Monday, April 30, 2012

Luzern (land of swans and rare birds)

Luzern is my favorite of all the towns I visited in Switzerland. It has incredible history that is so well preserved, and lots of nature. There are countless swans swimming in its main river.
The water is incredible shades of black, teal, and green.
This wooden bridge has numbered panels hanging from the ceiling that tell a story in German and with illustrated paintings that are hundreds of years old.
The currents of the water create beautiful landscapes on the surface.
 little blonde ducks
While in town, I noticed people walking along the bridge of an old castle wall on a hill in the distance and made my way up to it.
rock formations
On the castle walk-way.
The view was breathtaking. I got to spend a good 20 minutes up there by myself before anyone else arrived. 
 
koi pond
 A blue painting in the window of an artist's studio: "blue poem."
 On the bridge of stories, little cabinets house shrines like this one.
 water like gathered silk
 nesting swan
 two different bird species built adjoining nests and were getting quite upset with each other. They eventually calmed down and just settled on top of their eggs. It was very sweet.
A beautiful statue that looks out on the harbor. She has Cleopatra eyes.
 Incredible waters.
 SO many swans!
Pigeon friends.
This is where I spent my last full day in Switzerland, and I was very happy about that decision.
Happy Monday!
xo, Amanda

the hike from Gais to Appenzell

 
A morning hike I took from Gais to Appenzell on the only day the skies were clear enough to see the alps. I've never seen such expanses of green ahead of me before. I met some very sweet and friendly goats along the way and got to walk through some patches of tall black pines (something I find very iconic of Switzerland/Germany). 
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!
xo, Amanda

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Munich

Slowly but surely, I want to do a series of posts about my trip to visit my friend Eleanor in Switzerland! Last year, I got so overwhelmed with all the things I wanted to share from Europe that I ended up sharing practically nothing. I am going to try to break things down into segments so I don't fall off the band wagon. Here we go!
For Eleanor's birthday, we decided to leave Switzerland; and so we took three trains and a ferry across Lake Constance to Germany to spend the night in Munich.
Around 10 pm, we finally arrived at our hotel, which had a balcony that looked out on some lovely construction. But still, we had a balcony in Munich!
By the time we got into city center, the only place still serving food was a bar called Margarita's. Everything was red with black and white photos all over the walls, and they projected clips of people dancing from mid-century movies set to modern music, mostly hip hop, from a DJ. It was so up our alley - such a happy accident!
The next day, we explored the city.
We had an amazing Venetian breakfast at a fantastic place called Cafe am Beethovenplatz. If you ever go to Munich, you have to eat here! The food is insanely delicious and they have jazz brunch on Sundays.
(they give you a bread basket with the most incredible homemade jam)
video
We were so lucky. We had no idea there was going to be any music when we arrived, and we happened to arrive slightly before this mother-daughter ensemble ("Ensemble Jasmin") performed. They played piano, cello, violin, and brass. It was so beautiful. We stayed for a couple of hours and drew and listened to them play.
Our waitress, who was so nice and comforting for two American girls traveling in another country, tried to get us to stay another night and let us see the beautiful hotel above the restaurant. This room was so insanely gorgeous. We didn't end up staying, but we want to go back someday!
We wandered a bit more and then hopped our many trains home, ending our 24 hour stint in Munich. We got back to Switzerland and went to a concert in Saint Gallen and then went home to Gais.
It was such a fun weekend.