June 9-13, 2013
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A Milne
After a crazy 5 weeks of traveling, laughing, making memories and friends, our time in Switzerland was coming to an end. Everyone couldn’t even bring themselves to talk about it, let alone pack or you know, start planning our 3 weeks of backpacking….
Sunday, a few of us went on a hike up to Prafandaz, a beautiful mountain top view overlooking Lake Geneva. On a clear day, you can see France. We met a few local kids and played basketball with them, and then they followed us the rest of the hike. It was adorable. Later that day, we had one of our last classes, and afterwards, we stayed in the common room to come up with our superlatives. This was just as funny as bonding night. Each person would go out in the hallway, while the rest of us came up with a funny superlative that matches what that person had done/said throughout the trip. Some were hysterical, some were maybe a little mean, but all in all, we had a great time reminiscing and really appreciating what each person contributed to the group. For having 20 girls and 2 boys in a study abroad program, we didn’t have ANY drama at all, and we were so happy and grateful for the group we had. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Monday, we went to Lausanne for a scavenger hunt around the city. We were put into groups and had to find different landmarks across the city. At one point, my group just gave up and walked around enjoying the day. We all met up for lunch at an amazing pizza place right off of Lake Geneva. After lunch, a few of us hopped on a ferry that took us to Montreaux, where we walked around the beautiful town on a perfect, clear sky, day. Later, we got on the train back to Leysin. Once we got back, Kayla and I finally confirmed our plans to take a 12 day cruise through Croatia, Greece, Turkey and southern Italy – all of the places we wanted to visit. Our Eurail expired a few days after we left Switzerland, and it would have been too expensive to travel via train without it. Flights were crazy expensive too. It seemed to be the most logical way to travel. Not what I originally expected, but I knew it would all work out the way it was supposed to. That night, we all went up to Top Pub, like usual, and Tillie told us that she was thinking about joining us on the cruise. This was going to be so great! Then, Mallory Harkins thought that maybe she will too. This quickly was turning into the best trip ever.
Tuesday, everyone was just hanging out, packing up, going down to the village one last time, taking their last few hikes. Really, we were all just trying to hang out together at Village Camps. We talked about how we would miss the tuna at VC.. Weird, but it was so good. That evening, we had our BBQ at the top of Prafandaz. It was a beautiful day with an even more beautiful sunset. I had been talking about watching the sunset at Prafandaz since getting to Leysin, and of course, it was the perfect time to see it. We had BBQ and wine, and all took pictures with each other, while watching the sun set over Lake Geneva. We were all laughing, dancing, having a great time.
Wednesday was a sad sad day of realization. I don’t think we were prepared for this day to actually come. Once I saw my shelves empty, my luggage packed and the countless bottles of wine thrown out, I realized this experience was coming to an end. Although Mallory, Tillie, Kayla and I would be continuing on with our Eurotrip, all those we became so close with over the last 5 weeks were leaving. The places we traveled, the many meals we’ve shared, the songs we sang were all so great because we were all together. And this experience, this moment, would never be the same again. It was a really sad day.
We had our last class of wine tasting in our professor’s apartment before we headed over to the Top Pub for our farewell dinner. The Top Pub was the most appropriate place for us to have our farewell dinner. We had spent so many nights (and so many francs) there. It’s where the majority of our memories from Leysin came from. It’s where our welcome party started, and where our farewell party ended. It all comes full circle. We were all feeling pretty good, had a great dinner and then gave out our superlatives. It was so much fun to see everyone’s reaction to their superlative. For the sake of everyone, I won’t divulge into the actual awards. But really, it was a great night. We all danced, sang, drank and just appreciated the time we had left together that night. It turned into a really late night in the common room with some of the VC counselors, even though the rest of the group had to wake up at 4:30 am to catch a bus to the Geneva airport.
We all said our goodbyes in the morning (5 am), and Kayla and I got ready for our 4 days in Austria!
I couldn’t imagine a better city or group to have called home for the last 5 weeks in Europe. Some people like having the crazy nightlife in their study abroad hometown, but after traveling for 4-5 days out of the week, it was always refreshing to come back to a nice, quiet city in the mountains. The air was crisp, fresh, healthy. The water is insanely good. Anyone who has been to Switzerland will agree. You know everyone in Leysin. The nightlife is small, but it’s nice to come home to. I just can’t express how perfect it is. I’ll always have Leysin in my heart.