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Published: July 12th 2013
Woke up today and went to reception to get some change because the showers were 50 Swiss cents. Unfortunately for me it was closed but thankfully Ken had the foresight to get some change the night before and I was able to borrow a coin. The campgrounds actually had the bathrooms and showers in a different building so if you wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night you had to go outside.
Breakfast was in the tent and we all got ready for today's optional activities. Most of us were going on a train to Jungfrau and 4 of the ladies Romy, Jemma, Emma and one other person were waiting for the weather to clear so they could go for their helicopter sky dive. The group that was going for the train ride walked into town to get to the train station. We all piled into two train cars and started up the mountain. The view got better the higher we went and after one change of train we went higher and higher. The weather was actually pretty bad as we got higher and I wondered what the top would be like. Two hours into
Train ride up to Jungfrau
Andrea, Angelica, Danielle, Jamie, Brooke, Shannon, Stephen, Gillon, Kelsey, Zakiyya, Debbie, Amanda, Megan Compston, Ken, Kelly, Christine, and me
our train ride we finally made it to the top and the highest rail station in Europe.
Groups broke off at this point to look at the view, ski, snowboard or tubing. My group consisted of Ken, Sherri, Nardine and myself. We went off to look at the ice palace which was made entirely of ice with statues throughout the building. I was carry coffee at the time so was careful not to spill anything on the ice floor. Finally we got to the end of the ice palace and went outside of the rail station. It was blowing snow and -11 degrees Celsius. Felt just like Canada and I was the only one in a spring jacket and felt right at home. We made our way outside and ran around in the blowing snow and periodically ran back inside to get warm. Finally we made our way to the Swiss flag outside and took some pictures. We ran into Scott again at this point and he was brave enough to take off his clothes and in his boxers stood near the flag. Apparently it is the go to picture for those willing to endure the cold. Sherri and
Sam, Zakiyya, Ken, Myself, Sherri, Nardine
Nardine were pretty cold at this point so we went back inside. Sherri and Nardine had never seen snow before so they were really cold and frozen hands demonstrated it. After that we decided to grab some lunch and we gathered in the cafeteria where we found most of tour doing the same.
Ken actually wanted to try and go outside in his underwear so as the ladies were shopping I went outside with him as he stripped down. He kept his pants on but he still must have been cold and I went out there with him to take some pictures. I actually slipped while I was out there and sprained my wrist. It was so cold I didn't start to feel the pain until later that day. We went back inside and rejoin Sherri and Nardine and I bought some tourist stuff, Swiss chocolates and a cowbell keychain. After shopping we wandered up to the observation deck but the weather was so bad we couldn't see anything. We also found out that skiing, snowboarding and tubing were not available because of the weather so a lot of people were out of luck. We didn't have to be
back at the campgrounds until 7PM so we could have stayed but with no activities available we decided to head back.
Making our way to the train we ran into Angie (Mexico) and Andrea (Mexico) and we took the train back with them. While we were waiting a tour group made up of people from South Asia I believe started singing and Sherri had the idea we should be singing too. We opted to sing "In the jungle" and started singing it. After singing for a few minutes the other tour group was not impressed but we still kept singing periodically on the platform and on the train home. Finally we found our train and made our way down the mountain. The view going down was actually better than the one at the top of the mountain.
Back in Lauterbrunnen and we wandered around trying to find a sweet shop Ken mentioned. After walking around for a while we ran into some people from our tour and some people from the other tours. We all decided to go for Fondu since we hadn't gotten any at the campgrounds. Took awhile to decide what we wanted since there several
kinds of Fondu but ultimately decided on 2 pots of regular Fondu. I thought it was tasty and had a strong wine taste to it. We actually commented it would funny if they served fondu at dinner that night. After paying we made our way back to the campgrounds.
The group that had gone skydiving should had been back and I saw Romy but not Jemma or Emma. I didn't have a chance to talk to Romy before dinner which lo and behold was served with pots of Fondu (Irony).
Now here is the sad part of this trip. When I got to dinner I noticed something was wrong because Kate was not there and I could not see Jemma or Emma in the tent. Than Mike our driver announced to the tent that there had been an accident during skydiving. Emma had been badly injured along with her tandem instructor. She was in a hospital in Bern and Jemma her best friend was with her. Mike told us he had no more information and asked us not to speculate. Romy and the other skydiver were called outside at that moment.
Everyone in the tent of course started talking about it as we ate dinner. I was suddenly not very hungry and wasn't really interested in the fondu anyway. It would take a few days to get more details about what happened but essentially Jemma jumped and landed ok with her instructor. When Emma jumped the instructor activated the parachute and than past out. They tumbled to ground fairly quickly and the instructor was badly hurt but I did find out that he should be out of his wheelchair in a few months. Emma broke bones in her back and host of other injuries but she should be able to regain full mobility. I am still not sure what caused the instructor to pass out. FYI I am writing this with Emma's permission as well.
I hadn't eaten that much at dinner and wasn't feeling too good. Unlike Kate's last bus, our bus got along very well and we ended up pretty close. I had only spoken to Emma and Jemma once or twice at that point but I could see they were both nice people and for a religious person I wondered why god would allow something like that to happen. Jemma would come by later in that evening to pack her things and ultimately decided to stay at Emma's side and forego the rest of the tour. I really respect her for doing that and I knew I would have done the same if it was my best friend laying in the hospital. I will also say Jemma was very impressive after the accident when she became the first uninjured person to get into a rescue ambulance.
After dinner I went hiking behind one of the waterfalls with a group of people and I will say it was very impressive walking behind a waterfall. I don't have any photos of it because my camera battery was dead and I had neglected to get a Swiss charger. That evening there was a stoplight party which means you wear either Red, Green or Yellow depending on what your status colour is. There was some borrowing of clothes because not everyone had the correct colour to wear. I actually don't enjoy parties that much so I didn't go and I wasn't really in the mood for it anyway. People were talking about the accident during the evening and I hated the feeling of helplessness because there was nothing I could do ease Emma's suffering. I went bed that night and knew it would be a restless sleep for me.
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