Fondue on Fondue on Fondue – Backpack France, Switzerland, & Italy

Hello! We are currently en route from Interlaken, Switzerland, and are heading towards Italy! There is lots to share about out travels in Switzerland.

We began in Geneva with a tour of the United Nations, and Chloe was able to educate us about its founder. Gustaf also shared his wealth of knowledge on this organization, and we all learned a lot from our two historians. Following our tour, we headed back to Geneva where we found fresh fruit and unique snacks, such as crispy M&Ms in the local market. Our first dinner in Switzerland was a lively one. We arrived to the sound of yodelling, which made Jessica feel quite at home. We took in the entertainment and the authentic smell of Swiss fondue. After a traditional Swiss dinner, we arrived back at the hotel to watch part of the World Cup game. It was quite an eventful night. Especially when Zach and Benji surprised Trip Director Sam after dinner with a snack of “grilled” cheese and hotel cookies. Perhaps the restaurant business is in their future! The next morning, Zach, Grant, Matt B, and Benji made their way down for breakfast in their complimentary hotel robes and slippers, and did they ever look stylish!

After a short stay in Geneva, we headed off to Interlaken to explore this quaint town. On night one in Interlaken, we were taken up to a Swiss Chalet for dinner, where we were able to enjoy more traditional Swiss food, and an amazing torta de nonna for dessert. Later that evening, we headed out for some billiards, and discovered some talented pool players in Caroline and Danny. The following day, we enjoyed some time playing around in the pool. Jake showed off his cannon ball skills, while Jordan, Katie, Jessica, Jason, Matt B., and Matt S, played water tag and taps. That afternoon, the trip members explored the town of Interlaken. Jolie and Kellie discovered authentic Swiss chocolate, sold in large barks of many varieties, including the delicious white chocolate and orange pistachio.

Later, the group was picked up to go white water rafting and we had an amazing adventure. Jade braved her nerves and we all got through the whole river wanting more. In the evening, we had one of our most memorable meals to date! We arrived at Bebbi’s Fondue restaurant, dressed in the theme of, “Would you still be my friend if I wore this?” Matt B. sported headphones, multiple belts, and two pairs of pants, one of which he creatively changed into a shirt! Amazingly, the waiters at the restaurant were even more dressed up than we were and welcomed us with open arms. Here, we enjoyed a three-course fondue meal, including endless salad, a cheese fondue, make your own grilled meat fondue, and of course a chocolate fondue. After this delicious and unique dinner, the restaurant came out to take song requests, and encouraged us to get up and dance. We very quickly had our own dance party, where Brooklyn and friends showed off their moves! Jordan re-enacted his Bar Mitzvah, as he taught the boys about the traditional Hora. Katie was able to get her song request in for Beyonce, and then we danced to some of the restaurant manager’s favourite tunes.
Backpack France, Switzerland, & Italy
The following day, we played a game of photo-scavenger hunt where the trip members had to interact with locals in order to find people matching the given criteria (i.e. purple socks, has a medical degree). While Jordan’s group managed to find 26 people from our list, Morgan’s group came in at a close second! After the scavenger hunt, we travelled to beautiful Grindelwald to check out Europe’s largest indoor ropes course, set high above an indoor hockey arena. Lauren lead the way early on, trying out courses that were tricky and required strength and bravery. Kat, Jason, Jake, and Grant tried out some of the most challenging courses they had to offer, and they could be seen zip-lining over the arena. Vosh and Stella had fun on the ropes net, and were able to offer each other support to complete the challenging obstacle.

We then began to prepare for the next leg of the trip, and the last leg for some, with a tasty group dinner, that Jade and Kellie agreed was one of their favourites! We wrapped up the first half of our trip by sharing some of favourite memories to date. We will miss all those with whom we parted in Milan and can’t wait to fill everyone in on the exciting adventures to come!

The Westcoast Blogger

A Taste of Italy – On Tour Backpack France, Switzerland, and Italy

The past few days in Switzerland have been filled with fun and excitement! Our short and sweet stop in the beautiful town of Geneva included a private tour of the United Nations, which we learned is the original UN headquarters. We had an authentic Swiss meal of cheese fondue which was both tons of fun and delicious. Austin found a new love for eating, which he now shares with the Swiss.

We relaxed and took photos by the crystal clear Lake of Geneva as the famous jet d’eau shot water way up into the sky before our eyes.

Hayley pushed her fears aside as she powered through Europe’s largest indoor high ropes course. She even climbed down the rock wall at the end of the Zipline! Matt F, Matt W, Kayla, Sarah, Jason and Jordan conquered every possible obstacle as they worked their way up to the hardest course. Cole of course, found time to snap pictures of every one on the course once he completed his route.

The people of Interlaken proved to be warm and generous as we determined in our game of trade it up. We got creative for a little friendly competition in our pursuit of the attempt to trade a pencil for items deemed most valuable and unique. Matt F, Chloe, Alex, Julia and Johnny stole the show as they managed to attain a leather umbrella, a mug, and a t-shirt! We all had a lot of fun comparing all the quirky things we came back with.
On Tour Backpack France, Switzerland, and Italy
On their pursuit of “the best pizza in town” Matt S. and Cole discovered a restaurant which they enjoyed so much at lunch that they brought the whole group back there for dinner. Despite the fact that we are still on Swiss grounds, this was our first real taste of Italy!

A street magician truly impressed Alex and Chloe with his ability to read their minds by performing a card trick he had up his sleeve. Johnny discovered cookie flavoured Gelato which quickly became a hit amongst us all.

All decked out in wetsuit gear, we became a group of thrill-seeking adventurers as we rafted down a white water river through the Swiss alps. Luckily Tessa was able to snap some pictures of the beautiful views along the way with her waterproof camera! Johnny, Jason and Matt F used their strength to lead the front of one raft through the rapids. Harley, Marta, Jordan and Andrew R. really had a great time!

As we stood on the final train platform, we listened to our morning song, Pompeii, one last time all together. Although we are sad to say goodbye to our friends who are leaving us, we cannot wait to embark on the second half of our journey in Italy!

See you in Cinque Terre,

The Westcoast Blogger

Life is Sweet in Switzerland! – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Hallo from Switzerland!  The fabulous trip members have been happy to indugle in the Swiss culture over the past few days in both Geneva and Interlaken. During dinner in Geneva, two fun yodelers providing live entertainment for the restaurant guests serenaded us right beside our tables. They made music out of bells, accordions, longhorns, and […]

Guten Tag! – Backpack Europe

Guten Tag friends and family, We are in the Swiss Alps now and the fresh mountain air, clean spring water and abundance of adventure activities are all an exciting change for our trip members. A few days ago, we bid our farewells to Paris and boarded the train to the ski resort town of Tignes, […]