Two Eurotrips with some best friends combined with (going on) two years living in Europe makes picking one memory that sticks out above all others seems unfair. I won’t call this the best travel memory I have, but it certainly sure is one of them. When I look back on this entire afternoon, I cannot help but smile and turn on a particular song.
It was a beautiful June afternoon in majestic Interlaken, Switzerland. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If not, it’s the ultimate backpackers city. There are two hostels, Balmer’s Herberge (my personal favorite) and Funny Farm that eager, adventure-seeking backpackers fill come summertime. During the day, travelers find themselves, canyoning, skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting, paragliding, hiking, at the Top of Europe, or, my personal favorite, hang gliding with Bernie & Ed.
Jonathan and I had been traveling for nearly two weeks and arrived in Interlaken after a long overnight ride from Barcelona. We were particularly excited for Interlaken because we’d been spending time among the hustle and bustle of big cities and it was sure to be a nice break. We were even more excited to meet up with the other half of our Eurotrip gang, Katie and Christin, who would join us for the rest of the trip. Upon our arrival, we had a chance to see some friends who were studying abroad in Prague and they insisted that we go hang gliding with Bernie and Ed. They could not stop raving about it. So, the second Katie and Christin arrived, we booked hang gliding and off we went. There was a group of about 7-8 of us in the van and they could only take two to the top at the time. Apparently, we look like quite the easy going crew, so we were told we’d be going last and to grab beers from the fridge. Drinking in Switzerland isn’t cheap, so we gladly accepted our beer (or four).
There wasn’t time for me to go that day, so I ended up being booked for the next day and no one seemed to mind because everyone was so excited to go back and hang out with Bernie and Ed (these guys define cool, seriously). So, after a morning of canyoning, we were back to our fave guys for me to finally go hang gliding. Despite my fear of heights, I really could not feel nervous. I’d been paragliding before and knew how relaxing it was, so how scary could hang gliding be? Plus, a couple beers eased some fear, too. At the top of the mountain, I of course got the nervous-pees and asked to use the bathroom. Ed directed me “down the hall and to the left” (aka go in the forest). I was amused. After practicing running together only once, we (yes, I helped) assembled the kite, and off we soared! The scenery in Interlaken is unrivaled and Ed and Bernie made the experience extra special. At one point, Ed asked if I liked trees. Confused, I responded, well, yeah. Next thing I knew, we were nose diving at a huge patch of forest. We had a blast snapping photos, flying no hands, and doing spins. I HIGHLY recommend hang gliding to anyone who has the opportunity.
Once we were back on the ground, the fun wasn’t over. More beers and the schnapps came out, and next thing I know, we were all jamming to one of the most ridiculous songs ever recorded “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor” by Flight of the Concords. We had it on repeat, all dancing and literally rocking the van whilst yelling the lyrics. After this moment, we considered ditching the rest of our trip and never leaving Interlaken. Not even kidding. It was that good. We also played the song at least 5x per day for the rest of the trip.
Sipping from the Balmer’s fountains before our Hang Gliding adventure – Bernie & Ed picked us up from our hostel
just enjoying a pre-flying brew
Jonathan called Bernie’s wife to wish her a happy anniversary and tell him sorry that we were making him late for dinner.
Make sure to ask them to fly you over the lake!