When you think of Switzerland, what comes to mind? Chocolate? Cows? Cheese? Mountains? If you thought of one of those- you’re right! But let me tell you, there is so much more!
For two weeks this summer, I traveled to Aclens, Switzerland. I stayed with a family that my family has been friends with since before I was born. A great flight over, an amazing trip of a lifetime, and a nightmare coming home, I arrive with a great story to tell!
I arrive in Geneva on August 9, around 8:00 a.m. We have a two hour drive back to Aclens, and we make it in just over an hour. Just a hint: if you don’t like fast driving, Europe isn’t for you! I spend my next two weeks touring castles, chateaus, the Alps, German hotels, crazy bar stories and some killer food. The thing I missed most while being gone, however, was soft bread. I am not kidding.
Chateau de Chillon was beautiful! It is situated on Lac du Leman, or Lake Geneva. We toured all over the Swiss-German Alps, and I have some great blister scars on 6 toes. The Swiss are adventurers. In the Alps, people parachute from the tops of the mountains and just float around for hours and hours. Then, we spent a night in a crazy German hotel, where I ate lamb! It was delicious, I recommend it. We saw several glaciers and actually walked through one briefly! After some winding roads down the mountains, we arrive in the capital, Bern. That city was so amazing. Complete with a clock tower decked out with the signs of the zodiac. I saw the National Olympic Committee building, a small village in France on the border of the lake and I saw the Jura mountains.
The nightlife, however, was a new teenage world. Aside from my terrible French, we all had fun! All of the teenagers spoke mediocre English, and I spoke mediocre French, so we made it work. The atmosphere and attitudes of every single person in Switzerland was so different than the attitudes we find here in the States. Also, Siwss boys sing exceptionally well when they have a couple beers….just saying!
My trip home, that could be a story within itself. After a successful flight from Geneva to D.C., I was pretty pumped about getting home. After sliding through customs, I see my flight has been delayed an hour. And that was okay, because I was starving. Around the time my flight was supposed to leave, it was delayed again. Then again. Then it was cancelled. I wanted to cry, because I was so eager to get home and see everyone! I couldn’t bear staying overnight in D.C. Luckily, another flight to Charlotte had openings, so I was booked to leave around 10 p.m. Well, the time rolls around, and I’m delayed again! After several more delays, angry people, tears from me, another cancellation and re-booking, I’m on the plane! And it’s just midnight. My final flight was scheduled to leave at 10:15, but it didn’t start boarding until midnight-ish. Go figure.
I was so happy to be home, you have no idea. The whole experience didn’t really hit me until a few days after I returned home, and I realized it hadn’t been an outer body experience, or a crazy dream. I really had been to Switzerland. Being there helped me realize that the world is so enormous, and you don’t ever realize it by staying in one place. I finally understood that I don’t need to limit myself to anything, I can achieve anything I put my mind to! I shouldn’t keep my expectations small like the town I live in. I got a small taste of that when I went to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe this past spring break. There’s so much to see, and so much to do; I don’t see how anyone could live their life without wanting desperately to see the world.
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