Monday, July 26, 2010


^^^^ Fashionable poses (just look at the attitude and the windswept hair) in the capitol of fashion. Not to mention the expert photography hahah

I am really happy I decided to go along with Mansi's idea and head to Milan for the weekend. Ever hear Jay Z and Rihanna in umbrella? These lines come to mind

We Rockafellas
We fly higher than weather

haha so yea it was really hot in Italy. We were in a train car with a bunch of people decked out in hiking gear and when we emerged from a tunnel to a clear blue sky they all started cheering and applauding. It was a 5 hour ride but it went by pretty quick because we were playing cards. Fortunately I didn't lose that many times because we were playing loser drinks extra. =X Got to the station around lunchtime and went to drop off our bags.
The hostel was good just kinda random for example in the corner of the bedroom there is a small shower. It wasn't sectioned off at all just put in the corner. But hey it had clean sheets and reception open at 4 am for 27 chf a person. Left the hostel to go sight seeing and shopping. First we stopped off at Saint Mary of the Graces which houses the Last Supper. Unfortunately tickets to go in have been sold out for months and I was lazy and didn't come to Milan the night before and camp out to try to get canceled tickets in the morning. Next we went to see the castle in the middle of the town. Although I think the girls were more impressed with the shirtless Italians tossing around a football in the courtyard. Scott and I were unimpressed with their lopsided spirals. Went to see this arch that I guess commemorated something but Im not really sure what. Yea I was not such a great tour guide. haha.
After that we went shopping. Did you know Armani makes furniture? and has a hotel? neither did I but thats probably because you and I dont have private numbered bank accounts in Switzerland haha. Apparently the stores don't even have prices kinda like back at home in the ritzy stores or even in jewelry cases cause hey if you have to ask you can't afford it right? I didn't actually see most of these stores cause I offered to go with Mansi to the hostel since she still had all her stuff and had just come from Venice. Conveniently I charged my phone so we could have sat nav at night probably when we needed it the most and then got some spending money at the bank. Met back with the group and started walking through the shops. Mansi did the spinning on the bulls balls (signifies good luck) but I think we all passed cause there was a really long line and alot of kids who usually get priority over us =P. There were quite a few street artists including this one asian guy we watched who made doves and flowers out of radishes potatoes carrots and other tubers. Got gelato =D. Then shopped some more until dinner time at 945 X.X Yea we skipped apperitivo to do shopping and changing into nice clothes for the night. By we I mean the girls ahah. Oh well I guess Ill have to do apperitivo some other time. I can't even really drink either so it probably wouldn't have been so good for me. BTW apperitivo is this deal at some restaurants where you buy drinks and you get free food like pasta and stuff.
Went out to party at what we thought was a regular club but turned out to be a gay club. In any case it was closed and we went to the club next door instead. Had to walk the last 3 km or so there cause the tram was really unreliable. According to the schedule two trams should've come by us but there was no sign of them... Not at all like switzerland haha. But it was a nice warm night so not a big deal. Also unlike switzerland though was the fact that there were still a bunch of places open. Even we left at about 4 am there was still a food stand open.
The next morning we got breakfast 'in bed' and then left for the Duomo. This church took 500 years to build and is one of the largest in existence according to Scott. It was really amazing. I remembered that the buildings in Vienna were covered in detail and how I was impressed by the variation in detail in the library in St. Gallen but this church had both a huge amount of AND variety in its detailing. Had lunch, met up with a guy who worked at the club we went to because we overpaid and then went to the top of the Duomo. The view of the city was expansive but honestly not much to see in comparison to the church itself. Then this guy, Daniel took us around and showed us some stuff. We got some more gelato and chilled in the park by the castle. Played in the fountain and tried to limbo under some of the water jets. Finally went home dead tired.


I went to Interlaken (again) but this time with IAESTE. Even though it was kinda cloudy and rainy the first day when we went river rafting it was still alot of fun. I thought paddling for dragon boat was hard but that was in relatively calm water and generally falling out of the boat was not an issue. This could be said of river rafting too cause only one person out of the whole group actually fell out but still. Most of us did get out into the frigid water (the source of the river was glacier melt off) during a calm part and also in Bernsee which was at least 10 degrees warmer. It was so cool as you put your hand into the river and it passed through the border between the lake and the river it warmed up to the point that it was almost comfortable to swim in. By the end of the trip I couldn't really feel my right hand. Our tour guide was really knowledgeable and also quite a joker. That night even though I was really tired to the point that I fell asleep right after dinner I still somehow made it out to party. Dinner was amazing but unfortunately I was a little too tired to enjoy it fully. Woke up the next day bright and early then went 'hiking'. Saw this really cool water fall then went up in a lift and walked down back to the train station. Had dinner at this purple house to go place where some asshole cut us in line then the cook/cashier gave me as many small coins in change as he could and couldn't even count out 1 franc in change properly. But other than that it was a really great weekend.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

French at Last!

"Sooooooooooooooo" this past weekend I went to Lausanne with IAESTE and it was a blast. Arrived and started meeting people as we sort of tepidly approached each other unsure of whether the other was in IAESTE as well. Pretty soon though as the group got bigger it was obvious who was a part of the program and who wasn't. First we dropped off our stuff and walked around parts of the city, the cathedral, and the old city. Bought a few post cards so some of you should expect some. Had an excellent smoothie. Got a little lost cause we weren't sure where we were supposed to meet the group for lunch. Sat Nav (GPS) was taking us in the right direction but we decided to defer to our trusty leader Marc. Anyway we went back got some pita wrap like thing who's name I have since forgotten but starts with an L. Laura got la meme. Rode the merry go round which was hilarious especially at the end where I tried to get my moneys worth and ride two horses. Then we went to drop our stuff off at the hostel which was pretty fancy. We got a room called timelox, no just kidding timelox was just the card key manufacturer. We had this room where in a hallway full of IAESTE people so even though the bathroom was shared it felt strangely like home? Next we went to try to go windsurfing but the weather wasn't cooperating( thunderstorms were brewing so they didn't think it would be a good idea to go out onto the lake hanging onto tall poles who woulda figured?) So instead we just all swam in and had a massive seaweed fight. I must say that the scarf? I got was pretty good. Although Scott's assassin move was also commendable. We also found/stole/borrowed? a frissbee and bouncy ball and tossed those around for a while. It was like waterpolo all over again. Skipping the ball brought back memories. Got out and tried to just wash my feet. But Laura decided she would just turn on the cold shower full blast... An accident she claims as she runs away laughing her head off. To be fair though I did spray her back with the hose. Next we got ready to go out to the festival. Played some games watched some shows and then partied. Woke up the next day to go to see Castle Chillon and Montreaux. Best parts about Castle Chillon? Definitely the private double toilette that leads directly into the lake and Marc's comment about chests. The Montreaux festival was pretty fun but we didn't have much time to look around. Mostly just saw a break dance competition with maybe three or four really good dancers. Finally took the boat back to Lausanne, which took forever and was late... not such a good end but yea got back in one piece and slept really well. Oh yea and I practiced my french alot over the weekend so that was kinda cool

Monday, July 5, 2010

The House of Mozart

Cooome on. This was the single best phrase to describe this weekend. In its many uses such as "come on" really? this is the best you could do? also come on as in hurry up we need to get to the next spot all the way to the other side of the spectrum as in come on? this is real?! Thursday night I took the overnight train from Zurich to Vienna (Wien) and was lucky enough to get two seats next to the window/power cords/table my own reserved one and the one across from me. I slid both down so that I could actually sleep most of the way there. I arrived in Wien West Bahnhoff. At first I was rather unimpressed with this main train station but then I remembered that Switzerland is rather famous for its transportation while Wien is famous more for the arts. So I arrived at about 730 am and had to wait till 2 pm for the registration to open. After walking for a few hours I realized that it would be alot easier if I just dropped off my stuff at the hostel first. From walking around so much in the beginning and really for the whole weekend I saw that Wien is probably a mecca for girls what with the number and variety of stores. In one designer clothing store I actually watched the designer cut fabric and stitch it together. Truly these things were one of a kind. For me though the best part was the food. Not only is food tasty but it is also presented so ornately similar to the grand stylings of the buildings all over the city. Practically every building has statues of gods, fairies, or mythical beings, in addition to columns and really fine detailing even for very large buildings. So one interesting thing was that some of these buildings housed diametrically opposed tenants. Pictures to come later. Ok so now for the griping. First night the person selecting music (no he cannot be called a DJ) was absolutely terrible. The city rally made us do some fairly mundane tasks to be fair some were quite fun but also it did not really give us a chance to see things. Worst the groups for the city rally were huge so it was hard to get to know your group and people would often be left behind. What was called dinner was really appetizers. I hate being lied to especially when I am paying money for it. I mean COME ON?? who really calls a few cold cuts cheese and bread split between a whole table dinner? Anyway gonna try to focus on the good parts, like meeting new people. At dinner my French friend, Oman friend and I amused our Indian friend with different mosquito killing styles. Although I took revenge on many mosquitoes for the bites I suffered I think they still won. =P Went to a club saturday night with a Slovenian, Indian, Austrian and Hungarian friend. Dug the diversity. Anyway this club was really packed. Partied till about 330got home at 430 slept at 500 woke up at 730 for breakfast. Walked alot more chilled out around the Blue Danube then went home. Really cant describe what I saw beyond this. You just have to go.... I mean come on!