UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY: Yesterday we jumped WAYYYYYY off the beaten path and traveled by train to Sperlonga, Italy! This is a beautiful mountanius, medieval beach town right on the Mediterrian! The water was blue, the weather was warm, and the beach was empty! We stayed at the Hotel Aurora which is the only hotel with its own beach front. We were most likely the only native English speakers there… it was a trip! I completely recommend it if you ever want to try something different! Check out the pictures!
Now – as a wrap up to the trip, here were my highlights from each country!
My favorite thing about Europe in general is that cats run this continent. Every cat we saw was confident, bossy, and lazy. I cannot wait to get home to see Bettilda Mae – our cat who runs the corner of Ann and Amelia in CoMo. What I want to do is break down my trip and highlight my favorite part about each country I visited. It is so hard to pick a favorite but…
Switzerland: My favorite part of Switzerland was the city of Lucerne. It is full of young people and it is not a well-beaten tourist path. The town was beautiful on a lake nestled in between snow-packed Alps. The shopping was incredible, boutiques on every single block. The town was so clean and safe. I feel like Lucerne had a lot of the benefits of Paris without all of the people and tourist traps. The restaurant we went to, that I mentioned earlier in the week, was literally too cute for words. The placemats and the aqua blue café chairs, the serve yourself section inside as well as the little flag they placed on a toothpick in my meal. Our room was at the Astoria Hotel, which we quickly learned had one of the ‘best night clubs’ in Lucerne on the rooftop. Brendon and I did a little Euro clubbing at the penthouse club. In the morning, we had to get up and go pretty early and on our way out we saw the entire staff headed home… So apparently the club was way cooler then I was because it did not shut down until the wee morning hours. Overall, I think a lot of people get overwhelmed by Switzerland because they do not know where to go. If you go… make a stop at Lucerne! It is worth it!
Italy: All of the Roman Ruins. This was the most difficult for me to pick. I loved Venice! It was a one of a kind city, but I fell in love with Rome and the ruins, specifically in the Forum. They light up all of the ruins at night and walking along the street Via del Fori when the sun is setting, it is the most beautiful thing in the world. You have no idea, more so than the Eiffel Tower. Seeing them in the day and just seeing how massive Rome was over 2,000 years ago is humbling. You always hear about the Colosseum but never the Forum… I am telling you right now, the Forum is where it is at! You could spend an entire day there! When I was in middle school and studying ancient Egypt, Greece and Italy, I always wanted to see what was left. Being able to do this fed my love of history, traveling and looking at beautiful things! It was unlike anything I ever imagined. Nothing can prepare you.
France: The Louvre. I was not a fine arts major. I cannot paint, draw or sculpt to save my life, and I don’t go to art exhibit openings on the regular. But, I can say to you the Louvre was my favorite part of Paris. I wanted to go because it is a quintessential part of the city. I also wanted to go because embarrassingly enough… I read the Da Vinci Code way back in the day and I wanted to put all the pieces together. It was a breathtaking experience. First of all, the design of the building itself is beautiful. The grounds of the old palace are unlike anything you have ever seen, then seeing the beautiful glass pyramids, there is no way to describe it. We went as early as we possibly could with pre-purchased tickets. The museum opens at 9:00 a.m. and we were walking in the building by 9:05 past the line and security. Brendon went to pick up our maps and I headed straight down the maze to the Mona Lisa because we heard on the internet to get there first because she can get crazy. I was walking down the marble hallway towards the Nike of Samothrace while everyone was rushing in front of me. The morning sun was shining in brightly. It was quiet with hushed whispers everywhere. I was alone with no cell phone and no way to get un-lost. Not to sound lame here people but I began openly weeping. It was unlike anything that I have ever felt before. Walking past the 700 year old Renaissance oil paintings was shocking too, seeing these pieces that our people have been cherishing and protecting for hundreds of years. Finally, when I rounded the corner to the Mona Lisa, I want you to know it is just like every picture you have ever seen of it, but in real life. Almost like seeing Brad Pitt… but if Brad Pitt transcended hundreds of years. It was humbling. I am not an artist or even an enthusiast, but I know something good when I see it. Being surrounded by the most talented individuals of our kind’s LIFE’S WORK made me feel something.
I am so thankful for this eyeopening experience and seeing a little more of the world! I think Brendon is exhausted… sleeping in a different hotel every night and schlepping our suitcases everywhere… I am pretty used to it!
I hope you enjoyed being a part of my trip! I am excited for next week when we return! I have something fun planned!