A Dr. Seuss Sort of Week

How did it get so late so soon?

 

I’ve hear those words running through my head many many times—I heard them watching my brother drive off to college, and when I gazed out from the theatre stage the night before my last performance, sitting on my front porch at 2 am on the day of high school graduation, meeting in a parking lot to share one last hug with a dear friend before I left Drake for winter break, waving quickly goodbye to my parents before we lost sight of each other in O’Hare’s departures gate.

 

A Volkswagen Parade

A Volkswagen Parade on Saturday

And just yesterday as I lay on the grass in the park at Kampa Island and set my pen to the page of a fresh journal those words came back to me again.

 

Kampa Island

Kampa Island

I know I’ve got a month left to enjoy here, so I won’t go full blown melancholic. But knowing we’re on the home stretch has produced a mixture of emotions, and has lit a metaphorical fire under my behind to live up these remaining days.

 

Part of Prague’s charm that I will miss most is the way you can walk anywhere and find multiple cafés, restaurants, parks, or pubs within a four block radius. Especially in the city center, the narrow streets run willy-nilly and become home to hidden little shops and eateries. In some of my first weeks here I was on a sort of café-crusade, trying to frequent as many as I could (and trying as many cakes and pastries as I could get my hands on). In the past few weeks I’ve resurrected the hunt, enjoying little tucked away cafes and returning to some favorite spots. The search has expanded to include parks, which now are green and lined with blossom laden trees. In many ways, this week could be accurately dubbed as “Seven Days of Food, Flowers, Drink, and Dessert.” I figure this is a fine way to continue the Easter celebration, right?

 

A quick run-down of the finds, favorites, etc:

  1. I Need Coffee. No that’s not a personal motto. It’s the name of a tiny café near Charles Square where I joined Alyssa and Olivia on Tuesday morning to work on homework. The peppermint iced tea was delectable, and the lack of Wifi meant that I cranked out some work on an essay that’s been languishing in the corner of some folder for way too long.
  2. Kavarna Slavia: Kavarna is the Czech word for coffee house or café, but instead of coffee Olivia and I enjoyed a savory crepe. It had real vegetables (ok so the vegetables we normally eat here in Prague are “real.” We were just excited that it wasn’t some form of cabbage, potato, or otherwise pickled/minced food)
  3. FreshpointL A large cheese pizza to die for. A ten minute walk and seven dollars later and I am one happy girl. In fact, I still have a piece waiting in the refrigerator—here’s to leftovers lunch!
  4. Hemingway’s Bar: Quite possibly the classiest establishment I’ve been to in Prague (aside from Café Louvre). With lovable pictures of the namesake decorating the walls, we all raise our glasses to that one guy we all read in high-school (ok I do have a bit of a soft spot for him). And then we laugh that one of the “bar rules” forbids use of crude language since we imagine that he would have probably broken said rule.
  5. Petrin Park: On the castle side of the river, the infamous Petrin Hill is crowned by the mini Eiffel Tower. Near the bottom of the hill, however, the towering trees and rocks give way to open green grass dotted with patches of orchards. A perfect place for an afternoon sit, Liv and Lyss and I enjoyed some journaling there and soaked in the sun before classes began.

 

 

Last week I wrote about my first Easter away from family. And though it was tough not being able to celebrate with the fam, I luckily got the next best thing—a visit from another friendly face from home. Longtime friend Alec and his travel companion Matt came to Prague as part of a spring break odyssey. They are both studying in Wales and are using these two weeks to see as much of central Europe as time and their wallets can manage.

 

Reunited in Prague

Reunited in Prague

They arrived Wednesday morning and over the next few days I got to join in on their site-seeing and exploring, as well as take them to a few of my favorite spots. We met Wednesday afternoon in Hany-Bany, a tiny pub frequented by university students and boasting an “aggressively cheap” (as my friend Gaby puts it) menu. Over happy hour beers we chatted before taking a trip to my neighborhood. We enjoyed the evening in the Letna park and beer garden, then joined in on the birthday celebration for Carly, a girl from my program.

 

The Mirror Maze

The Mirror Maze

Thursday included a mix of site-seeing and hiking (in Prague the two tend to coincide). Aside from the more iconic places, we also stopped at a mirror maze (which provided great photo-ops) and enjoyed the Petrin gardens and river walk. The castle was closed Thursday due to an EU meeting, but luckily Alec and Matt were sticking around until Friday so we made the climb (again) up through Lesser Town to the Castle Quarter and toured around Tyn Cathedral. I had to scoot off for Jewish History class so we said farewell. Though brief, it was a comfort to spend time with someone from home.

Another visit to the castle!

Another visit to the castle!

 

Matt and Alec at Lennon Wall

Matt and Alec at Lennon Wall

At the tail end of the Jewish history class, which consisted of a field trip to the Pinkus and Spanish synagogues, as well as a return visit to the Jewish cemetery, the blue sky turned gray and started spitting. I of course had not remembered my rain jacket so I decided to make a run for it. It was a delightfully funny scene running through Old Town square—the Easter Market goers were all frantically scurrying around trying to seek shelter, meanwhile on a big tent-covered-stage a children’s choir was warming up for a concert with some less than angelic vocal exercises. Just as I ran past the Kafka Café (the building where Franz Kafka was born) I noticed my first Czech teacher, Zdena, standing in the archway of the adjacent building. She gave me a big hug (even though I hadn’t fared well in the rain) and we talked for a bit before I ran back out during a break in the rain. A much needed shower was followed by a second trip to Hany Bany with Olivia and Alyssa for some chicken schnitzel.

 

"Smile if you just had schnitzel"

“Smile if you just had schnitzel”

Yesterday I knocked another item off the “Prague Bucket List”—Lyss and Liv and I went paddle-boating on the Vltava! It was beautiful and sunny and we managed to follow almost all the given instructions (don’t go over the dam, don’t harass the people in the swan paddleboats, big boats go first, and go with the flow of traffic—we may have inadvertently broken that last one) The one set of sticky pedals also made for a great leg workout. We topped off the afternoon by lying in the grass on Kampa Island; I started writing in a new journal I’d bought that morning at a fashion market in Prague 7 and we watched the families and the dogs there enjoying the sunshine.

Paddleboating on the Vltava

Paddleboating on the Vltava

 

Someone went a little 'selfie' crazy during paddle-boating

Someone went a little ‘selfie’ crazy during paddle-boating

Hanging out on Kampa Island

Hanging out on Kampa Island

Six Tidbits From My Week:

  1. An elderly man helped me put on my sweater in the metro—at first I thought someone was trying to steal something from me. You can imagine my embarrassment.
  2. I managed to use enough Czech to help an Australian couple buy metro tickets.
  3. It rained on the way home. I got caught in it. I had no jacket. My shoes got muddy from all the construction work near my dorm but it was still a pretty good rain dance.
  4. The lilacs were in bloom in the peacock garden.
  5. I got to watch part of the canonization mass from my room via live stream. Here’s to at least one perk of my time zone!
  6. Dad pulled up Skype so I got to wish my cousin Caitlin Happy Birthday and say “hey” to the family.
Skyping with cousins--Happy Birthday to Caitlin, the newest teenager in the house!

Skyping with cousins–Happy Birthday to Caitlin, the newest teenager in the house!

‘Til next time

 

 

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Easter in Prague

Happy Easter!!!

 

I’ve once again broken my once a week rule with this blog post—but yesterday was Easter so you’ll have to cut me some slack.

 

Throwback picture to Berchtesgaden

Throwback picture to Berchtesgaden

Where to begin with all this jazz?

 

Monday thru Wednesday classes went smoothly. One treat was that for my Tuesday Contemporary Central European Politics class we got to take a little side trip to a small town called Mechenice. Our professor knows this town like the back of his hand, commenting on the people who live in the houses, the cost of the homes, the different eras in which the houses were built, even the effects of logging on the valley in which the town is situated. It was a short half an hour train ride out of Prague which also gave me the opportunity to chat with him about his take on many of the events occurring in Easter Europe at the moment. We also enjoyed a dill chicken dish (fantastic as the Czechs always are) as well as some beer and plum brandy before catching the train back to Prague.

The town my politics class visited

The town my politics class visited

The class taking a tour through Mechenice

The class taking a tour through Mechenice

That evening we had a meet and greet, snack, drink, and billiards/foosball night in the rec room with the kids from my program and all the parents who were in town. All this before celebrating the birthday of one of the girls in my program at “El Mojito.” After cheersing to the birthday girl as the clock turned twelve, myself and Alyssa sprinted back to the metro to catch the last one home. Let’s just say that both of us were struggling a bit—my exercise regime has obviously not been vigorous enough.

 

Once again my school week ended on Wednesday, and following our roommate tradition, my roommate Madeleine’s mom took us to La Casa Blu, our tried and true Mexican joint. It was somewhat a miracle too that all four of us roomies were in the same place at one time. Between travel, class, and exploring, often we don’t end up in the same place until late at night (at which point all of us are exhausted).

 

Easter Markets in Old Town

Easter Markets in Old Town

Unlike the past SEVEN weekends, this weekend I stayed in Prague. What a novel concept! I decided to try to take full advantage of this time and explore the city that I live in. So I dragged myself from bed early Thursday and walked around town. There’s a huge Easter market set up in Old Town Square and the tourists are out in full force. It was prime people watching complete with great Easter decorations, lively music, and street food of course! I ended up at a café and cranked out some school work before heading back to the dorm. Already in the Holy Week mood, Alyssa and Brooke I headed back to Malostranske namesti for a delicious dinner before the 6:30 English mass. I realized this is the first English speaking mass I’ve been to since I was in Italy (Mom, Dad, and I had a pretty hilarious experience finding the English mass in Rome but it all worked out, right Mom?) Until I was there participating in my own language, I didn’t realized how much I missed the English!

 

Easter Markets in Old Town

Easter Markets in Old Town

Following the trend of good food and company Alyssa, Brooke and I took the metro over to Namesti Miru to a neighborhood restaurant where our friend Ally’s parents were hosting the kids from our program. After an evening of delicious appetizers, beer, and some rousing rounds of Pictionary-telephone we returned to our beds. And the weekend had just begun!

 

Gaby and James playing Telephone-Pictionary

Gaby and James playing Telephone-Pictionary

Friday I woke up to rain, the sort of rain that makes you want to just curl up in bed with some hot chocolate and a good book. But somehow I managed to pull myself from bed, put on my rain jacket and headed out into the city. My partner in rainy crime, Alyssa, found an exhibition listing online at a local contemporary art museum called The DOX. Luckily the trams are not so easily deterred by the rain so we had a mostly dry commute there, except for the almost video worthy splashing we got waiting at the curb. The museum was a hit! A large part of the exhibition was propaganda or social commentary posters from the 20th and 21st centuries. At least for the ones we could read and understand, they were very interesting—many comedic, others simply disturbing. It’s amazing how a few years perspective can completely alter our understanding of a simple image or slogan.

Part of the Dox Museum

Part of the Dox Museum

We did eventually succumb to the rainy day syndrome—Casey and I spent the better part of the afternoon lazing around in our room and watching movies. Finally come 7ish we got our butts in gear again. Olivia’s family had been in town since Sunday and they took us to an Italian restaurant near our dorm. Their family reminded me a lot of my own, and for a while it felt like I was back in good ole Rockford, sipping wine and talking late into the evening, and finally calling it a night long after our bedtimes.

 

One of the many humorous posters at the Dox museum

One of the many humorous posters at the Dox museum

Saturday the weather looked up so Brooke and I ventured out into the city. Man was it packed!!! We discovered that the entire green line of the metro (the one we use to get everywhere) was closed down until Monday so we got to dust off our tram navigation skills. Although it certainly takes a longer time to get from point A to B, it’s nice to see where you’re going! We found a nice spot along the river and sat and chatted and journaled and napped. To our surprise, a local working one of the many boat tours along the river struck up conversation with us—it’s quite rare for Czechs to initiate conversation like that. Then he told us he was part Canadian. Maybe that explains his loquaciousness?:) Despite the crowds, we meandered through the Lesser Town and found some beautiful gardens before crossing back over the river for a late lunch and then some gelato in Old Town.

 

Gardens in Malostranska

Gardens in Malostranska

Gardens in Malostranska

Gardens in Malostranska

It was another quiet afternoon at home before Carl and I took a walk through the nearby Letna Park. The famous Prague metronome (which replaced the statue of Stalin) is located in the park, along with a great beer garden. The tulips are in full bloom, trees are full of blossoms, and spring in Prague has truly arrived!

 

Tulips in Letna Park

Tulips in Letna Park

Letna Park

Letna Park

Easter Sunday!!! It’s the first time I’ve spent it without family but luckily my family here decided to make it a daylong celebration. A group of us went to the English Easter mass and then we enjoyed our very American brunches at an English cafe, shared stories of Easter traditions, and then returned to our dorm to collect some wine. We parked ourselves in Letna park in the sun for a few hours chatting and drinking (and yes I got a but of sun) and taking in the beautiful weather. To top it off I got to Skype with my family and my good friend Megan. Talk about Easter blessings!

Easter Brunch at The Globe

Easter Brunch at The Globe

 

Casey and I in Letna Park on Easter Sunday

Casey and I in Letna Park on Easter Sunday

Madeleine and Rose enjoying Easter Sunday in Letna Park

Madeleine and Rose enjoying Easter Sunday in Letna Park

Fellow Drake Bulldog Kat and I on Easter Sunday

Fellow Drake Bulldog Kat and I on Easter Sunday. Instead of Drake Relays, we are enjoying Prague Spring.

Einstein Pizza for Easter Dinner

Einstein Pizza for Easter Dinner

Skyping with the family on Easter Sunday

Skyping with the family on Easter Sunday

‘Til next time

Vienna Waits for You

So last week, I was still alive after midterms, fresh off of a mountain retreat with four days in Prague to recover, work, attempt to do some normal living and explore. It’s a weird mixture of exhaustion, exhilaration, productiveness and much-less-than-productiveness that I experience each week. Thankfully I’ve gotten some pretty solid nights of sleep so I’ve been in good spirits and health.

 

We’re rolling back on the motorway to Prague and for probably eight or nine kids in my program they’ll be seeing their parents in just a few hours. This past week and the few to come are looking like “parents weekend, Prague style”. I’m riding back and realizing that this is the last trip I have firmly planned. I’m riding back and realizing that it is halfway through April. What?

 

Perfect end to a Monday night: pizza from a local joint and a Kozel

Perfect end to a Monday night: pizza from a local joint and a Kozel

We look back always and say, Gosh how did that fly by so fast? And then despite all the warnings about just how quickly our time here will pass we expect that in fact it will feel much longer. And some days it does, but most days I am just surprised to wake up and find that another twenty-four hours are gone, gone, gone.

 

Though panic hasn’t set in, I’m starting to realize how numbered these days are! I stopped at the post office to mail off another set of postcards thinking to myself that I’d better send them off soon or I’ll get home before they do!

 

Easter Eggs from the market

Easter Eggs from the market

It has been nice to have other parents visiting in Prague. My roommate Casey’s parents invited us all to a square-dance run by a friend of her dad. Some fifteen of us students showed up to find a packed dance hall of locals. They graciously welcomed us, helped us through the dances, and put up with some of our less than stellar dancing. For a few hours I felt like I was a part of their community, and part of the larger Czech culture.

 

By the time Thursday rolled around the last thing I wanted to do was schoolwork so Madeleine and I took the tram to a local forest preserve called Divoka Sarka. Our stroll turned into a hike, and we welcomed the cool, fresh air. Sitting on a bench overlooking a pasture without the hum of cars or the city skyline reminded me of being at my grandparents’ farm. For many of these experiences I find a reference to “home”—I try not to spend too much time obsessing about home or what is happening there, but there are always those moments that just feel so much like a place or a memory.

 

Telc

Telc

Friday bus time! Off to Vienna we went! We pit-stopped in the small Bohemian town Telc that looked like the set of a Wes Andersen movie for a lunch break and arrived in Vienna around 4 pm.

 

How do I describe Vienna? (or at least the parts of Vienna that I saw): Beautiful. Polished. Purposefully imperial (even though the days of the Empire are long gone). Clean-cut. And quite aware of its own beauty—but who wouldn’t be when you boast some of the most prestigious buildings, are the site of politically lynch-pin events and decisions, and have been called “home” by Mozart, Beethoven, famous intellectuals, infamous politicians (surprisingly Hitler and Stalin both were in Vienna in the same years), and the like?

 

Another Vienna Welcome

Another Vienna Welcome

We explored the surface of the city center on Friday night as we toured the Hofburg Palace, the Opera, the various cathedrals including St. Stephen’s, and a number of palaces which pop up on what seemed like every other street.

A group of us visited the local wine festival celebrating the wine from one of Austria’s nine states before calling it a night to rest up for a big day of touring.

 

Wine festival

Wine festival

Saturday morning a local Austrian guide toured us around. This was the first time we had a local telling us the stories—I always find it entertaining to hear their interpretation of events and the city’s status in the world. Most places we’ve been the natives claim that their city is the center of European life. Walking the streets of Vienna it is quite clear that it is a city of culture—the street buskers were the best I’ve heard!

 

Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace

When our guided tour ended, we set off on our own. After a semi-successful stop at the Naschmarkt, we continued on to the Belvedere Palace and the adjacent gardens before making our way to the Imperial Treasury. Jewels, relics, mosaics, statues, swords, royal regalia, and relics lined the walls. I laughed at how many of these items came from other Kingdoms that are now completely independent countries. Though the Habsburg Empire may have reached its end, the Austrians are still holding on to that tradition!

 

HUGE emerald at the Imperial Treasury

HUGE emerald at the Imperial Treasury

After a break at the Hotel Le France (a very classy establishment might I add) it was back out into the city for a night walk and some street-food. The night reached its end sipping on wine in the hallway, reflecting on the day and finding myself very thankful that the showers in the hotel were so nice. It is after, the small things in life that count.

 

This morning was another early start, but not quite as ambitious as our Berlin sunrise bike-ride. Instead after another delicious hotel breakfast we navigated through the Vienna Marathon blockades to the chapel for Palm Sunday mass. The Viennese boys choir sang at the mass, which effectively turned it into a tourist attraction. Though it wasn’t necessarily the ideal setting for mass, these opportunities provide good perspective and appreciation for the many different ways beauty presents itself.

Brooke and some of the Vienna lilacs

Brooke and some of the Vienna lilacs

 

We cheered on the marathoners as we walked briskly back to the hotel, checked out, and then joined the group on the way to the Schonburg Palace. Though the temperature had dropped and we could feel a bit of spitting rain, the manicured green grounds and gilded palace tour made up for it! After all, we’ve gotten incredibly lucky with sunny, warm weather—my slightly sunburned face is proof.

People, places, or things: I think I’d say people. But if not people, then certainly the places they lived, made decisions, and did their work. More than a pretty palace, we walked through the rooms where great rulers and artists lived and visited. At the end of the day they, like us, struggled with the tensions of relationships and the everyday life things like what to eat and wear. It’s always a good reality check to actually walk the same floors and see the same buildings frequented by the great figures of history. Though their impact and power and responsibilities far surpass any I may ever possess, they were people too. So maybe Ghandi’s words about “[being] the change [we] want to see in the world” could be interpreted alternatively: Live your life well, you never know when you will be in a position to do great good or great harm for many people.

Schonburg Palace

Schonburg Palace

 

It’s back on the bus and I recall several absurd but perfectly normal events from this week:

 

You split a balsa (some type of sausage in a bun) from a questionable but enthusiastic street vendor who keeps saying “Balsa, six karate, Barrack Obama!” (or something that sounds like that). You then eat two scoops of gelato. Twice.

You stop at a weird amusement park/shopping center with dragons and mice (not real ones) and buy crackers and rice cakes and end up eating weird cheese puffs and the Czech/German version of cocoa puffs.

Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace

All of this when you’ve just walked through the rooms where the ruler of the Austrian Empire lived, where JFK visited with Kruschev, and where Mozart performed for the Empress at six years old.

And you watch people running a marathon and cheer them on and decide once again that you should do that one day. So start training now.

You wait in a metro station munching on peanuts while Zdenek runs to find tickets since our bus is blocked in by the marathon course.

You go to a raging wine festival and bounce along to German electronic music and end up sitting in a park sharing wine and swapping life stories and ignoring some drunk winos harassing you and walk away quite happy and affirmed to know you will never be that belligerent wino.

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace

You sing as many Whitney Houston songs as you can think of in a town that looks like a movie set and you eat pancakes for lunch because it’s the best vegetarian option for a Friday. And because I’ll eat pancakes any time of day.

Speaking of breakfast: You stay in a swanky Hotel le France where the breakfast is what we call “the bomb” ie can it just be breakfast 24/7?

The bus gets pulled over by police for a random search. We swear we have no Russian, Ukrainians, or Crimeans aboard.

You get assigned roles in Carl’s imaginary kingdom (I was the librarian for anyone who cares to know) and listen to a playlist you made a couple years ago and bask in all it’s poppy summer glory.

You walk so much that your socks smell like a dead animal. You’re sitting in someone else’s room and finally realize that the stench is coming from your socks.

You look at the lance that everyone believed was the one that pierced Jesus’ side and that the Nazis stole and guarded during World War II. It was stolen multiple times across the years since it was obviously believed to possess great power. It turns out the lance was made centuries after Christ’s death; proof of the power of a myth.

 

What did I love most about Vienna? The lilac bushes. They are everywhere, bushes and bushes and bushes of lavender lilacs that smell like a cool summer night through an open window.

 

More lilacs

More lilacs

So from the Imperial Vienna we go, back to our own medieval Prague.

 

‘Til next time

 

 

In the Words of Olivia Brown: I’m Gonna Be One With Nature

It’s already April 6. Exactly three months and one day ago I boarded a plane bound for Brussels and began this whole adventure thing. Speaking of “began”—I read through my blog posts the other day and realized how frequently I used that word. Maybe it says something about the way I view my life, or maybe just my life here. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed here—the way I view my time is in an odd balance between the four months I have to “study abroad” and in the larger unknown number of days in which I can fill my life. There’s something a little more daring, a little less uncompromising about the choices I’ve made here, the way I step into the day “beginning” instead of living in one big loop where passage of time gets measured by semesters, school calendars, or seasons.

 

Where’s all this “reflective” stuff coming from? Just a little mountain time does the trick.

 

Breaking from the routine of the past couple weeks, this Thursday myself and three other girls from my program, Alyssa, Olivia, and Brooke set out on our own. The girls had already done the legwork on this trip—quite generously they extended the invitation to turn this weekend from a trio’s getaway into a quartet’s adventure.

 

So we leave Thursday 4 pm, just our backpacks and smiles. Destination: Berchtesgaden. That’s a small German town in the Bavarian Alps. Permit me a slight revision: “Is this heaven?” “No, this is the Alps.”

 

Our first train: how optimistic we looked!

Our first train: how optimistic we looked!

But to get to heaven ain’t an easy road, no, no, no. Our road consisted of fifteen hours of travel, four train transfers, four hours spent unexpectedly in a Salzburg train station, and a number of colorful characters along the way. By the time we arrived at our hostel Friday morning at 8 am, it is somewhat a miracle that any of us could function enough to deal with the check-in guide at our hostel. Also, the check-in (for those of you traveling to Berchtesgaden anytime soon) is located in the Burger King that is situated beneath the hostel. That’s way cooler than it sounds. We soon figured out that we were the only guests in the hostel, so we gleefully had the run of the whole outfit. We hit our lovely pillows, snuggled under those down comforters and it was lights out for the next four hours.

 

5:30 am Friday morning: about to board train number 3.

5:30 am Friday morning: about to board train number 3.

When we awoke, we fervently prayed that the worst was indeed behind us. Indeed, it was; as they say ‘it can only go up from here”

Yes I love nature.

Yes I love nature.

 

The next two days we thoroughly engaged in what Olivia repeated as her mantra: “I’m gonna be ONE WITH NATURE.” That meant waltzing (or sweating) around in our hiking gear through the Alps, crying a few times at the breathtaking sights, stuffing my face with leaves because they smelled so darned good (translation: I literally took fistfuls of leaves and smelled them), eating gummy bears and cinnamon bread for any and all meals, leaving the beaten path in search of the “mountain-fall” (that’s a waterfall for all other English speaking folks), actually frolicking through green meadows, and in general letting our hair down. We also relished the hot showers that didn’t have flooding problems. All in all, at the end of the weekend, there really wasn’t much left between us and nature. And that’s just the way we liked it.

 

Konigsee Lake

Konigsee Lake

Some hand standing

Some hand standing

Hiking to the "mountain-fall"

Hiking to the “mountain-fall”

Liv got a little ambitious...

Liv got a little ambitious…

This is what happy looks lie

This is what happy looks like

Hiking through the Alps

Hiking through the Alps

The solitude and the massiveness of nature, of those huge mountain faces and the deep turquoise waters brings such clarity. I relish the way the massiveness of it all challenges you—standing before something that isn’t easily conquerable or understandable, we want to reach and to climb even more.

Those Alps!

Those Alps!

Konigsee Lake

Konigsee Lake

 

And the topography reminds us that we aren’t that big. We’re pretty tiny in fact. That tiny-ness is a liberating thing.

 

Konigsee Lake

Konigsee Lake

‘Til next time