Our Chalet Destination

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I began my trip to Switzerland not knowing quite what to expect...

Culture International
Switzerland
Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada

I began my trip to Switzerland not knowing quite what to expect. I did not expect the cold sleet that greeted us on our arrival at Our Chalet! After we “acclimated” to the weather, we really began to enjoy ourselves.

We learned how to split logs for kindling with a knife, make Swiss paper crafts and read a Swiss map (important when walking around valleys that all look alike). I met volunteers from New Zealand, Swaziland, England, Germany, Australia and Argentina. It was a very eye-opening experience to talk to them and learn about their customs.

The next day we hiked around the valleys to see local woodcarver, who made beautiful hand-carved trinkets and would personalize them for free! His ceiling was covered with an array of Girl Scout patches from troops from all over the world! Afterwards, we hiked to Choleren Gorge and abseiled down into it! It was so much fun!

The rest of our days were filled with visiting the top of Niesen Mountain where we saw a gorgeous panorama of the Alps, exploring castles and eating at a “confiserie” (bakery) with yummy chocolate truffles.

Our journey continued with a hike to Reharti Adventure Park filled with zip lining, abseiling and rock-climbing. On our final day at Our Chalet, we hiked to Elsigenalp ending at a beautiful alpine lake where we swam (it was cold!).

The next day, we said our goodbyes to Our Chalet and embarked upon the tour portion of our trip. We took a series of trains up to the Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. We toured the Ice Palace, had close-up views of nearby mountains and had lunch at Kleine Sheidegg, famous for the filming of the “Eiger Sanction”.

Our next stop was Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Full of quaint houses lining the riverfront, a majestic parliament building and famous clock tower, Bern was a fun city to explore. Later on in the day, we stopped in the Gruyeres region (famous for its cheese). We visited Gruyeres Castle and learned about the French-speaking part of Switzerland. We continued to Geneva, where we saw the European headquarters for the United Nations and the famous fountain that sprays water over 300 feet above Lake Geneva.

On our final day, we traveled to Zurich, the business capital of the country (but very quiet on a Sunday). Although the shops were closed, we were able to see most of the city and walk in a few of the churches. To end our trip, we saw the tips of the Alps peeking out from the clouds on our flight home.

Going to Switzerland was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much about myself, another country and about the meaning of Girl Scouting.