|WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION
In the middle of August, I said goodbye to my Jefferson|Steele teammates and flew to Europe!
The first week and a half were spent in and around Geneva, Switzerland. I have friends living just across the border in France (a small village called La Roche-sur-Foron). I was able to spend time with them and also use their place as a base for travel. I returned to some of my favorite spots from 2 years ago, as well visit some new ones.
This photo was taken on a hike, with a view the Eiger in the Bernese Alps, and some very happy and musical cows!
A definite trip highlight was my visit to the Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe. As you can see from the photo, it was a beautiful day but a little chilly (temperature hovered around zero). The Jungfraujoch railway station is the highest in Europe, at 3,454 metres. It takes about 2 hours from Interlaken on the Jungfrau train line, with the last ½ hour tunneling through the mountains. Construction on the tunnel began in 1898, with the first train ride taking place in 1912! It’s about 7 kilometers long.
The 4km glacier hike was exhausting, given the elevation, but the views were stunning! I also enjoyed visiting the Ice Palace, and for those so inclined, there’s a snow fun park with skiing, snowboarding and tubing year round.
Another favorite was my time in Zermatt. It’s been a life-long dream to see the iconic Matterhorn up close, and my wish came true! It took half a day to see the peak without any clouds, but it did not disappoint. The hiking in the area was amazing and I loved the car-free village of Zermatt. So quaint and picturesque.
While in the Zermatt area, we decided to take a side trip and walk across the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge! The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge opened July 29 of this year and spans 494 metres. The bridge replaces an older bridge which was damaged by a rockslide.
Not for the faint of heart, it takes about 10 minutes to cross and hovers 85 metres about the ground! It’s a strenuous climb to get up to the bridge, about an hour and a half of uphill hiking, but totally worth it. Incredibly, the bridge was erected in just 10 weeks!
For the final week of my trip, I joined a group of 4 friends in Paris. It was quite different from the first part but also excellent. I’d been to Paris before, but only for 3 days both times. It was wonderful to have a full week to explore the city! It also allowed us to take a couple of day trips, including Reims (to visit the Champagne houses) and a bike tour of Versailles. This picture was taken on the first evening we all arrived, from the Bateaux-Mouches boat cruise on the Seine.
A definite Paris highlight was the Christian Dior exhibit (Couturier du Rêve) currently on at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, it was amazing to learn about its founder and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him, and to see all of the incredible couture gowns!
Of course nothing beats wandering through the streets of Paris and stopping for a bite to eat or a drink at a sidewalk café.
It was a fantastic trip all around, and once this one is paid off I look forward to planning the next!