Friday, 31 March 2017

Our trip to Our Chalet was truly amazing … we would all go back in a heartbeat!

Dunshaughlin Senior Branch members had a fab trip to Our Chalet. Here they tell us all about their highlights:

On 20 February 2017 we met at Dublin airport at 8am. From there the excitement started to build between the whole group. After two years of planning, fundraising and waiting we were finally on our way.

Coming into Basel airport there was no sign of any snow. However, once we got on our way after all the trains, planes and automobiles (not to mention our own carriage on a train) we ended up waist deep in snow much to our leaders’ delight!

We were greeted by many different Guides and Scouts from Norway, America, England , Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Argentina, America and Canada. Later on in the evening, after we all got settled, we had a tour all around and learned about the Chalet, which we would have to remember later on in the week for our quiz.

Our early morning rise was definitely worth it once we looked out our windows to the amazing views of the Swiss Alps. However, if we wanted breakfast and to go snow-tubing we would have to get a move on!

Our slippery hike to the frozen waterfall was our first real experience of Switzerland. Once we reached the waterfall and took loads of pictures we
made our way back to an opening in the forest where the benches were covered with snow! There we had a fabulous lunch of sausages or falafel burgers, which many people described as the 'best sausages they've ever had'. Snow-tubing was next on the list. From our little 'camp' we made our way to a gondola which would take us high up into the Swiss Alps. From there we hopped into our snow tubes and down the mountain bringing us all the way into a cabin to have hot chocolate for everyone.

Back in the Chalet we had a Swiss night where we were treated to a couple Swiss traditions including chocolate fondue (which didn't last too long)!

After breakfast we had free time to work on our Our Chalet challenge badge and explore the chalet and the grounds a bit more before we headed off again down the hill and up another (longer) gondola to begin our sledging. We started off with the basics before being thrown into the deep end sledging on the
same slopes as all the skiers. We quickly found ways in which to make us move faster sledging down the twists and turns of the mountain (avoiding one speedy leader). Once we all got down the mountain it was a race back up to the top for another round!

That night we took part in a Thinking Day WAGGGS night learning all about each World Centre and about Guiding in different cultures!

Day 4 we were up and off to the wood carvers to get our woggles that we saw everyone in the Chalet had. Once we reached the wood carvers, after hiking up the long spindly roads, we each had a chance to look around and buy little woggles with our names on them. Our hike back into the village of Adelboden was steep but definitely worth it. We cleared out the Co-op of their 50c chocolate that we had been told so much about from the staff at Our Chalet and, before we left, we stopped in to grab a cake and some hot chocolate.

That night we had quite a strange dinner - mac'n'cheese with potatoes and apple sauce. They say hunger is a good sauce but I don't think that meant apple sauce!

Snow shoe hike to the magic tree was our last thing to tackle on this adventure. Getting them on in the dark was the hardest part but once we began our trip to the magic tree we all became accustomed to our oddly shaped shoes. Our night hike was something else. When we stopped to look at the stars it was truly magical and we hadn't even made it to the tree
yet! Once we eventually found the tree after a fair search we each stood inside and made our wishes. It was there that the people who completed the Our Chalet were awarded their badges before we made our way back to the Chalet for our final night.

On our last morning in Our Chalet we made our snowwoman and went sledging down baby chalet hill before going inside to swap badges and say our thank yous and goodbyes to everyone before we made our last trip
down the hill, which was not so bad as the hard part was getting up it so we headed off down the hill singing songs and taking in the sights all around us before our crazy manifesto of transportation began again! Nearly missing our plane definitely made everyone run through the airport with bags flying and all our bits and bobs falling everywhere gave us all a laugh once we were on the plane ride home.

Thanks to Annamarie and all our leaders for organising a wonderful trip! Our trip to Our Chalet was truly amazing and I'd say we would all go back in a heartbeat!

~ Dunshaughlin Senior Branch members

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