Whitewater Rafting in the Swiss Alps

the mind-blowingly picturesque portion of the Swiss Alps on which we rafted.

Back in 2008, after I’d graduated from university, I went on a 3 week multi-city tour of (mostly) western Europe (it was the European Inspiration tour with Contiki which has changed a bit since 2008, but it’s still similar). We spent 3 days and 2 nights in each city and it was amazing. I met some awesome people and made some amazing memories. If you do anything in your 20’s: go fucking travel. On the second half of our tour, we ended up whitewater rafting from Innsbruck, Austria to our next stop, the picturesque town of Lucerne, Switzerland.

I’m not sporty person – and I’ve never been. Back then I wasn’t in the best of shape (I’ve lost a bunch of weight since then, thankfully). BUT how was I going to say no to whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps?! So, on went the wet suit and into the raft I went.

The waters were pretty calm on that mid-summer afternoon, but just because it was the summer, don’t let that fool you. The water was FREEZING. It was traveling down from some pretty high altitudes, so this wasn’t the Mediterranean that we were wading into.

We broke into smaller groups (there were a couple dozen of us) and when we were first wading down the river (it could’ve been the Inn River?), our instructor made us jump, on purpose, into the water. He wanted us to know what the water would feel like if we got thrown overboard when the waters got choppier. This was torture because it was freezing. Since I wasn’t in good shape and the cold water would send me into a mini-shock, I was never able to hoist myself up so my new big Aussie dude friends had to pull me back into the raft each time.

But I’m totally glad I went. It was an experience that I will likely not have again. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d want it again. I’m more of a city girl. But I’ll always be glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and stepped into that freezing cold river in the Swiss Alps.

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A truly cringe-worthy photo of yours truly circa 2008 in her wet suit.

 

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