lesson while in Zurich, I was planning to live as cheaply as possible in Interlaken (at least as far as food goes). I was not about to be picky with my food; if I had to live from cans of tuna, biscuits, apples, etc. so be it. I had about a two hour window before having to leave for my series of trains to Interlaken, so I decided to spend a little more time in Manarola. After the experience of leaping out into the water from that utmost rock, I became kind of a thrill junkie. Once in Interlaken, I knew I wanted to skydive so I figured I might as well get some more practice free falling. Since no one was jumping when I arrived in the morning, I ended up being the crazy bastard that made the first leap to get everyone else going. Despite touching the bottom of the water yesterday, I was wild and crazy enough to do it again. I made the jump three more times and even started to develop some red and purple bruises on the insides of my arms (souvenirs for the road). Even with continued experience of jumping, looking down still scared the shits out of me. After having my fun and thrills, I started talking to a group of Americans studying abroad in Rome and began egging them on to make the jump. Watching them jump got me thinking how ridiculous and stupid it is to jump from there but so worth it for the adrenaline rush. Knowing I had little time left to spare, I said ‘arrivederci ‘ to the Manarola harbor and went to grab a piece of focaccia pizza and chickpea for the road (I am going to really miss eating good food while in Switzerland when I stare into my sad cans of tuna). Once in the train, I threw my 50 lbs. backpack up into storage and sat down for the beginning of my 7 hour total ride (the pack got so filled from all the groceries and whatnot that a guy on the train had to help me zip it back up). A woman commented on my heavy load and I explained how I was going to be bumming it in Switzerland, which got her laughing over the ridiculous thought of my plan. I gave her and her daughter advice on where to eat and hike and how to best enjoy Cinque Terre. They thought I was a sane, normal person until I told them about my cliff jumping adventures and my desire to skydive from 14000 feet. Anyways, I continued along on the train and chatted to a couple heading for Rome. People may think traveling alone might be lonely but I ended up talking to so many random individuals from around the world that I have lost count. The guy was psyched to hear about my travels and impressed with the whole solo traveling experience. He definitely was encouraging to live it up and take advantage of it all as much as I can, including the whole skydiving bit. Eventually, I got onto the high speed train to Switzerland and somehow dodged a hefty seat reservation fee. Once in Interlaken, despite it being 10 o’clock at night at this point, I could still see the mountains above me. I walked through the town to get to my hostel and passed cute little homes similar to what I remembered from Germany and what I’ve seen in pictures. To end the night, I looked up the prices for skydiving since the plan was to dive tomorrow. I rested comfortably awaiting my next adventure the following morning.

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