First things first, we're going to backtrack a bit to Saturday night, as I forgot to mention something in yesterday's post. Some time earlier, we (or Mr. White, at least) made contact with an Italian troop that was staying in Kandersteg at the same time as us. And so, one we figured out who they were, we managed to invite them to our campfire. Admittedly, it was rather hard, as none of us spoke Italian and none of them really knew any English. However, we had a few people who knew a little French, and one of their leaders was fluent in the language. So it ended up as Americans talking to Italians in French, in a German-speaking region. And despite the language barrier, we still managed to enjoy ourselves around the fire. Bet you never see that happening at Philmont.
As for today, several of us (including me) took a train trip to the town of Stresa, which was just inside the Italian border. The first thing everyone noticed was the fact that it was all of a sudden much warmer in Italy. In fact, one could even find palm trees, when not a hundred miles ago we woke up to temperatures of about 5° (you should be used to Celsius by now). It was located right on a lake, and off the shore there were three small islands. We ended up spending most of the day touring the islands, one of which was consisted entirely of a palace with some magnificent gardens.
The other group (as far as I was told) spent the day doing several activities, including geocaching, visiting Oeschinensee, and hiking up to one of the nearby huts. Maybe I can round up someone to do a more detailed blog post at some point.
After we got back, there was the International Barbecue. It consisted of grilled hamburgers and bratwurst, and there were several tables setup with specialty foods from all over Europe. There were also several games, lots of interaction, and lots of neckerchief trading. So basically, it was a packed day.
Tomorrow, we'll be heading up to canyoning, which is yet another thing that you would never see in the USA.