Monday, April 4, 2011

Part III: Barcelona

And last on our trip, but certainty not least, was Barcelona! It was the perfect city to end in, as there were not a whole lot of sights to see, but plenty of sunshine and the beach! We did, however, see a lot of Gaudi architecture, which was incredible. And we also explored the famous Las Ramblas street, which was full of vendors, eccentric shops (with everything from handmade jewelery to turtles) and street performers. There was also an amazing market with rows and rows of vendors with every kind of fresh fruit, fish, and vegetable. 

 Stand at the market that sells fresh juice...of every fruit and every mix imaginable!

 View over Barcelona.
 Gaudi architecture.
The port bridge at night.

Part II: Rome

Next on our trip was Rome! We were only there for three days, but with the help of a bus tour managed to see most of the sights. 

I think my favorite memory was the night we decided to go to the Trevi fountain. We were right next door getting some gelato (of course) when we heard cheers and saw people running towards the fountain. So naturally, we followed. Turns out a man had jumped into the fountain and was down on one knee proposing to his girlfriend! Shortly after she said yes, the police arrived (to loud boos from the crowd) and tried to arrest him--I don't think they actually ended up doing so though.

Here are some pics: 

 The forum.
 Bus tour with the Vatican straight ahead.

Trevi fountain! Before the man jumped in...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Part I: Venice

For the past ten days a few friends and I from the program have been traveling to Venice, Rome, and Barcelona. I think I'll add a bunch of photos from each, starting with Venice :)

 Looking down on the main plaza from the tower.

 We got rained on our first night after dinner...

Venice was amazing! It was kind of like it is in the movies & like you would imagine it to be--with gondolas, canals, and beautiful old buildings everywhere. It is also very touristy. There is one main tourist path that weaves through the city and that's where all of the crowds end up. It's lined with souvenir shops almost the whole way and also signs because Venice is built a bit like a maze. Also, the public transport in Venice is 'Vaporetto' boats on the canals, because there are no cars in the city. I think it actually took everyone in our group a couple of days to realize there were no cars around!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Into the Woods

So, its been a while since I've updated due to some technical computer broke. Well, actually I dropped and it fell and the screen cracked. But after a week at the Mac Store it's all better now :)

Here are some photos from walking through the woods by my house. About five minutes from our town is the countryside, with nothing but fields and woods. It's very beautiful.
Also, we are done with classes for the semester! We now have a month free to do research and write our final papers. A bunch of students also take the opportunity to travel, and I'm going with some friends to Venice, Rome, and then Barcelona starting tomorrow!

Tiny cabin for bird watching on the lake. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


After the program went to Brussels we spent a few days in Paris and then I ended up spending the weekend in Paris with friends. It was incredible! I had been to Paris before and seen most of the major tourist attractions, so it was great to go back and take things at a little slower pace and look for more off-the-beaten-path things to see.

It was also interesting to try and communicate...I can speak fine with my host family here in Switzerland, but in Paris it turns out the French is quite different! They speak much faster! One Parisian even told my friend she had a Swiss French accent. I had no idea the dialects were so different. I wonder if we will all have Swiss accents when we speak French by the time we leave?

I think my favorite memory from Paris was when one day my friend's mom sent her a list of the best places in Paris for bread, pastries, cheese, etc. And so we set off on a bit of a treasure hunt all over the city to try and find them. We found most of them, and they did not disappoint! The others I will have to find when I go back...
 The first couple of days in Paris were really rainy. I don't think anyone minded though...our group was so excited we headed out to walk around the city all the same.

 The Eiffel Tower at night :) Every hour at night it lights up with white flashing lights.
 Baudelaire's tombstone at the Montparnasse Cemetery.
 Water well in the Catacombs.
Rainy night in Paris.
 Notre Dame at night from our boat ride on the Seine.
 Pain aux Rasins from the best pastry shop in Paris!
 And the best Espresso.
View from the Eiffel Tower.

Off to Brussels!

Last week the program I am studying with had a week-long trip to Brussels for four days, and then Paris for two. However, many people decided to stay the weekend in Paris, and I was one of them. Brussels turned out to be one of my most favorite cities! I think everyone was so excited to go to Paris we weren't looking forward to Brussels as much, but Brussels ended up being amazing as well.

I think we saw most of the tourist attractions...including the big, grand historical plaza downtown and the Mannekin Pis (a very famous statue of a small, peeing boy). We also toured a chocolate museum and factory, which to our delight also gave us free chocolate. The waffles were also amazing. Oh, and everything was much cheaper than here in Geneva! Which was quite nice as well.


Traditional Belgian meal of Moules Frites (Mussels and Fries)

Vienna in 24 hours

So...these pictures are way overdue! But here they are :) These are pictures from when I went to Vienna a couple of weekends ago. We took the night train there and then it took almost a whole day via train to get back, but it was worth it to see the city. Somehow we managed to see everything, thanks to a friend's friend who showed us around as well as some exploring on our own. The trip back was quite interesting as well. I tried to take an earlier train back but the woman who sold me the ticket set it for a route through Frankfurt (which wasn't exactly on the way...) and my train ended up being late, causing me to miss all of my connecting trains. It was quite an adventure!

Vienna is a beautiful city. In the more historic part of town almost anywhere you go you see huge, gorgeous buildings. It's very impressive. We also went for dessert at a famous hotel to eat the original Sacher Torte, which is probably my favorite memory from the trip.

The gardens at the Schonbrunn Palace.
A yummy, traditional Viennese meal of Wiener Schnitzel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interlocken in 2 Hours

 Last week after the program had its field trip to Bern I went with some friends to Interlocken for the afternoon. We only had a few hours before our train left for Vienna, but wanted to go just to see the view. And it was worth it! The train ride there was stunning, and once we got there we got to see the sunset. I think we basically ran off the train and just started asking people where the best view was, or where to go. Somehow, with minimal German skills we made it to the best look out point--the top of a fancy hotel in a little cafe. So we stopped for some coffee and then with an hour left quickly went to see the view of the lake as well.