Switzerland and Greece Retrospective, 14Apr2014: Happy Passover!

Right now I’m in Switzerland visiting my brother, who is here doing a term-long project so that he can get his Mechanical Engineering degree… It’s very interesting and completely out of my realm of academic experience.  The rest of my family is in New York, doing family Pesach together.  This is the first year I’ve missed in forever, and it’s a little sad to not be there.  I do like that the two members of the family who cannot be in New York are at least together.  

Today Sam and I walked all around Zurich, admired the trains (THE TRAINS HERE GIVE ME RAPTURES THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL) and climbed a cathedral tower.  We also saw a really cool old statue of Charlemagne.  It was in the crypt which was a little odd, but it was very imposing.  It was sort of crude and powerful, and it exuded Charlemagne-ness.  I don’t know how to say this well.  Some statues and art feel like what they portray.  I’m not sure if this is a synaesthesia thing or just a “this artist was really good” thing.  Monet’s paintings always feel like what they portray to me.  Similarly, this statue of Charlemagne was abrupt and plain and powerful, which is roughly how I imagine him.  The statue had a huge metal sword and a huge metal crown, and it was far larger than life.  It made a big impression on me.  It reminded me of The Song of Roland.

While I was in Israel and Greece, I was traveling more or less without a plan.  I wound up in Crete for a couple of weeks, volunteering at a little Nature Park with people from Germany and the UK.  We’re definitely staying in touch, and I think we will all see each other again at some point.  I almost didn’t want to leave Crete, but coming to Switzerland to see my brother was a good decision.

From the left:  Sabrina from Germany, me, Grant from the UK, and Marie from Germany, crossing an invisible bridge.  

From here on out my trip gets much more planned.  I’m going to France and visiting various friends, possibly doing a little sightseeing, and then heading on to England.  I have a maximum of two weeks in France and a week in England, but I may mess with those ratios a bit… I’m still flexible, just less so than before, since I have a list of people I want to visit.  It’s a different kind of travel, but I think it will still be fun, and seeing my friends is something I am REALLY looking forward to.  I’m also looking forward to practicing and hopefully improving my French, and seeing some beautiful chateaux.  

I know more about French history than I do about the other countries I’ve been to so far.  I know a lot of Greek Mythology, but I’m fuzzy on the actual history.  In France I know a fair amount of the history, so visiting should be educational as well as fun.  I’m also going to eat a stupid amount of cheese and bread and continue the Hunt for the Perfect Eclair.  

My brain and this post are both a bit scattered right now.  Maybe something more coherent will happen at a later date.  Love from Switzerland!


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