The program planned us activities for almost every weekend we stayed there. For this second weekend, it’s called an Adventure Weekend as we were heading to the southern part in France to have some adventurous activities. We set out Friday early morning, and it would take us 6 hours to get there by coach. On the way, we were able to see the distinct changes of landscape as we were advancing downward in France. The terrain got more and more mountainous as we were approaching the Alpine region.
At around 1 pm, our coach started to drive along a river in the mountains. We soon learned that we were going to do white water rafting in that river as we saw rafting boats floating against the fierce currents in it. We reached the hut, had a quick picnic, geared up with water-suits, safety hats and oars, and got on the coach again to go to the starting point. As we were divided into three teams we quickly got on our boats. Each boat has a professional rafter on it. After the trainer’s brief instructions, we set out for the river. Most of the time was pretty safe and sound, however, our team was the most tragic one as we lost one person during a sudden tilt and we also punctured our boat somehow! Fortunately, the boat was designed with several air compartments, so we only lost one compartment and the boat would not sink with that damage. During the process, we also stopped ashore two times to jump off high cliffs into the water for fun. It was pretty high!
After we finished white water rafting, we were ready to go to our residence for the weekend and have a rest. We resided at a town called Evian. If you have noticed, it’s the same as the water brand “Evian”, and indeed, Evian is the origin of “Evian”! Evian is a town beside a lake bordering Switzerland, so you can literally see Switzerland just across the lake. We had a dinner on the balcony of the hotel. The scene was absolutely splendid and beautiful as you could see the lake, lights of houses, boats, mountains, and sky while eating. The food was not bad as well as we got to choose an appetizer, main course, dessert, and drink. Most people chose wine to celebrate this dinner.
We had the chance to walk around the city as well. The city was built on a slope sliding down toward the lake. There were a lot of restaurants, bars along the lakeshore. There was also a casino! It’s definitely a great vocation spot. In European cities, you can usually see outlets or fountains of water everywhere. I drank from a delicate outlet of water because it’s the true “Evian” water, haha! As most of the people decided to spend some night time at the bars, I decided to go check out the casino. I got in with my US driver’s license. It was pretty exciting because it reminded me of Ocean’s Eleven. However, this casino was rather small. One friend of mine tried Black Jack and he lost pretty badly. “The house always wins” especially in Black Jack. I was merely an observer because I really didn’t want to arouse my greed in gambling and lose money.
The second day of this Adventure Weekend was one of the craziest days of my life… because we did parachuting and canyoneering! For parachuting, we needed to jump off from the top of an Alpine mountain! When the car which took us to the top climbed higher and higher, our hearts beat faster and faster as we saw the town down the valley became smaller and felt the air we breathed became thinner. But the parachuting experience turned out to be relaxing as the professional up behind you would fly you with ease. The view was splendid but it was cold up in the air! Sometimes the professional would thrill you by making a 360 degrees violent turn, it was a little bit nauseous but it was fun!
For the canyoneering, it was the craziest of all… After we geared up with water-suits and safety hats and some clinging equipment, we headed to the river canyon in the mountain. We had to climb down watery cliffs using ropes, jump off cliffs into a pond, slide down small waterfalls, cling onto cliff walls, and swim in the water… and all of those required bravery to let go and have life dangers. The very last act was to climb down a waterfall with more than six stories in height!
On the third day we had rock climbing, but I forfeited my chance to do it. I decided to walk around the region around the rock climbing place and enjoy the Alpine countryside with my eyes.
After finished rock climbing, we all got back to the coach and headed back to school. What else can I say, this Adventure Weekend was test of bravery and a blast!