The St.Bernards pilgrimage has been one of my favorite experiences we've had in Switzerland. 

We began our hike to St.Bernards early in the morning, high up in the Swiss Alps. It was 3.5 miles, done in snowshoes, all uphill, and in a complete blizzard ... and it was great. The reason behind the hike was that we were doing the original "pilgrimage" through the Alps that medieval people did back in the 1800s to get to St.Bernards Monastery. Now a days, the only way you are allowed to sleep at The St.Bernard Monastery is by completing the pilgrimage on foot (or snowshoe) to the Monastery. If you drive you have to stay at a near by hotel or lodging. So we strapped on our snowshoes and began the journey (and we did it in the summer and there was a complete blizzard, I don't even want to think what winter is like). 

But we did it.

We stayed at the Monastery for 3 days, and it was an incredible experience. We wore slippers all day, lived on only soup and chocolate, went to catholic mass in french, sang hymns with the priest, had tea time at 4 everyday, had15 minute daily meditation time, slept in bunk beds, and it was only a five minute walk away from The Italian border. It was so relaxing and rejuvenating there. The history, stories, and architecture of the Monastery were unbelievable.

 On our last day, we had a really cool experience. We all gathered in the great hall to say our thankyous and goodbyes to the priest who had spent all three days with us at the Monastery, and as we were going to leave, together, we all started to sing some of the French Catholic Hymns that we learned in Mass. And then, to the priest, all the Utah State students sang "God Be With You Until We Meet Again". I can't tell you how amazing that moment was. The room was filled with such strong spirit and feeling. The priest was crying, I was crying, everyone was crying. It was incredible. We may have been in a foreign country, didn't share the same language, nonetheless speak the same language ... but some things are the same no matter where you are. It was a great three days, definitely will never forget my stay at St.Bernards.

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