Fall Break in Switzerland!Siena, Fall 2009
Fall break has come and gone and we are now officially more than half way done with the semester. It’s bittersweet to think how quickly time is passing here. On one hand, I cannot wait to sit around the fireplace at Christmas time, telling stories and catching up with family and friends. On the other hand, I’m lucky enough to be living in Tuscany and that is something that simply shouldn’t be hurried along.
For fall break, my roommate, Shanna, and I took a train ride to Switzerland for several days.
On our first day in Zurich, we walked from our hostel, along Lake Zurich, to the downtown. Despite the weather being freezing, this was one of the most beautiful walks I have ever taken. The autumn colors of the trees were spectacular and stood out from the thick layer of fog that covered the lake. Once we made it downtown, we didn’t have any specific plans so we wandered around, eating roasted chestnuts, and sightseeing. We visited several famous churches, including Fraumunster and Grossmunster. At Grossmunster, I garnered up the courage to overcome my fear of heights (for about half an hour) in order to climb the church tower. At the top, the vistas overlooking the city and Lake Zurich were unbelievable, even though it was a rather gray, foggy day.
The following day we joined a tour group that took us to Heidiland and Liechtenstein. Our tour guide was an older Swiss man from a small town high up in the Alps, who seemed to have done everything in his lifetime, including compiling an impressive collection of dirty jokes and being a sheep farmer in South Africa. Throughout our drive through these farmland and valley areas, it was nearly impossible to take a bad picture because it seemed as though we were driving through a postcard scene.
On Sunday, we took another tour, which took us to Lucerne and Mount Titlis. Lucerne was a gorgeous village with a picturesque bridge overlooking a lake. After a short stop in Lucerne, the tour continued to Mount Titlis. There, we took a twenty minute cable car ride to the top of the mountain. This was the highlight of fall break for me because, now, I can truly say that I’ve been to the top of the Alps! The views from the top were, needless to say, out of this world.
Overall, I fell in love with Switzerland. After returning home to the U.S., perhaps I’ll even consider taking a German class! I found the Swiss people to be polite, friendly, and wealthy! We learned the hard way that nothing in that country is cheap! Despite this, our time in clean and efficient Switzerland was a pleasant departure from the chaos that often ensues in Italian cities.
That being said, it is always nice to return home… or in my case, my home away from home in Siena.
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