I was looking forward to the past weekend for several weeks now! One of my best friends from back home was visiting for his spring break, and we decided to plan a trip to Interlaken, Switzerland. It also happened to be an amazing gift, as that weekend was my birthday weekend!
We flew into Zurich and then took a train out to Lucerne and then Interlaken. The three hour train ride was absolutely stunning, with snowcapped mountains surrounding blossoming fields and crystal-blue lakes and rivers. Once we arrived in Interlaken, we decided to take hike up to the village of Murren. Our timing was a little off, as we decided to start the hike a bit before the sun would set. Because of this, we had to run to catch one of the last cable cars going to the village in the pouring rain, with little light remaining. Obviously, this was hilarious to look back on once we had reached the tiny Swiss town. Here, we decided to enjoy some traditional fondue with baked potatoes and bread, and it was amazing! After dinner and a few hot chocolates, we headed back into Interlaken for a movie night in.
We had an early morning the next day, as we had planned an early morning kayak trip. This also happened to be my birthday, and was an amazing gift from my parents! We were able to see beautiful waterfalls and ancient ruins, all while paddling through crystal blue water that was surrounded by enormous mountains. Our tour guide urged us to try the lake water, and it was so refreshing! That night, we headed to Grindelwald, another mountain village. I decided to attempt to have a homey meal by taking my friends out to an Indian restaurant! I was super excited to be able to eat something the food that I had grown up on thousands of miles away from my family in a remote ski village. My friends tried Indian food for the first time and fell in love with it, which was also something to celebrate!
Once we left Switzerland, it was time to show my friend Matt around Rome! The following weekdays were full of amazing weather, and we were able to take Matt to our favorite restaurants and spots. There was also an Opera that we could go to with our program, and it was an amazing cultural experience.
During this week in class, we learned more about the context of politics within each major religion, and were able to discuss whether there should remain an intersection. I presented on Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel, and learned a ton of information about a world-topic I knew very little on. It was also interesting to hear from Jewish classmates about their positions on the topic, especially as I never had to opportunity to hear from this minority throughout my past studies.
Friday rolled around and Matt had to unfortunately leave. After sending him off, I started packing for my next trip: Greece!