Escaping danger, women’s rugby, and let’s give it a go.

The Wandering Nerd November 2nd, 2007

So yeah, Switzerland is a beautiful country, and there are plenty of things to do. Interlaken is like the anti-Amsterdam. In Amsterdam you can pay for things that are very pleasurable but end up being vaguely dangerous, whereas in Interlaken you pay for things that are vaguely dangerous and derive great pleasure from it. The one very consistent trait between Interlaken and Amsterdam, they both make no illusions about wanting your money. Anything you want to do that’s a moderately sanctioned activity, you can…for a price. There’s skydiving, which you saw along with renting vehicles of all sorts. There are also more sedate activities, bungee jumping, canyon jumping, ice climbing, para gliding, hang gliding and many more. I was hoping to get to do the canyon jumping - they set up a couple pinions on either side of a gorge and you dive down between the walls of the canyon, hence ‘canyon jumping’. It’s like a swing for really big kids. Leider there weren’t enough people in the city to make it available. The same with ice climbing - which really I just wanted to do because of Ice Climber - not enough people to make it worthwhile for the people running it. I’m sure I’ll be heading back there at some point when I’m filthy rich.

As far as the Swiss themselves, I have to say I wasn’t really impressed. Hoshi mentioned that they were warm and all, but I just didn’t see it. Everyone seemed really curt and glum. What I can only assume was the manager or owner of the hostel I was staying in was hanging out in the bar last night ordering shots for all of the girls in the bar. At one point he yelled out drunkenly, “I love Australians! And I @#!*-ing hate Americans.” Now that’s hospitality. All of the expats I met there were really cool, Aussies (ubiquitous - it’s reasonable to assume that wherever I am at the moment, there is probably an Aussie around), Americans, French, Austrians, etc. I thought I met one happy Swiss girl, she was working at the place where I rented the motorcycle. I’m a sucker for smiling girls with a wrench and chain grease all over their hands. Turns out she was Finnish. *shrug* Maybe I need to head to Finland in the spring.

Originally I was planning on going to Milan first, but I couldn’t work up enough interest in the city for one, I couldn’t find any place to stay, and I’ve heard from a number of people that it’s really not all that interesting of a city beyond all of the chic shopping and style. So I’m substituting Florence in as a stop. I met some folks from the University of Michigan that are studying in Florence and swear by it. I’m on the train now heading to Venice. one thing that you must do in your life is to take the train from Spiez to Brig in Switzerland. The train skirts the Alps and the views can’t be beat - well they can from 14,500′ at about 120 miles an hour, but it’s a bit more difficult to type while you’re doing that.

I grabbed some stills while I was sitting here:

Then I got a bit bored and grabbed some video, and edited it for my amusement:

Just crossed into Italy.

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of this traveling thing. Right now I’m carrying 5 different denominations of cash, dollar, pounds, euros, crowns and swiss francs. I have no idea where I’m staying in Venice, and I’m not overly concerned about it. I’m just enjoying the “No-Plan” plan.

I’ve been meaning to post about this a while now. Federation of Horsepower, full on facemelting rock and roll fiends from Kansas City, have released a new album, Stay Down. You can check out their stuff on their Myspace page, I’m partial to all three of the songs they have on there, so it’s a good example of what they do…which is rock your face clean off and use it to scrub their amps down with after the show.

Wander on…

clouds came out today
and the dogs were nipping at my feet
i’ve been on the road
so please don’t ask me ’bout my sad condition
-federation of horsepower

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