The epic view from Birg, the 8,700' Gondola stop on the ascent to Piz Gloria atop the Schilthorn. Murren gathers itself, poised on the cliff ledge, while tiny Gimmelwald is off to the right.
DAY 4 : Welcome to Switzerland!
Toss in your handy-dandy multi-port USB charger.
Many (most?) European hotel rooms have one, maybe two outlets - often in the bathroom, but not always. We found having our Anker multi-port charger was the easiest way to juice up multiple electronic devices at the same time.
Play to your strengths.
Kristi stresses out at making quick decisions (how can you know you won't make the wrong one?), but loves all things organization. Kim hates to be bogged down in the nit picky details, but thrives on spontaneity and the serendipity of being fully in the unexpected gifts of the moment. Katy is a natural leader and always has a bead on the lay of the land (her family nick-named her "maps" for a reason). So, we let the differences operate: Kristi was the financial bookkeeper for the trip; Kim and Katy were the restaurant pickers so Kristi could relax and go with the flow; and Katy kept us on track with navigation. We made a great team!
DAY 5 : Hike in the Swiss Alps (followed by hurling ourselves off them!)
It all happened so fast in a moment of reckless abandon. When invited by fellow tour members Connor and Sherylyn to join them paragliding we all got big eyes, and Katy "seizing the day" spontaneously said yes! Holger made the arrangements while we pulled our Swiss Francs from the ATM at the Gondola station. Almost before we had a chance to consider what we'd said YES to, we found ourselves following our pilots up a trail above Murren. Next thing we know, we're being harnessed into huge, colorful sails and find ourselves galloping off the mountainside and gliding up into the air. Soon the ledge on which tiny Murren is perched dropped away and we soar high above the valley floor. For almost 30 minutes we fly! Catching updrafts we race by the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau, we climb to the top of waterfalls ribboning down the sheer rock face, while the Alps gleam in the distance. It's surprisingly quiet (and the air warm) and Chris, my flight master points to Wengen above Lauterbrunnen and tells me tales of his schoolboy days.
I am awash in beauty, wonder and thrill! Oh my, YES!! #YES2JOY!
DAY 6 : More of the Berner Oberland
Hikes, Waterfalls and Small Towns
I had so many favorite #YES2JOY moments it is hard to pick! I am choosing a moment that was important for me personally . . . our lunch at the Airtime Cafe in Lauterbrunnen with our free beers from our paragliding adventure.
It was a #YES2JOY moment because I asserted myself and went for what I wanted when in the past, in that type of moment I would have stayed put because I didn't want to "cause problems".
I thoroughly enjoyed splitting the "Classic" and "Fancy" Cheese sandwiches and coffee-flavored cake with Nutella frosting (just what I was hungry for!) and the special time in our friendship where we "moved to the next level" - being totally comfortable just sitting there enjoying our food together without feeling like we had to talk. #YES2JOY!