Beyond the Emerald Isle
- Blog Post by: Paul Lundberg
- October 22, 2013 - 4:10 AM
While it may be hard to believe it, I am actually in Ireland for school. This entitles me to a fall break right? That is correct, ten days of traveling Europe. My travels brought me to London, Prague, Interlaken, and Geneva. London ways spectacular, Prague was full of surprises and Switzerland (Geneva and Interlaken) were absolutely splendid.
I arrived in London at night allowing me to see instantly the night life and lit up building such as the iconic Big Ben and impressive Westminster Abbey. The first day I went to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace. People were crammed into tight spaces in hopes of getting the best picture possible. After attending the Changing of The Guards I continued to Westminster Abbey. This was one of the top experiences for me in London. Westminster is full of such a rich history. In addition the architecture present was absolutely staggering. After ending my visit at Westminster a walk around the city was needed. It unfortunately rained most of the day, but I managed to stay relatively dry.
The next day consisted of mastering the Tube (subway). After an initial blur of lines and which color to take mastery of the tube was found. I went to the British museum, Kensington Palace, the famous Abbey Road, and many other sites around London. To end the day myself and those traveling with me went out to dinner to celebrate a birthday.
The next morning it rained again, but it was the departure day. After an early visit to the Tower of London I hoped on a train to the airport. The plane was bound to Prague of the Czech Republic. This was one place I did not know what to expect. London I knew Big Ben, Westminster, etc. It was to my great delight that Prague was one of the most beautiful sites. The easiest way to describe it is a giant palace. To further add to the delight is the low cost of living. To put it in perspective I was able to buy two large meals for about three dollars. That is because the currency exchange rate. Prague itself consisted of a tour of the city, visiting the largest castle in Europe, and night life in the Old Prague Square.
Soon my time in Prague expired and I began the trek to Switzerland. I arrived in Interlaken, Switzerland in the evening as I did in London. The difference was the Alps were not light up. It was not until the next morning that I saw the splendor of the Alps. It is quite strongly a saw dropping experience. The first day in Interlaken a few traveling companions and myself walked the city of Interlaken. We walked to the lakeshore which presented an incredible view with mountains as a back drop. We even managed to stumble upon a 13th century castle. It was a day which can best be described by the motto “We should do that!”
The adventure continued the next day as the same group of us hiked the Alps. We ascended roughly 1500 meters summating one of the lesser mountains in the Alps. It rendered one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. It was most rewarding after a near 4 hour ascent. The hike back down was filled with amazement at what had been accomplished, but was bitter sweet as our departure was the next day. Before my departure I went to a ropes course. The easiest way to describe this is a playground 20 meters up in the trees for adults. It consisted of over 20 sip-lines and countless obstacles pushing a person to the limits of balance and strength. It was further enhanced with the Alps in the back ground.
Once the ropes course had been completed it was time to travel to Geneva. The 3 hour train ride was stunning as the whole ride consisted of the beautiful landscape of Switzerland. I did not get the opportunity to do much in Geneva as it was simply a stop point before our trip back to my home away from home, Spiddal Ireland. The trip consisted of a train, plane, bus, and a cab. It was a welcoming experience to once again step foot in the cottages that I have come to know and love. Now back to that thing known as school…
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