“To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.” -Charles Horton Cooley
I awoke from a nap on the bus from Paris to towering mountains with snow-capped peaks. Who knew the Swiss Alps could be that beautiful in the middle of August.
We arrived in Chamonix, a small, expensive ski town surrounded by some pretty tall mountains. We were able to see Mont-Blanc in the distance, which is the highest point in Europe. I especially enjoyed walking around in a tank top and looking at snow in the distance. It really made me miss snowboarding, but I guess that’s just another reason to return during the winter at another point in my life!
I had my favorite dinner in France the first night partly because of the view above. I am still convinced someone painted that landscape and it isn’t actually real.
My delicious dinner consisted of pasta with smoked salmon, salad, and sparkling wine with blackberry liquor.
After, we walked around the town to burn off our dinner.
Quite the fashion statement. I’m thinking of bringing this look back to Syracuse. What do you think?
The following day, I awoke to this view outside my bedroom window. I don’t think I could ever tire of this.
We traveled across the Swiss border to Geneva to visit the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
Loved the Rolex clock in the WTO.
The official UN schedule for the day.
Some light reading on human rights in the lobby.
We passed by an emergency meeting about Sudan. The security guard yelled at me after taking this picture…
…and when I took this one, but it was worth it because I want to be that reporter one day.
I learned from my professor that Pays-Bas is in the Netherlands.
I enjoyed visiting the UN because I’ve been to the headquarters in New York City. It was interesting to compare the two. Also, it was refreshing to go to a site visit involving a topic I am familiar with because my second major is International Relations. The other lectures centered around business and considering I’ve never taking a business class in my life, I was often slightly confused.
We returned to Chamonix and spent the afternoon inside because it was raining. Thankfully, this was the only day it rained for the duration of our two week trip. I was amazed by our great luck with the weather.
By nightfall the rain had stopped and the small, usually quiet town was filled with people wearing backpacks and hiking boots. They took off for a 5 day race through the Swiss Alps right outside my friends’ hotel room window! The race was called The North Face Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc. I unfortunately did not have my Sony NEX-5 with me at the time, so my iPhone took the photo above.
The next morning we awoke to sunshine and mountains before going on my favorite adventure of the seminar… CANYONING!
I unfortunately have no pictures at the moment to show all the fun we had, but I brought along a waterproof camera and need to get the pictures put on a CD in Madrid. To give you a quick visual without photos, we descended on ropes and harnesses from 80 foot waterfalls, jumped off 30 foot rocks into the freezing river water, and slid on our butts down slippery rocks all while geared up in head to toe wetsuits and helmets. Do I even need to say I had an absolute blast? It was well worth the extra money and definitely one of the best parts of the trip.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m in Madrid already. I apologize for being so behind on my posts, but I do have wi-fi in my casa, so I’ll be catching everyone up very quickly!