Monday, August 4, 2014

but those Swiss Alps though

We survived Swiss National Day, our next challenge was to climb the Swiss Alps...

Casey is a runner/almost marathon runner (one more month!) I've completed the color run...and barely finished the tough mudder. Barely. I don't know if you've seen the Swiss Alps, but they are "hella tall" as Casey would put it. This may have been the toughest hike of our lives. Check it -

Our first stop was a cable car ride. A scary one. They should definitely not bounce like they did...especially that high off the ground. 

But we forced smiles for this picture. 

And of course did the classic turn away pic. Obvi. 

Then we reached this gorgeous view at 4,975 ft.

Had to document a before picture. Then the actual hike started...

So excited. So naive. We had no idea. 

But before the rain storm started, we came to this beaut. 

Oh, and this. 

And then this...might have been second scariest to the cable cars. Large, hungry cows just chilling in the pathway. We don't see this everyday nor do we know how to push them aside to get by. We were understandably very nervous about going around these beasts that could easily take us. Plus they kept giving us weird looks. No lie. 

So thankfully we saw a guy come by and walk by them. We asked him for advice and just said "walk right by. They won't do anything." And then he disappeared into the mountain. That didn't help us at all considering another cow came up behind. Yes, we were in a cow sandwich. Not as fun as it sounds. 

Freaked out about being eaten/kicked/squished, Casey took one for the team and led the way! We half politely squeezed by/ran up a side of a hill to get past them. You may laugh now but you just wait until you are stuck between two huge cows that defiantly have it out for you...oh and I stepped in cow shit and somehow got it all over my leg. This isn't even half way to the top. Yeah. 

But check out that post cow view!

So happy. So stinky. Damn those cows. 

We kept having to remind ourselves of where we were because the view was so unreal. 

We meet again...more cows. Another stressful point in the hike. Fun fact : they run. Very quickly. Especially uphill. The way we were going. It was rough. 

BUT WE MADE IT TO THE VERY TOP! And did I mention this is where they filmed the 1968 James Bond film? 

Here we are with Casey's weird filter...but 9,744 feet later we did it. We hiked almost three hours and rode another very shaky cable car to the very top of the Swiss Alps. 

I finally know how Leo felt... "I'm king of the world!"

Casey rocked her Heidi braids for this epic moment. 

Had to. 

Whooo, check out those mountains! Oh wait...

We're at the top of the world!

Then it was time to get down from almost 10,000 feet...which was only by a cable car. Let's just say it was so high, shaky and crowded that random people started holding on to us to feel better. And there were three different carts to get down. We decided this would count as our adventurous day instead of hang gliding or something. 

Very proud that we made it up there (thanks for pushing me Casey!) and that we held it together so well in those cable cars. One girl puked. Yeah. 

Since hiking the Swiss Alps just wasn't enough, we decided to kayak the next day by the Alps! 

It was pretty cold, windy and mildly rainy. It was a short adventure but worth it. 

Yay back of the kayak!

Then it really started to rain. Not happy.

We took shelter at a chocolate factory to see how they make Swiss chocolate because why not?! Plus a bunch of free chocolate so there's that. 

It's obviously been a long three weeks backing through Europe as you can see from Casey's face...

Well, we just got to Basel, Switzerland where we will part ways - I'm going back to wonderful Pasadena and Casey if off on another adventure in Ireland!

It took us two years of planning, much needed neck pillows, some Amsterdam umbrellas, gallons of sun screen, walking shoes/sandles, quick drying towels and one solid traveling friendship to make it through these past three weeks. I'm lucky to call that crazy meatball one of my best friends and even more fortunate that she can't handle her dairy either. Makes food decisions that much easier...

Now, time to head home & begin planning the next European Meatball trip - Greece & Turkey, we're coming for you in 2019!

Because I obviously can't hang anymore...Cheers Europe! 

Traveling Meatballs out. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

we would show up on Swiss Day

Brugge was amazing. We didn't want to leave but Switzerland was probably the country we were looking forward to the most. How could you not want to visit a place that's know for it's cheese, chocolate & beautiful mountains?!

It's such a shame our bodies can't process cheese least we're in it together!

Exciting news! We upgraded from the floor of a train to our own train compartment! We've come a long way these past three weeks. 

And we made it to Switzerland! More importantly, to our tent village hostel!

That's right, tents. Village tents. 

And this was our view. What a great place to end this adventure. 

Not too shabby inside either! Minus the whole no ladder to my top bunk. It's been a challenge. 

So of course as we get there, a local comes up to us and asks us where we are from, what we plan on doing around here and how we like it so far. After some small talk he says, "so did you come here using daddy's black card?" 

Ohhhh man, wish you could have seen our faces because we were about to go off. It's so sad to think that is the young American stereotype abroad. Casey and I told him no, we actually have been saving for two years - he looked shocked. Then we said goodbye. 

We worked hard for this trip. And it wasn't/isn't cheap. We come from awesome families that support travel but we don't rely on them for our adventures. We create our own and we are damn proud of that!

But it all worked out, we found authentic fondue and felt a lot better. 

Yay melted cheese!

The next day we did some much needed laundry with our classy trash bag hamper.

And then we found out it was Swiss National Day! AKA their Independence Day. What are the odds?!

So we went to a parade! And of course there were cows. 

We tried to dress up for the occasion and wear stuff we found on the ground in our hair. We were only a few beers in for this...

Then, THE BEST firework show we have seen in our ENTIRE lives. Sorry America, you lose. Probably not the safest, but so worth standing under them. They were so close we felt like we could touch them. Something we will never forget

Seriously. The best. 

And then, they lit a huge pile of wood ON FIRE! Why? We have no idea. There were firemen around - with no hoses. But at least they were there?

Concerned look. 

Slightly frightened by all of the fireworks being lit AFTER the official show. Yeah, apparently anyone can send em off. 

But seriously, this was cray. 

We tried to get a firework behind us. Fail. 

Oh hey, it slowly turned into a safer bon fire we could stand around!

But of course we show up on National Swiss Day...damn we're lucky. Prost to you Switzerland!