Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I hiked the Alps!

Hello from Lausanne, Switzerland! The last few days have been quite an adventure, and I have so many new sights and photos to share. A colleague and good friend (Michelle) from Davis, California met me in Trondheim on Tuesday (8/28/13) to visit before our trip to Switzerland. We hiked the Trondheim mountains and I showed her all of the must-see places around town. On Friday, we took a long trip to Zurich, Switzerland to visit before our conference here in Lausanne. Michelle hosted a Swiss student last year (Andy) who studies at the University of Zurich, so she met us at the airport and helped us get around. That night, she offered to bring us along to her boyfriend's cabin in the Swiss Alps (a 90 minute drive from Zurich). We obliged; and it was a breathtaking experience. The only time the view wasn't spectacular was when we were going through one of the many tunnels on our drive, the drive was full with lakes, mountains, cliffs, and more. Once we arrived, we took the ski-lift up the huge alp in the city of Flim and hiked down for about 6 hours. We stopped halfway and built a fire to cook some lunch, and I was able to see some of the most breathtaking sights I've ever witnessed. Flim is a cute mountain town with lots of older Swiss residents; the town is more bustling in the Winter during snow sport season. We ended the night with two beers and live music at the base of the alp followed by a home cooked meal in our cabin.

The old street in Bern where
Albert Einstein developed his theory
We stayed the night in the cabin and drove back to Zurich on Sunday afternoon. We explored the city for the rest of the day- it was extremely quiet, as most Swiss towns are on Sundays. We climbed to the top of a famous church (Grossmunster), visited the University, walked along the huge lake, and ate a very good local dish. Later that night, we took the train to the capitol of Switzerland, Bern. In Bern, we visited the Parliament, and although the tour was in German, there was a lot of history and impressive architectural designs on display. We went to a local zoo (which showcased bunny rabbits, not kidding) and other European animals like European bison. We also visited the house in which Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity- so cool! We even went to the Casino - which we didn't realize wasn't an actual Casino until we walked in the front doors of the rehearsal for a play. 

Next up is Lausanne, which is a gorgeous town on a huge lake with old windy roads and towering cathedrals. We are in Lausanne for three days to attend the European Association on Developmental Psychology conference. I typically present my work at conferences, but I am visiting this particular conference to further my program of research and establish connections that might be fruitful to my dissertation project and time in Norway. The next few days will be full with conference workshops and sessions, and I leave back to Trondheim on Friday. My upcoming trips still include: a work session in Bergen (2nd largest city in Norway), travels across Germany with my aunt, a trip to Sweden with a new Norwegian friend, and some other small local trips. I'll continue to post photos and keep the blog updated. Thanks again for reading!

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