Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Switzerland, an Update

I’m writing this post at the start of my final week working in Switzerland. What? Really? Where has all the time gone?

I ask myself that on a regular basis.

And, by the time you read this, I will have less than a week of work left! So, what comes next?

My last day of work is Friday, August 26th. From there, a friend and I are planning to go to Zermatt for the weekend (and see the famous Matterhorn, of course!). Then, I have about a week left before I return home. As I've mentioned to a number of you, I was planning to spend part of that time in Italy before flying home from London. I’ve changed my mind on that – while I don’t have concrete plans yet, I think I will stay in Switzerland a few more days and then head straight to London.
Nearby Baden, likely the most beautiful town in my immediate area.
I’m not nearly done writing about Switzerland yet. Other than my general update near the start of my time here, I’ve posted about a little visit at the Rhine Falls, a stellar weekend hiking alone in the Berner Oberland, and two visits to the nearby city of Zurich, and I’ve shared pictures of Brugg, the next closest town.

In the interim, still to be written about, I’ve been several further hiking trips, both alone and with friends, in what might be some of Switzerland’s most beautiful spots; visited the famous Jungfraujoch with my research group; met a group of people in Switzerland on the same program as myself on a whirlwind weekend of visiting Bern, Lucerne, and the nearby tourist destination of Mount Titlis; hopped the border to the tiny, quirky kingdom of Liechtenstein; went on not only my first, but first two via ferratas, visited Lausanne, and caught Swiss National Day celebrations in Engelberg (all in the same weekend - I already hinted at this one in the Zurich post, but man is there a lot more to write about!); took a lovely few days to see my grandparents; and went on a day trip to see CERN and Geneva.
Liechtenstein isn't too bad either.
Man, I am running out of breath just reading that list. How did I even manage to do so much? (Breaks? Pauses? What are those? Never heard of 'em, sorry.)

Obviously that list doesn’t include some of the smaller hiking and sightseeing I’ve done around where I live, nor all the amazing social events with my friends and housemates here: countless hours spent talking late over beers, discussing languages or politics or metal bands or our futures, football (soccer) games and swimming together, BBQs and shopping trips and shared meals.
Barbecues, laughter, and friendship.
The list also doesn’t include my first two times outdoor climbing (!!!), watching the Euro Cup in a big group, open-air concerts, trying to catch the Perseids meteor shower, the major improvements I’ve seen in my photography and heard in my French since I got here…oh and somewhere in the midst of all of that I was also working full-time doing research!
Thanks to Dominik for this picture!
It’s been an insane ride, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

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