prague1Prague. It’s one of the most enchanting cities. It’s so unique, yet at the same time, exactly how you would picture an eastern European city to be. Where roofs are covered in the traditional red and seafoamy green color. Where the city feels like it’s still in a slight hangover from the somewhat recent communism specter. Where there is a charming, sweet left side of the Charles Bridge and a historical, extremely touristy right side of the Charles Bridge. Where beer and meat is almost cheaper than water. And because I am used to Switzerland’s prices where everything costs you about an arm and a leg, Prague’s prices came as quite a relief.

Our first stop was the Charles Bridge. But, along the way we came across the John Lennon Wall. And I took an obligatory peace sign shot.


Then, we moved along to the Charles bridge, which was commissioned by…can you guess?…Charles the IV! And according to my handy dandy travel guide, Charles IV purposely laid the first stone on July 9, 1357 at exactly 5:31 because if you write out the date and time you get the number sequence 1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1. Then, my travel guide said that this is a Dan Brown book waiting to be written. And I must say I agree.



One thing my travel guide didn’t mention was this plaque thing on the bridge that everyone touched…I’m assuming for good luck? Hannah and I saw people lining up to touch this plaque. So, we decided to follow along having absolutely no idea what exactly we were touching. But, we vowed to look it up later. (It means you will return to Prague some day…yay!)Then, we also decided we should conduct a social experiment where we have something similar that people wait in line to touch but that actually has no significant value, and have some people in on it that form a line waiting to touch it, and see if we can convince random people to join along. But, maybe that’s just the sociology major in me. I know, I’m kind of a dork. Moving on.

The Astronomical Clock turned 604 this year and is responsible for tracking movements of the sun, the moon, and much more! It’s pretty amazing that they could build something so precise so long ago. We climbed to the top and saw a pretty view of Prague. And Gigi and Fifi came along too!


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Then, we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around what was considered the Old Town. Because this is the most touristy area of Prague, there were people everywhere trying to sell you something. Segway rides, pub crawl tickets, thai massages. I was even chased by a man dressed in an elephant suit who was advertising for the Thai Massage. Literally, chased. Someone should tell him that chasing people is not the way to convince people to agree to a massage. I managed to avoid him the rest of the day as we wandered the streets and tried Prague’s pastry.



The next morning, we went to Café Savoy for breakfast and had their version of Eggs Benedict with Brioche Toast, Gruyere Cheese, Prague Ham (which could be the key because they are known for that) and the poached egg. It was one of the best Eggs Benedicts I have had, which is saying a lot because I have really high standards. It may have even been the best. I’m still dreaming of it. I’m hoping that plaque thing I rubbed was true so that I can return to Prague and be able to eat this deliciousness again.


Petrin Tower is a gem, but could easily be ignored because it just seems like a shameless knockoff of the Eiffel Tower on top of a giant hill. And it is. But, it has the best 360 view of Prague. It was so beautiful to see the city from way high above. So, do not miss this if you ever find yourself in Prague.



We stopped to go inside the Church of Saint Nicholas expecting it to be pretty much just like every other church we have seen in Europe. But, to our surprise, and as cheesy and corny as it sounds the interior actually took our breath away.  It was not like every other church we had seen. It was stunning. So many beautiful colors and sculptures and the architecture was so intricate. Standing inside, I was kind of sad that no one ever builds anything this beautiful anymore. It’s really a shame. Times have certainly changed. (Pictures do not do it justice. I repeat, pictures do not do it justice.)



Then, of course we visited the Prague Castle, which is where the President lives, and it’s church. The security there is a joke compared to the United States White House. I couldn’t believe how low key it was. It was if the security guards standing out front were merely decorations. It’s such an entirely new concept to me that I was so amazed. I mean our airports seem to have higher security.



And that’s about it for Prague!


Next destination in our travel plans is Tuscany! I’m so ready for some gelato, you have no idea.

Canyon Glacier Swing

Remember when Emily, Allie, and I came up with Valentine’s Day Dates based on where we lived? And remember how I chose canyon-glacier swinging as the activity? Well, my Valentine is unfortunately across oceans from me and so we couldn’t go together. But, I was able to convince my other Valentine, Hannah, to join me for a major adrenaline rush! Yay!

We took the train up to Interlaken, which just so happens to be my favorite train ride because it is the most beautiful train ride. Then, we were picked up at the train station by the same company who took us canyoning last semester and driven halfway up the canyon. We had to hike the rest of the way up because it was too icy to drive up.

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Once we made it to the top, we watched the group before us jump off the platform into the canyon and free fall for over 200 feet before the harness caught them and swung them across the glacier. Watching them definitely made me nervous. But, as soon as I got on the platform, I surprisingly felt pretty calm. The guide counted 3, 2, 1 and I jumped off without hesitation.




And let me tell you…it was by far the coolest thing I have ever done and the most amazing experience. At first you feel like you’re just floating and then you realize that you’re not floating but free falling…that’s when I yelled out “OH MY GOSH!” And as soon as I got those three words out, the harness pulled tight and I went swinging straight towards the other side of the canyon. It was so beautiful with the glacier below and the snow everywhere. As soon as my harness pulled tight, I wanted to do it again. When I got back on to solid ground, I was shaking because of the amount of adrenaline running through my blood stream. Next up was Hannah, and she jumped off without hesitation too! She barely even screamed because she said the wind knocked her voice right out of her!

This may have been my favorite day of the entire semester so far.

And guess what I’ve got video footage documenting the entire thing!

Also, I didn’t tell my mom that I was going canyon jumping until after I did it. And I told her by just sending her the video. Here was her reaction: “OMG!! MY BLOOD PRESSURE JUST WENT UP AND I HAVE 20 NEW GREY HAIRS ON MY HEAD!!!! WHY ARE YOU SO ADVENTUROUS?! AHHHHHHH!!!”

But, hey! I’ve learned that it is best to tell your parents after you plan on doing something a little crazy like that so that they don’t worry the whole time you’re off doing something crazy. By the time you tell them, you’ll be safe and sound and they don’t have to worry. Trust me…it’s just better that way!

Brussels and Bruges

Last weekend, Hannah and I woke up to catch the 3:50am train to the airport for our 7am flight. We were running on 2 hours of sleep. That seems to be a habit of mine…it wouldn’t be one of our European adventures if I didn’t start it off with 2 hours or less of sleep. There’s just lots to do before trips and time just slips right on by! I can’t help it! Luckily, my excitement and anticipation for our adventures keeps me running pretty strong.

On this particular adventure, Hannah and I headed to the land of waffles, chocolate, and beer…BELGIUM! And I can say that they do each of those things amazingly well. They are also known for their fries, but Hannah and I both agreed that they shouldn’t tell people that because their fries had absolutely nothing on our beloved Chipsy King in Amsterdam. In fact, we threw out our Belgium fries before finishing them because we just didn’t think they were even worth it. Bummer. The waffles however were to die for, the chocolate too, and I don’t know much about beer but what I had was quite delicious and refreshing! So kudos to Belgium for those three things!

Day 1:

We spent our first day in Brussels in awe of the beautiful buildings in the Grand Place, wandering through the streets, finding Tin Tin cartoons on the sides of buildings (the cartoon was created in Belgium!), eating waffles, and going in and out of the shops.






Of course, we had to stop by the infamous Mannekin Pis and admire its weirdness. This peeing statue is replicated everywhere…in the airport, in the tourist shops, on beer bottles, and everywhere else you could think of. It’s just bizarre.


And then we ended our day at the Atomium, which was built for Brussels World Fair in 1958.  We went up to the top and admired the view of the city we had just walked all over. And then, we were pretty exhausted so we got an early night sleep.


Day 2:

The next day we took a train to the nearby city of Bruges, which is a pretty cute little city. So quaint and charming. We started off our morning by climbing 366 stairs up to the top of the Belfry tower, and the view of the city at the top is 100% worth every huff and puff up there.




bruges4^^It was crazy windy up there!

After that, we decided to break for a bite of waffles of course.


Then, we took a horse and carriage ride, wandered down every single street in the city, shopped around, ate some delicious chocolate, and ended up at a restaurant for dinner that had 400 different kinds of beers to offer. Don’t worry we didn’t try all 400 of them. Only 2 and they were quite delicious!









^^Cherry beer…so delicious!

The next morning we were jumped back on a plane and headed back to Switzerland, where we spent the rest of Sunday relaxing and pinching ourselves because this life we are living is just crazy. I feel so lucky and so grateful. And don’t want to waste a second of the rest of my time here because it is FLYING by.

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot…meet Serafina and Genevieve! (Fifi and Gigi for short) Serafina is my piggy on the left and Genevieve is Hannah’s piggy on the right. We found these adorable finger puppets and simply could not resist. They’re going to be our travel buddies! So, be on the lookout for them all around Europe!