“Do you like rollercoasters?”
I love asking questions. But 5,000 feet in elevation, soaring over the Swiss Alps in a paraglider with an instructor I met 20 minutes ago, this seemed pretty unusual.
But I have never been gladder. I answered, “Yes.”
Sebastian yanked on the handle, guiding this floating chair and we plummeted, swiveling in circles as my stomach dropped. Drool formed around the corners of my mouth from smiling so hard, which must’ve been a comical combination with my teary eyes watering from the wind.
When we stuck the landing from our flight, I informed Sebastian confidently, “This is the best thing I have ever done.”
Soon enough, my friends started to drop like flies from the sky after me.
When Courtney landed, she grinned and laughed-said “I think this is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
“This is the best thing I’ve ever done,” Anna busted out with excitement. The next day when we transferred to the Tent Village hostel in Interlaken (which I highly recommend), Anna went so far as to say, “This is the best day of my life.”
When Caroline landed, she said the same thing.
At least we were in agreement.
- This was the most stunning country I’ve ever encountered.
- I didn’t want to fly home (sorry, Mom).
- I wanted a tattoo of the Swiss Alps with a cursive line reading “So Will I” (a Hillsong tune with a lyric that reads, “If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I”). And I wanted it in German, if it translates well.
A nine-person group of our study abroad team ventured through six hours of airport security, train tickets, bus passes and cable-car rides to make it to the Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald.
A strong recommendation from a friend and Gimmelwald fanboy, I planned the weekend trip around the hostel. And man, was it worth it.
In a span of two days, we paraglided, hiked a 45-minute trail for three hours to a waterfall, slack-lined, ate Swiss fondue, souvenir-shopped and played ERS cards with other travelers.
We also managed to fit in time to talk for hours about faith and the beauty of creation on our evening hike down the mountain to avoid the cable car cost (post-fondue). Anna even shed a few tears as she gazed at the roaring heights.
There is no way to describe or capture the majesty of the Alps and God’s hand in building up a treasure like the snow-capped peaks. Almost annoyingly at a loss for words, I couldn’t stop repeating, “Oh man.”
But I took a video anyway.
And don’t worry Mom, I’ll still come home. With or without a tattoo.