Montreux, Switzerland

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blogging while traveling is tough!
I knew it would be...but I want to make the effort to post at least brief details as we go along our trip.
To make it more manageable, I decided to post just one picture and a few thoughts/descriptions from now until the end of our trip.
I can expand more on each place once we're home.

Posting only one photo is going to be difficult!
We are visiting incredibly beautiful places everyday with so much to see!!
But I will try to choose one picture that best represents each location for us.

Above is a picture of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland.
We took a train from Geneva to Montreux to see Chateau de Chillon.
We had the option of taking a bus from the train station to the Chateau or taking a 40 minute walk there.
We opted for the walk, and I am so glad we did!
The Chateau was incredible, but that walk was probably the highlight of our day.
It is right along the water of Lake Geneva and you can't beat those views of the snow capped alps!
We found this round dock along the way where you feel like you are in the middle of it all.
It's not hard to see why--out of the eight countries we've visited thus far--Switzerland is our top choice for beauty!

Sorry About the Silence!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Yes, we are still alive!
Sorry about the silence, but we are on a cruise and have had very limited access to internet since we boarded.
I'm writing from a McDonalds in Split, Croatia. 
I have never been so grateful for McDonalds!
We are having an amazing time on the cruise!!
It is nice to have a break from traveling via trains and lugging our suitcases around wherever we go.
We can't complain about the unlimited "free" food too :)

I wanted to let family know that we are aware of what is going on in Thailand (luckily there is current news on the ship) and we are hopeful that it will not affect our travel plans there in a couple of weeks.
None the less, we will continue staying up-to-date with the news and be cautious about where we travel to.
We will be staying with locals there which has also been helpful and comforting as they can give us insight on how things are over there.

Anyway, can't wait to continue posting soon!
We have seen some truly incredible places and feel very blessed to be on this trip together.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What more can we say about Lucerne except it was incredible!
From the second we hopped off the train we knew this place was on its own level.
It didn't take long for us to come to the conclusion of that this was the most beautiful place either of us has ever been.
It seriously felt like we were we in a dream land the whole time. 
As in we would constantly look at each other and say 'is this place for real?!'

The water is the prettiest blue and there are swans everywhere.
It's like they don't allow anything but beautiful things in this town!
The bridge in a few of the pictures above is called the Chapel Bridge (or Kapellbrucke).
It dates back to the 14th century and is one of the symbols of Lucerne.

We only had about 6 hours in Lucerne between our train from Zurich to Geneva, so we used that time to explore Old Town.
There are lots of shops and restaurants in that area and some great chocolate stores!
We also walked along the Musegg Wall - which looks like a big castle wall - and saw some great views of the city.

We ate our lunch on this red bench overlooking the Musegg Wall. 
Not a bad view!
It really made our PB&Js taste so much better.

Being one of those tourists.

How cute is this bike?

And above is what is likely the world's happiest cat.
Just laying on a patch of glorious Swiss grass while locals come by and pet him as they walk up the steps.
Sounds like a great life.

Another big symbolic landmark of Lucerne is the Lion Monument, which - according to the sweet old volunteer tour guide we met - commemorates the Swiss mercenaries who died protecting the French king during the French Revolution.

6 hours was not enough in this beautiful place, but we are so happy we stopped by!!

Hallo from Munich!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It was tough leaving Paris, but we were both so excited for Munich!
We practiced our German accents on the train ride over.
Derek has it down pretty good. Mine still needs some work.
We have loved taking the trains from country to country.
You can see so much more this way as opposed to flying.
It's incredible how each country has it's own unique architectural style.
You can tell when you are in a new country by the design of the homes and buildings.
Our first stop in Munich was the Augustiner-Heller beer garden.
For being a non-drinker, I was surprised at how much I loved the concept of a beer garden.
People outdoors, eating, drinking, having a good time.
No one was being obnoxious; people were just enjoying each others company and making new friends.


 This is what Mormons do at a beer garden: eat huge pretzels!
Since the weather was cooperating nicely we checked out the English Garden, which is one of the largest urban parks in the world.
This park may have trumped the Parque de Retiro in Spain for me.
So green and quiet and peaceful.
I'll let the pictures do the talking.


We could have literally spent all day there!
Another fun part about this park is that--while most of it is very serene and peaceful--there is a beer garden inside with lots of fun mingling going on.
Derek had a very German lunch consisting of bratwurst and country potatoes.
I, on the other hand, had a salad...because that is what a vegetarian eats in Germany!

So far our favorite things about Munich are:
- How clean and organized it is. It feels like a very safe and livable city.
- The lively people. It could be all the beer, but everyone seems to be having a real good time.
- The outfits. We're not sure if there was some special occasion going on, but we were surprised to see many people (including younger people) dressed in traditional German clothing.
We get one more day in Munich before heading to Switzerland!

Bonjour from Paris!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

a couple in front of the Eiffel Tower

"Bonjour!", "Au revoir!", "Merci and "S'il vous plaît". 
That is about as much French as we have in our vocabulary. 
Oh, and "Crêpe". We know that one very well.

We are absolutely LOVING Paris.
Derek has been here briefly before for work, but this is my first time.
We keep looking at each other and saying, "what do you think, should we live here??"
The answer is yes, of course.
Everything about Paris is beautiful.
Every building is so historic and I love the uniformity.
We are staying in a gorgeous apartment we found on Airbnb where we get to wake up to this view:

Rooftop view of Paris

And check out the rest of the place. 
I had to get pictures of all of it because it is basically my dream apartment!!

a bright and beautiful apartment in Paris, France.

Incredible, right?!
The apartment is also in a great location so we have been getting around by foot or using the metro.
Our first day we walked to the musée du Louvre.

A couple in front of the Louvre Museum

We haven't gone inside yet, but even walking around the outside was impressive.
It's incredible how clean and well kept all of the buildings look after so many years.

Of course we visited to Eiffel Tower our first day in Paris.
I couldn't wait to see it in the flesh!!
'Makeout under the Eiffel Tower' was seriously on my bucket list.

A couple kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.


We will show this picture to our kids one day to gross them out :)

It has been sprinkling on and off since we got to Paris, so I was thrilled that the sun came out while we visited the Eiffel Tower. 
We were even able to have a makeshift picnic of bread, cheese, greek yogurt and fruit.

In the evening we headed up Montmartre which is a hill with an incredible view of the city.
We went at the perfect time to watch the sunset.

A view of the city of Paris from Montmartre

Steps up to Montmartre in Paris, France.

Our Parisian adventure continues until Friday.
Au revoir for now!