After a huge hike on our first full day in Interlaken, we were planning to do a light hike on our second day. Due to some unforeseen blister issues, there would be no hiking on this day. So we decided to take a bus out to Thun. Thun is pronounced like "toon." Don't make that mistake. The man at our hostel was stunned that we didn't know how to pronounce it. Thun turned out to be the most magical little town with a beautiful castle and church. There was also a festival going on while we were there, which was very funny because we got to observe all the Swiss youths in their punk glory. Also one of the coolest things were the surfers catching some sick waves in the canals that run through the town. At the end of the day, it started to thunder as we were finding our bus back to Interlaken. We got on the bus we thought we were supposed to be on only to be greeted by the meanest bus driver in the world who told us we have to get off because he wasn't going to our destination. He was the MEANEST. So then we trudged back to the train station, paid way too much for a ticket back and took an actually really awesome dark and stormy ride along the lake back to our tent village. What a day in Thun.
This is my second set in my series of "Just Passing Through." My first set from Utah is here. This is a project to help me record the places I go. The places that totally stun me into non-words. The places that are much too big for me to fathom or photograph, but I figure I'll try anyways. The places that exist and thrive completely without my being there. The places that make me feel small.
It took Ian and I a while to figure out where we wanted to go. We knew that he would be in Paris so I would join him for a bit of that. I demanded that we go to London for a weekend because I love it so much. But we had a return ticket from Paris to LAX scheduled for August 18th and no real idea of where to go after August 6th when Ian's program was over. We had to decide on a path. I had decided pretty early on that I wanted to go Spain, almost purely to see my favorite painting in Madrid. For a while we scrapped that and thought maybe Italy. Eventually it was decided that yes Spain would be happening, and perhaps Switzerland would too.
The cutest (or lamest) part about this decision was that it was made basically because of Rick Steves. He did a segment on the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland and we got way too excited about it. Mostly the cows. I was worried for a while that there wouldn't be enough cows to live up to my expectations but wowee there were. Rick Steves did the rich-white-dude-who-wanders-Europe thing and stayed in all the cute B&B's and took the funiculars and gondolas up the mountains. We did the poor student thing and used our legs to get up the mountain (that's not to say I didn't do a lot of complaining about hiking. Also it was surprisingly hot in Switzerland and I get mad in the heat. But I think complaining is part of the experience, right??) Rick Steves did, however, have some great recommendations of where to go.
We stayed at a tent village hostel in Interlaken. Interlaken is located between two lakes, Thun and Brienz. The town was much bigger than we thought and actually made for some very nice walks to and from the train station. I also had the best Thai food of my life there. From Interlaken we took the train up to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is where you can catch a gondola straight up the mountain, which connects you to a train that takes you to Mürren. But no, we walked up that mountain. It took about 3 hours. At this point we were just amazed at the places people lived in these mountains. There are entire villages on cliffs looking up to the gorgeous snowy peaks. We kept snapping pictures, only to find that we hadn't seen nothin yet.
From Mürren we walked down to Gimmelwald. Gimmelwald was exactly what I dreamed it would be. The small village is situated on a cliff overlooking a beautiful river. Across the gorge is the unreal mountain of Jungfrau, whose snowmelt made for the most gorgeous white lines along the rock face. If you stared long enough you could also see the little waterfalls feeding into the river a thousand feet below. The houses in Gimmelwald have the most perfect flowers and Swiss flags hung everywhere as well as cowbells much bigger than the ones that the very musical cows wear.
From Gimmelwald we finally took a gondola down. We would have hiked it but we were running out of daylight, so onto the most terrifying ride we went. It was quite a shock to suddenly descend 100 feet into the valley below within like 3 minutes. Once on the valley floor, we had a 3 mile walk back to the train station in Lauterbrunnen. This walk followed a river full of all the snowmelt we had just seen. The views from the ground were almost as amazing as up high. You realize how huge the mountain range is when looking up at them. In Lauterbrunnen we came across a campground. They had a few restaurants and seemed to be putting on some performances. We decided to eat dinner there and it ended up being the perfect finish to an awesome day. We saw some ceremonial cowbell ringing as well as some awesome singing and dancing. It was quite a time.
So overall, one of the most magical days of my life. I will never forget the way all the cows sounds together, eating and making music.
You can see my whole series here.
I've gotten rather burnt out on editing the photos from my trip so I am taking a break this weekend. It's FYF tomorrow which both sounds like a lot to do and very fun because heyoooo Kanye is playing now. Today I went to Kathleen's house and I took some quick photos of her. The way I edited these reminds me of how I edited things in like 8th grade when I first started to photoshop and just inverted all the colors in every photo because I thought it was edgy. Very silly and definitely not professional, but I think it fits the photos. Kathleen is just 2 cute and it was a fun day.
Nerja was our first stop in Spain. And it was way 2 beautiful 4 me. We spent a day at the most gorgeous beach and then wandering the beautiful white streets with gelato. I want to live in Nerja. Or when I'm a rich woman, have a vacation home there. This is a small part one of Nerja photos, I have some other plans for the rest of them, we shall see when I can put them up here.
I don't know, I guess I am going backwards in time now? Barcelona was our last stop on our journey, but I wanted to post these photos before other ones because I was so excited about them. Cocomont Vintage Shop sent me on my trip with this amazing dress and I was so excited to photograph it in just the right place. And that place is Park Güell in Barcelona. I've been wanting to see Gaudi architecture for so long, and I finally did! This dress just made me feel like art in a land of art. It was awesome. I have other things to say about Barcelona--and like a whole two weeks of traveling that I haven't even mentioned yet--but for now I just want to show off the most badass dress I own.
Wearing: Dress -- Cocomont Vintage // Shoes -- Simply Vera // Ear Climbers and Necklace -- Gorjana via Rocksbox
I was way too excited to go to Versailles, but I was also worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. But it did. It really did. I was also way too excited to wear my rococo skirt I got from SheInside. Side note on SheInside--it's cheap and kind of makes me suspicious but sometimes I find things I just can't resist, like this skirt. And it's actually excellent quality, so I was pleased. So I wore my skirt that definitely pegged me as an excited tourist, and we set off. When we got there, the entire front of the palace was mobbed. I was so nervous that we wouldn't be able to get in. But the best tip I can give you is to to the gardens first. We walked the gardens as I pretended to be Marie Antoinette looking over my grounds, complaining about the riff raff. We went all the way out to her farmhouse--which did not disappoint even my greatest expectations after the Sophia Coppola film. I thought it was hilarious that their vacation home is still within walking distance, but the estates were gorgeous. I have to say I would make the same place for myself if I were rich. It was amazing. So by the time we got back to the palace it was 5:30 PM. There was no line. "THE BIGGEST HEIST" we proclaimed as we thwarted the system. We even got to stay to see the Hall of Mirrors with no one in it. So Versailles, ya did me good.
Wearing: Skirt - SheInside // Top - Brandy Melville // Necklace - Gorjana via Rocksbox
Okay this will about do it for London, I think. Our last day was spent in Kensington and Hyde Park, just how I like it. We started at the delicious Coco Momo for breakfast in Kendington. We then went to the Natural History Museum--mostly because I think the architecture and the art there are wonderful. We continued to the Victoria and Albert and saw some cool sculpture casts, like my girl Judith slaying Holofernes. Then we just wandered about the parks and Kensington Palace. I wore my new jumpsuit, which was very hot-making but I powered through. Somehow every time I go into Gap I find something I want, as strange as it is. I was determined to wear this jumpsuit in London. It was good for romping in parks. We ended the evening with pizza at the delicious Homeslice--which I definitely recommend--and one more visit to Hyde Park to sit on a bench in the still of night.
Wearing: Jumpsuit - Gap // Necklace: Gorjana via Rocksbox // Sandals: Prabal Gurung for Target