My unofficial rule in Switzerland is that you can’t try to do three activities in a single day. This rule was created when I attempted to do yoga, get a haircut, and ski in the same day earlier this year. I was 1 for 3 and realized I needed to re-calibrate my expectations.
Last Saturday, I threw my rule out the window and said “yes” to three events. And three little errands, but three awesome things – yoga, paragliding, and a BBQ at the home of some of my expat friends.
Yoga was delightful, but it did mean waking up before 8:00, which is painful for me on a Saturday. My friend is teaching a class on some Saturdays, and I try to go any time I’m in town. The class was good, and actually helped me ease into the busy day.
[No Parking! Typical of Saturdays in Vevey. When it’s basically the only day people can grocery shop, EVERYONE goes out late morning to do their shopping. Since there’s only for parking options in the entire town, it’s literally possible to say that there’s no place to park!]
Paragliding wasn’t something I ever thought about. I mean, I’ve been parasailing in the Bahamas and skydiving in Hawaii, and while both were awesome, both also made me sick. (You may recall that I get sick on everything that moves.) When I received a promotional email from our local groupon-like site for a discounted fare on paragliding, I decided I should do it. After all, I see people doing it all the time from the mountains above my apartment. The coupon was for a jump near Verbier, and I bought it at the beginning of the year in anticipation of my dad’s visit in April. (What better way to show him the mountains than from the air?!) The weather was too bad on the day we planned to go, so our flight was cancelled. Huge bummer! My vouchers were expiring four days later, and I was afraid I would lose the money I spent. Two of my friends agreed to use my other vouchers, so we picked a summer Saturday and made plans to jump. (Thankfully, the company agreed to honor my very expired vouchers!)
I was actually quite nervous about this excursion! The way people described the take off made me unclear of what I should expect. We were jumping tandem, and I heard that take off could be awkward, if the height difference was extreme. Apparently, you both have to attempt to run in sync or something? I didn’t know what to expect! We drove the hour or so to Verbier, met up with our guides, and rode up the mountain to Croix de Coeur, which is at an elevation of 7,132 feet!
[Do you see the valley WAY down at the bottom of this photo? Past the city that’s closest to us in the picture. We glided all the way down there!]
In the end, the take off was a non-event. I don’t even really know how to describe the sequence of events, because we were in the air in less than 30 seconds after my guide connected my harness to his. I still have no idea how we were flying, but it was scary. And the scenery was beautiful! The guides can steer, and got us close enough to wave and shout at each other. We even ran into the top of another parachute! This made me scream, but he told me not to worry. It was normal!
Our vouchers included photos, so we have proof of our excursion and some beautiful shots that show off the scenery!
Of course, my crazy guide thought it was a good idea to spin me around a few too many times and which instantly made me feel sick. It then took my full concentration to keep it together until we landed. Ugh! Once on the ground, I still felt sick for a while. I was prepared for this with crackers in my purse. We bought some gummy bears and carbonated beverages for the drive home, and after an hour or so, I was feeling human again. Add that to the list of activities that only need to be done once!
While we were paragliding, Ellie (the dog of one of the guys) was on an adventure of her own in Vevey! So fun!
We stopped by my apartment to pick up my visitor and the food we were taking and headed up the hill to Blonay. Our friends hosted a lovely BBQ complete with pulled pork and so many delicious sides! I love hosting, but it was also wonderful to just hang out for the evening. Since our friends have two dogs, they invited Ellie to come, too. She made friends with several of the guests.
The other star of the show was the newest addition to our expat family! We took turns cuddling with her!
While it’s not sustainable to do something every night of the week and three things on Saturday, it was such a great way to spend a week in Switzerland before my travel schedule picks up again!