My trip to Europe actually started with a pit stop in Michigan. From there I flew to Geneva, Switzerland. A large reason I wanted to head to Europe was to meet up with my friend Andy Ries, who lives in Geneva. Throughout my stay I would use Andy's place as a home base. I stayed in Geneva for a couple days before flying to Paris for the weekend. My Seattle friends Brooke and Meagan were already there waiting for me. I spent two days with them before I was on my own. Once they left everything seemingly started to go down the tubes. My hostel was incredible, in a bright blue neon light shining through the window of my musty body oder infested room kind of way. At least I brought a pillow case. The day before went back to Geneva I managed to hurt my foot just from walking too much? Mental note: vans shoes are not sufficient. I still managed to get a wee bit of sleep and see most of the city (except the Louvre). Some highlights were the Eiffel Tour, magic bread, and Versailles.
After returning to Geneva from Paris I didn't know if I could go on! I had to rest and let my foot try to heal. The injury was still a mystery; immense pain when walking but no swelling or bruising. I laid low for a few days and decided I had no other choice but to go The Netherlands. Tara, my friend from college, was nice enough to show me around her city and let me stay at her place. Her boyfriend, Bart, is dutch so getting around was pleasant. It rained all three days I was there but we made the best of it. We even managed to squeeze in a boat trip on the canal, fully stocked with Heinekens.
Before I took off to Italy I had the chance to visit yet another friend, who lives in Spain. Carceres is a beautiful town with amazing old streets and small alley ways. During the four days I was there I had a cold and ended up blowing my nose while hobbling around on a messed up foot. I probably looked like a wreck.
My limited time in Caceres ended with the shortest trip of my life:I took a train from Carceres at 9am to get to Madrid by noon. I hopped on a flight at 4pm headed arrived in Barcelona at 6pm. I had 12 hours to ramble before my 6am flight to Rome took off. I was able to squeeze in a few breath-taking hours at La Sagrada Familia followed by a walk across town and a night bus tour. From what I saw, I would love to go back. Preferably for a bit longer next time.
As you may notice, I haven't posted any photos of Spain. That's because on my way out of Italy I left a bag full of hard drives and camera cards on the train. They are indeed gone forever. At the bottom of this page I have a few cell phone snaps which are the only images I have of places like Gevena, Caceres, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and Florence.
Leaving Italy I returned to Switzerland. This time it was with my family and we headed north. The swiss landscapes are simply shocking. We stayed in the Morschach area and made day trips to other surrounding cities. My highlight was a $10, 1950's rucksack find at a Swiss army military surplus store. On my birthday we took a train through Zurich with our final destination being Stuttgart, Germany. We stayed in Stuttgart for two days before heading back to the USA.
These people have no idea that I took their photo. I could probably get in trouble for this, but I thought they were all so beautiful.
These are a few glimpses at missing dSLR scenes taken on my iphone. After I realized I had left the bag full of precious memories on the train it took me a few days (okay months) to recover. Switzerland are the first three, Spain the fourth and fifth followed by Italy.