Paolo Does Europe - Sept. 17

Ah!!! I leave for home tomorrow! I'm making the most of my last full day abroad here in Gimmelwald. It's "real" Switzerland up here , 4,500 above sea level in a town of just more than 120 people. Steep grassy hills encased by snowy mountains, peppered with small houses and the occasional skydiver flies overhead.

I had to take a train, bus and skylift to get here. Once I arrived, I spent most of the day hiking around and taking pictures. I stopped for lunch and ate what I bought back in Interlaken: pasta salad, grapes, orange juice and chocolate. I didn't notice the oil from the pasta salad dripping onto my shorts while I was eating, so now I have five lovely stains on my shorts. Eh, doesn't matter.

I hardly see anyone up here. So peaceful. I'll kick it up here for awhile before I head back down to Interlaken to grab my stuff. I figure they don't keep such good track of all their guests at Ballmers, so I left my stuff there and am going to get in a shower before I catch an evening train to Zurich. I'm delaying my arrival there so that I don't have to stay in a hotel for another night. I'll catch some shut eye at the airport. I've done it before. After this hike today and canyoning yesterday, sleep at random shouldn't be too difficult a task.

Holy shit, canyoning is amazing! I went out with 17 other cats for a full day! We all wore helmets that had nicknames. I was He-Man, fitting for my physique. Ha! Others included John Deere, Muff, Bush, Wonder Woman, etc. I was a little concerned about both my shoulder dislocating and my knee giving out, but I came back in one piece. We decended about 900 feet during the four hour excursion -- 30-40 foot jumps, repelling, 80-90 foot slides -- What a blast.The wet suits were stinky but kept us warm in some icy waters. After we got out of the canyon, everyone gorged on bread, cheese and beer -- the essentials. I would definitely do it again if I came back. Today I met a guy at breakfast who was desperate to get some other guys to go canyoning with him. It's late in the season now, so fewer people are doing the outdoor activities. Too cold. Plus, everyone I met yesterday was making their way up to Munich today for Oktoberfest. I'm bummed I can't go, but there's always a next time... if you're me.

OK. The altitude is making me delirious now. Better hit the road.