While traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia in April and May, I made some great friends from Switzerland whom I was traveling with for nearly a month. When we eventually had to part, we had plans to meet back up in mid August, where I would join them in the Swiss Alps for a huge music festival. Fast forward to mid August, I flew into Zurich late on a Wednesday night, Mile picked me up from the airport and we got a quick sleep in before Patty and her brother, Dominik picked us up early Thursday morning to head for the mountains! It was an insanely gorgeous 4 hour drive up and into the mountains to a town called Gampel, Switzerland, which is the nearest town to the festival called Open Air Gampel.
When the 4 of us arrived, we met up with 2 other girls that were friends of Patty’s boyfriend, who we joined forces with to lug tons of camping gear and backpacks and essentials for 4 days camping out in the mountains! We waited in what was apparently the longest crowd ever in the history of the festival, but finally got in and set up our not so little tent city.
More people would join our group, including Nico, Patty’s boyfriend, and Mile’s other two sisters Kreni and Tipsy. All in all we had about 15 or more people in our group for the next few days. We spent our mornings sitting around laughing about the night before, catching up, snacking, me reminding people to speak in English at least part of the time, deciding when to have our first adult beverage again, going to the main areas for food, then eventually making our way to the main stage to watch the performances of the many Swiss and German bands that were performing at the festival. All of this, set in the most incredible scenery….in a valley among the monstrous Swiss mountains!
At last on Sunday it was time to make our way back to Zurich, after taking in one last concert that afternoon. The next night, after a lazy day for me of doing laundry while the girls were already back at work, we enjoyed a beautiful Swiss cheese fondue dinner on the patio of the apartment that the 3 sisters, Mile, Kreni and Tipsy share. I am so spoiled by the friends that I’ve made on this journey!
The next evening when Mile and Kreni got off work, we took the train to a nearby town called Baden, for Badenfahrt, a festival that only happens every 10 years, and with my good luck, I happened to be around for it! Bars, stages and market stalls line the streets and it’s incredibly lively and festive. Many people take time off work to come to this even, and we were lucky enough to head to it just for the evening. Fun times!
After quite a few action packed days, I had to say goodbye again to my Swiss friends. We have the best time together and are always planning on when we can meet up again in the future. I had an incredible time catching up with them and seeing parts of their mystical and stunning Switzerland that I’d not yet seen in my prior travels. I’ll treasure our time together and be looking forward to the next time!