After two nights in Paris, we drove off on a 12-hour tour bus ride to Switzerland. Our Topdeck tour guide Ray Ray introduced bus games to keep us entertained in between meals and bladder stops and naps, and he introduced us to the song we would forever associate with our Europe tour: Jason Derulo’s Want to Want Me. He said that was going to be our “wake up song” for the whole tour. This meant that whenever that song was played, we should wake up and get ready to get off the bus.
Our tour guide also advised us to make sure our cameras were charged because the drive would be breathtaking, and he was right.
Early in the evening, we arrived at our home for two nights, the Schutzenbach Camping & Backpackers hostel and camp site in the village of Lauterbrunnen.
Topdeck had a permanent campsite in the place, a huge tent where they had a kitchen installed and they had chefs who prepared really delicious local Swiss food. While waiting for the food to be served, Drew nipped out to the reception to buy us some Swizly ciders and lowered it into a freezing cold creek so that it would get cold, like a natural refrigerator. So cool, right?
I was so excited to see that they had made cheese fondue where we could dip pieces of bread using long forks. We were told that the rule was that if anyone lost their bread in the cheese, they had to kiss the person on their left.
Luckily, only Mark lost his cheese and the person on his left was his girlfriend Jocelyn. 😄
The cheese actually tasted a bit bitter and not as appetising as I thought it would be. The rest of the food, however, was top notch! 😋 I can’t remember what they’re called now, but here they are:
I recognised the stir-fried baby potatoes and carrots dish from Marche, a Swiss restaurant which has a branch in Singapore. It’s one of my faves! 😃
The next day, a lot of us went on an optional trip to Jungfrau to see some snow, but I’ll reserve the details of that trip for another post. Let’s stick to Lauterbrunnen for now.
The campsite had cabin rooms with two bunk beds in each of them. My friends Drew, Kes, and I were allowed to stay in one room together. The rooms were heated, which was good because it was so cold outside, you could see your breath come out of your mouth whenever you spoke.
But there were no bathrooms in each room. You had to go outside to a common area for that. The hot water did not come free, you had to drop half a franc for every 20 minutes of hot water. One night, I woke up at midnight with the crazy urge to pee and I had to run out in the freezing cold. It was not a fun trip, I tell you.
Nevertheless, it was a great place to stay. There was a bar right inside the campsite, where we were able to grab a few ciders at night.
On our second night there, we got involved in a game of “would you rather” which somehow ended up with someone daring a total of four people to go skinny dipping (swim naked) in the freezing cold creek I mentioned above, and one of them was a girl! As an Asian, I was culture shocked. 😳 I definitely don’t know anyone in the Philippines or Singapore who would do such a thing. 😅
On that same night, we ended up walking a bit of a long walk into town, to another bar where we got to know our tour mates better. On the way back to camp a few hours later, I accidentally glanced up at the sky and was spellbound by how it was so clear and had so many stars, like a default laptop wallpaper. It was so surreal. I had never seen a sky like that before.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take a picture of the place at night, but I do have these these beautiful day pictures.
We were able to visit a cafe in town and I got to buy a genuine Swiss Army knife from a shop.
It never even crossed my mind to visit Switzerland before, so I’m really happy that I got to see it anyway, thanks to our Topdeck tour!