7 June 2013
Switzerland, where the only things that are cheap are chocolate and cheese. People are not exaggerating when they say Switzerland is expensive. It is quite funny though because cheese and chocolate definitely are the cheapest things you can buy. We ate A LOT of cheese and chocolate. Not just because it was cheap, but because it was WAY good.
From Zurich to Bern, what a drastic difference. Although the cities are so close in distance (only about an hour) they are both so unique. Bern was an incredible city. We walked down beautiful streets filled with flags and fountains, walked along the river, visited the rose garden (the highest point in the city), and saw the famous Bern bears. I didn’t even realize that Bern was famous for bears before I came here!
One of my favorite experiences in Switzerland was visiting the Bern Temple. We did not get to go inside because it is closed for the next several weeks, but it was incredible to be able to walk on its grounds and see just how beautiful it is. Even standing in its presence is a remarkable feeling, because the grounds are so perfect and up kept…you can’t help but feel uplifted simply from gazing at it. The temple is on the outskirts of the city, just a couple of train stops away or about 15 minutes..
We also got to visit Grindelwald and Interlaken, two beautiful towns south of Bern. Part of the beauty in visiting these cities lies in the journey. The train snakes through the Alps and it is absolutely stunning. It reminds me a little bit of Northern Idaho, especially McCall. Everything is so beautiful and green, with the crisp mountain air filling your lungs with every breath. Every moment I was in these two beautiful remote areas, I could not help but think about the beauty in my own home area of Idaho. A lot of people travel from all the way across the world to visit the beautiful nature of Switzerland. While it is extremely beautiful, I realized that there are a lot of really beautiful areas around me in Idaho that I have failed to realize. When you travel to other places in the world, you realize all the great things you left behind in your homeland. This trip has taught me to love and appreciate everything for how it is and to always enjoy the moments as they come. It is great to have a destination but you must enjoy the journey along the way. Creativity is like the journey, with the destination being innovation. You must open your mind and give yourself freedom to experiment as you go. It is during times like these that true innovative thinking happens. See, a lot can be learned from traveling.
Grindelwald is known for being a place of outdoor fantasy. They have sports of all kind from paragliding and bungee jumping to skiing and biking. You name it, and I bet they have it. It really is an amazing place and I wish I could of spent more time there…
Interlaken was beautiful as well, but let me warn you that the lake is a lot further from the train station than it looks. We tried to walk there and after 45 minutes and no lake in site…we were a little worried. The next thing we did I am so proud of, although I am not sure my parents would be proud of… We hitch hiked, and someone picked us up and drove us to the lake. That day we got to check two things off of our bucket list, seeing the lake, and hitch hiking.
Today we broke a lot of records.
We will have taken 10 trains today, shattering our previous record by a long shot. We had to end on a high, as our train passes expire today. 24 days of joyous train rides is coming to an end. I am actually really sad. I don’t know if I am going to like staying in the same place for more than a couple days. It has been an incredible experience to see so many things in such a compact amount of time…it is actually quite remarkable.
We arrived in Rome on May 13th and began our grand European adventure. We saw the inside of the Colosseum, strolled through the Vatican, marveled at the Statue of David, held up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and trekked through Cinque Terre along the Mediterranean coast. We fed pigeons in front of the Milan Cathedral, got lost in the canals of Venice, picked up off the street in Marseille, were stunned by Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the went to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night. We ate Belgium Waffles, walked the Red light district (…quickly and with our eyes closed most of the time), visited the Berlin Wall, and touched the Baltic Sea. We scaled the Prague Castle, enjoyed the beauty of Budapest, went to church in Croatia, and hiked through the Skocjan Caves of Slovenia. We rowed across lake Bled, went to a play in Vienna, visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, and hiked the ALps to to the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany. We explored the streets of Old Town Zurich (I almost bought camel shoes…), viewed Bern from atop it’s famous rose garden, visited the hidden cities of Interlaken and Grindelwald in Switzerland, and traveled through the Black Forest. We have had the adventure of a lifetime.