Hey there, friends! I’m Tiffany and I blog over at Figuring Out The Plot ! I am SO excited to be here guest blogging for Kit as she is off galavanting around Europe! And because I’ve been watching her countdown to her trip with envy, and because she said I could write about anything I wanted, I thought I’d share a part of my European adventure circa 2009 with you!
I had always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the money/time/courage to do it. Well, after I took the dreaded bar exam was the perfect time for the trip! My cousin Whitney and I headed off on the trip of a lifetime. Where was our main destination? Switzerland! Now, you might wonder why Switzerland? And I’ll be honest, it was not the first European country on my list (I was more of a Tuscany, Greece, South of France kind of girl!) But….my dear cousin Sean lived in Switzerland and that equated to a free couch and breakfast every morning. Switzerland it was!
Let me tell you, that free couch was the least impressive part of our trip! Switzerland was completely beautiful and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I would go back in a heartbeat! Here were a few highlights:
Swiss National Day
We happened to arrive in Switzerland on August 1, which is Swiss National Day (sort of like their version of Fourth of July). My cousin lived in a tiny village, Cully, along the shore of Lake Geneva. Well for the holiday, his village went in with three other villages and chartered a boat to take everyone from the villages on a sunset cruise. So. Much. Fun!
Chocolate and Cheese
I mean, the subtitle there really says it all, doesn’t it? We took a train ride up into the Alps where we toured (and had lots of free samples!) at a chocolate factory. Then, on the way back, we stopped at Gruyere and had some amazing fondue. While there we checked out the countryside and the adorable houses.
Montreux and a Castle
We also spent a day in the city of Montreux–famous for its annual Jazz Festival that we missed by a month. Even without the jazz music, it was a beautiful city and we had so much fun exploring the streets, the water, and the Castle de Chillon!
The Olympic Museum
Our final day in Switzerland we had debated taking the train to Paris, but then decided we were trained out. Instead, we headed to Lausanne to check out the Olympic Museum. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip! If you’re a sports fan, this is a must see for you!
So….if you are planning a European vacation, I can’t recomment Switzerland enough. It was beyond amazing! Come on over to visit at Figuring Out The Plot , and feel free to read more about the rest of my European adventure!
I’m the girl behind Jenni Austria Germany, a blog where I post pictures of my life in (you guessed it) Austria and Germany and share travel stories, awkward encounters with Europeans (oh, cultural differences….) and little quotes from my Polish boyfriend (he’s pretty ridiculous).
But today, I am here with you. And we’re going to talk about Italy.
Yes, I thought that since Kit is currently running around Rome, I should share some Italian love in her honor.
Here we go….
1. The carbohydrates
Whether focaccia, bruschetta or just plain pasta, Italy does carbs like no other country. When I take trips, I try to prepare a budget; a column for food, a column for drinks, a column for clothes, a column for lodging, etc. Well, let’s just say that when I go to Italy, the “food” column gets, shall we say, special treatment.
2. The pizza
Yes, I realize this should technically be grouped with #1. But Italian pizza is in a league of its own. I remember reading Eat Pray Love soon after it was released, bewildered by the thought of Liz Gilbert consuming an entire pizza on her own and then (!) ordering another (????). Fast forward to 2008: Once I visited Italy myself and experienced the pizza firsthand….well, it just made perfect sense to me. Liz Gilbert is right – one pizza is never enough.
3. The Italian pride
In some countries, you walk through the streets, you mingle among the people, you duck in and out of shops and you blend right in. If you’ve been traveling a lot – backpacking through different countries, for instance – you might even forget where you are. You might stop and ask your friend, “Wait, where are we again?” or “What country is this, anyway?”. Well….not in Italy. No. This does not, and cannot, happen in Italy. The Italians are, just, too Italian for that to happen. And that, in my opinion, is one of the most charming and unique things about the whole country.
4. The canoli
“Leave the gun, take the canoli”. I had to throw a Godfather reference in here at some point, right? But really, when you’re in Italy, you have to try the canoli. And by “try”, I mean you should allow for 10-20 euro of your budget (if you have one) to be spent on nothing but canoli. And if you don’t have a budget, then just spend all your money on canoli. It’s simple, really.
5. The gelato
Take everything I said about #4, minus the Godfather reference, and apply it to #5. You won’t be sorry. Trust me.
6. The Vespas
Growing up, I thought it would be amazing to be British (the accent, come on), cool to be Romanian (gymnastics, hello) and ideal to be French (Belle from Beauty and the Beast was French, need I say more?). I don’t think I ever really wanted to be Italian. My first trip to Italy, however, changed that. With every scooter that zoomed past me, I cursed my ancestors for not being Italian. Yes, I know – anyone can ride a Vespa. I see them in Germany and France all the time. But not everyone can ride a Vespa and look so….Italian. Sigh.
7. The views
The landscape in Italy makes me question if my camera card has somehow turned into the Google Image database. I’m always shocked to find that my little baby amateur camera took so many postcard-ish photos. I must give credit where credit is due, however. Neither my camera’s features nor my photography skills are responsible for the beauty that these photos radiate; that, my friends, is allll Italy.
Can’t wait ’til you get back.
I’m expecting you to make your own list of why you love Italy, deal?
Stay tuned for my list when I get back!!!
Make sure you check out Jenni’s blog!!!
Thanks again Jenni!