Skip to content

10 days later….

I’m so sorry to all my readers for not staying updated with my posts. First of all the internet never cooperates so I really hope this actually posted, and second, I hope I can blog while in Florence and Rome. No idea what the internet situation will be like. And then in Austria either the whole time or one of the weeks there we are going on a technology fast so no bolts then.

Okay so I want to start with today because it was so amazing I just can’t keep it in. I along with 5 others went hiking, we reached the summit of Mount Bogllia around 12:30 this afternoon, after a very tiering journey. It was well worth the effort though and would go back and do it again in a heartbeat. I have many pictures to share but it was a hazy day and so pictures are not great and no picture on a perfect day could ever show what I saw. I described San Salvatore in my last journal, and yes that was the most beautiful amazing thing I had seen but I did not know that 10 days later I would experience something even more majestic. The feeling I had while on top of the mountain just, ahh, I don’t even know what to say, how to make anyone understand. God’s image He had for His creation is beyond anything anyone could ever dream of and I got a glimpse of that beauty today.

Okay so as this is our last night here we tried to do exciting things this weekend before we have to leave. We have all become quite attached to this place. So yesterday our room just decided to take advantage of bus passes and choose a random bus and took it to see where we would end up. It was so fun! We ended up at an old cemetery for part of it, it was so beautiful there, while it may seem like a morbid thing to do it was actually very interesting and fun to walk around and look at all the family grave sights. It must have been a very prestigious graveyard as these graves often were at least 10 fetes high with carvings and many family members listed as being barred there. We rode around and had fun and ended with eating at Manor Restaurante, yumm!

Okay so now I will start summarizing not describing as this is already getting long! Last week of Italian, test was freaking everyone out all week and then we were all relived when Thursday was done and we could just look forward to the party our teachers were throwing us Friday. Friday last week was one of the boys birthday’s on the trip and so our group of friends got all dressed up and took him out to dinner at a very nice restaurant over looking the lake. It was so myth fun, we also made him a cake. This was very difficult as they don’t really have cake like we do back home, so we had to do some improvising! And last highlight of the last 10 days would be tailing with a local church that we set up a meeting with where we could go and ask them questions, they were a panel for our cultural questions. That was last Thursday and then some of us went their for church last Sunday. It was so great to hear the history of the place we are in, hear about the values, mindsets of those who live here. The people at the church were really great too, so kind and very welcoming to us.

And there we have it, 10 days and hopefully it will be not so long until the next one. We will see when we get to Florence tomorrow! I am so excited to experience all the history we are about to see and see all the beauty behind these historic places. Florence till the 30th, Rome till the 5th, then Austria till the 19th! So pumped! The only having a backpack worth of things for the next 3 and a half weeks is not so exciting but we will see how I manage. I’ll be pro-packer by the time I’m home!


San Salvatore!!!!

I can not even begin to describe the beauty I experienced yesterday on top of the mountain. I have never seen such a view, never have I been truly speechless, never so in awe. I just praised God in that moment for that experience, His beauty amazes me. We took a fonni (train type thing) to the top of the mountain called San Salvatore, after walking up to the very very top we come to an old church. We got to go on the roof of the church and just experience the view. I literally just stood there and stared, the wind blowing on my face, the sky a perfect blue, the mountains as far as you could see, and the lake a perfect aqua. Stunning! I could have stayed there all day. I have not even been to many places in Europe but I don’t think anything can beet that view, I want to bring so many people back there.

Today was boring compared to that, more italian school (halfway done!) and then class with Peggy, tonight we went out to this pub for dinner, and now…homework. But still in awe of this whole experience, my home is in Switzerland, waaaa!

Milan, sports and public transportation

Saturday we went to Milan!!! We got to see the Duomo which was absolutely amazing, it was a touristy area so lots if people everywhere. I got claustrophobic walking around inside the Duomo so I didn’t spend too much time inside but it was awesome! Except the couldn’t breathe part. The rest of the day was ours after lunch as a group. Katie and I just went of walking and ended up at this church where a wedding was just ending so the cute couple came out with rice and confetti going everywhere as they kissed. So great. Of course we did some shopping and it went so fast!! Before I felt like I had done anything we were back on the train home. So crazy that we can just take a day trip to Italy and be back home in Switzerland by night.

Sunday was really fun too! Justine, Emily and I decided to try out this sports event thing that is free for the Lugano community. We had a blast trying to figure out the bus system, and after about 30 min of walking around and trying to read brightly colored maps we found the right one! The festival was mostly for families with kids to try all these different sports. The best part was either the fencing or the little Swiss kids trying on big football pads and learning to learn this silly American sport we love.

Today was relaxing yet crazy. Just Italian class in the morning, overwhelming as usual, then figuring out free travel. That was crazy, but we had the rest of the afternoon off. I even got a nap in! Possible mountain hiking tomorrow so I got to get some rest!! Goodnight, and happy birthday to my best friend JFC!

Catch up

Hello my followers! Sorry I have not written so much. It has been not as exciting and more routine, but very busy figuring out homework, yet very wonderful! Okay so continued italian classes in the morning, I think I left of with Tuesday so Wednesday it is. Italian class then class with Peggy, I was very tired so some homework and such that day. I tried to go to bed early but ended up watching Something Borrowed with some girls before bed, good bonding time so its okay, and still got to bed at a reasonable time.

Thursday.. yesterday, class and then afternoon off. I was very tired from the week already so I took it easy and then at night we went to Franklin College (an American university here in Lugano). We had dinner before this free lecture they have thursday nights there. It was very funny, this man was a guest professor at the university, he talked on immigration and identity, it was basically his life story. Very great, funny, and insightful. There was a reception after where some of our group talked with some students there but I needed sleep! Recovering from a concussion is not fun when you are in Europe wanting to do everything.

Today! Class, I only went to the first 2 hours cause I was not feeling well so I went home and slept until we went on another tour. Today we went to the largest radio broadcasting station in Switzerland, VERY high tech. They have a mixer that costs half a million Franks!! We got to be on the radio too!!! That was so fun, we tested out some of our Italian. I was again wiped after this and when we got back home Justine and I went for a dip in the pool. We then dried off in the sun and just had some girl talk about our boyfriends, so great : ) DiNNer!! we made stuffed red bell peppers with rice, tomato, onion, cheese and peanuts. It was so yummy and was so great to get some veggies in us and not carbs. And for dessert a group of us walked downtown to McDonalds here… culture shock!!! They have chandeliers in their restaurants, it is a treat if you get to eat there, and all the food is very high quality!! The ice-cream was very delicious. I would like to try eating there one day but it is very expensive so I will have to split with someone so I can at least try it.

Well early morning tomorrow, train to Milan leaves at 7:30, so bed time for me. thank you for reading about my adventures! Make sure to check out the pictures on Facebook!

Some routine in our days

Class again 8:30-12:15. It was less overwhelming today but still a lot to process and a lot to memorize! I can have a basic “hello, what is your name, what do you do, where are you from, i have to go, goodnight” type conversation!

After class, lunch, and then a tour, which wont happen everyday but was really cool. We went to two libraries, this multimedia library and the other had books we got to look at that were from the 15th century! It was really cool to hear about them. I have pictures! It was like 3 hours and after class too it was tiring. We decided to go do our grocery shopping after the tour so we all did that and by the time we got back it was dinner time. We had pizza that was really good just from the grocery store. I’m really excited about tomorrow’s dinner we have planned. It will be stuffed red bell peppers with rice, tomato, onion, and cheese. Sounds good to not have another meal of carbs! Although we have salad with normally one of our meals which is so good!

After dinner it was homework and meeting other people staying in the hostel, the ones that know english. I was talking to a man who is from Singapore, and knows 4 languages, here on a week internship. He is an undergraduate student, in Britain. he told us of his two years of service where he was in the army and he jumped out of helicopters. He said he absolutely loved it. He was very interested in our trip.

Also update on our professors, both (Peggy and Ripley) came to get us settled in but only one (Peggy) will stay (with her husband Jay who is here just to have fun with her), until end of October when Ripley will come back and Peggy and Jay will go home. So Ripley left this morning, got to Milan where he was to fly out and found out there are riots going on all over Italy so he is stuck there. Something to do with the government. The news said that in Milan the riots are consisted of eggs and stink bombs being. It is only supposed to be a one day thing though.

Buonanotte (goodnight!) to me, and to you, Buonagirnata (have a nice day!)

Sono studente di italiano!

Woke up early to go to our cafe! We have a feeling this could be our place. Decided early on some of us girls wanted to have ‘our place’ this cute typical adorable swiss cafe we went to for coffee and pastries, we have fallen in love! The man who makes the espressos for the girls (since I do not get it) is really nice too, helps that he knows some english!! So we went this morning and I have a danish type treat, so good! Then headed to our first day of language class, all a little nervous!

It was so fun! We go from 8:30-10:15 then 10:35-12:15. They split our group in two cause we were so big, and we were only in a class with our group so that helped ease our nerves. In first half of class alone we learned so much! I thought our professoressa Mara was so great too, she was laughing with us and made it very comfortable to talk in class. We even had a little ‘pretend you know no one and go mingle party’ on the balcony of the school. “Ciao!” was used often because even if everything went over our head we had that one down, but very useful as it is both hello and goodbye. The second half of class came and we had Professoressa Valentina, a young lady, such a sweetheart. I felt a little overwhelmed by the end of class but can’t wait to keep learning, it was a fun!

Back at home we had lunch, salad and toast with peanut butter (yes we finally found some peanut butter!! we were all going through withdraws because it basically doesn’t exist here). We all just felt like we needed some alone time, personal journaling time, not always around people time, so we went to the park by the lake (which I will have to get pictures of!) and chose benches around the park so that we could be alone. This was so great for me, being with a group 24/7 with pretty much no where to be alone gets me a little peopled out. I just sat and started writing about what was on my mind, not about the trip or what was going on there but just what was going on in my heart and mind that needed to get out. I am such a writer and this just was a perfect idea for the day. 3 hours later we all walked to our bakery to get some fancy bread for our dinner we were planning.

Our room decided we would do pasta with red sauce and cooked carrots, bread, and corn. It was so wonderful, we looked like an adorable little family as our Prof Peggy said as she took a picture of us. It was so great.

Now just some reading for homework and getting some pictures ready for Facebook, blogging and devotion.
Still in search of a post office, because apparently ‘La Postal’ is a bank, or our ability to describe post office to the man working there was terrible bad.

Rainy Day!!!

Today was so perfect!! Church in the morning was at this multi-lingual church, service in italian and english. So great to have worship and just time to concentrate on God and praise Him for this whole trip and experience. We also got to meet some really awesome people, its a small church about 60 people but all seriously nice people.

After church we walked back and it started raining! Then had lunch with my girls and just sat inside playing cards and talking, great bonding time and great rainy day activities!! I enjoyed it so much!

For dinner some girls and I went to this really nice restaurant and just had even more great bonding time, really getting to know one another and just hanging out, it was such a blessing!! After dinner we walked along the lake and grabbed some gelato! Delicious!

We start class in the morning and I’m excited/nervous, but before class some of us are going out to a cute bakery/cafe for breakfast!!

Thanks so much for reading!!

We get to stay here???

So as I said yesterday we were going to go to Milan all day today, our professor said the train left at 850 according to what the train lady said the day before but then we got there and it had left an hour earlier! But we will just go another day.
So instead!.!. we went to see where we would be living the second half of the trip that is maybe 20 min by train out of Lugano (where we are staying now). It is called the Paladina, and wow was it the most amazing view!! I am so excited to be there! Although it is very nice where we stay now.. everything is just so beautiful!!
Then it was a show of hands for who wanted to go into Italy still to a small village or just back home. As most of us were pretty tired after all the playing we did at Paladina we went back to Lugano. I had lunch at home with my roomies, so great! Then naps, pictures!! (check out Facebook!), and grocery shopping with my 2 of my roommates, the Katies, so we would have food for the rest of the week for our room at least. OHH and before going out to Paladina we had some extra time cause the train to Paladina wasn’t there yet SO..
6 of us (myself, our girl professor, and 4 other girls, one not in my room) went to a little bakery coffee shop! It was so amazing sitting in the streets of Switzerland at a picturesque cafe, having these delicious pastries! Yes I have pictures of this too!! So wonderful! We will definitely be checking out more cafes and going back to that one.
Okay then some class stuffs and one of my roommates and I decided to do some Skypeing downtown along lake Lugano (GORGEOUS at night) where they have free wifi all along the lake! Amazing! I got to talk to Emmy and Cindy Mattson, then mom and dad, and then Eric! Great night. Going to a church in the morning so bed time for me!!
STart Italian language class on Monday! Nervous and so excited to learn some stuff to talk to locals!

relax and experience

Today was breakfast, some intro to class material, more struggles with 24 students trying to go online at once, wonderful worship time and then downtown exploring!! Some girls and I walked along lake Lugano, so beautiful!! More pictures were taken.. many many of them. I’ll have to find a way to post them on here for all my fun friends and family!! The girls I was with tried the traditional espresso shots, I stayed clear of the coffee seeing as I can’t even handle my girly caribou coffee drinks, but they said it was so delicious!! Then it was pizza for dinner at a very nice restaurante ‘Tango’ paid for by our wonderful professors. Had a quick grocery fun for breakfast food and then some gelato in the streets of Switzerland, yumm!!

Milan tomorrow! church visit in the morning when we get there, then some meandering the rest of the day, can’t wait!! I feel I’m on a normal sleep pattern now and seems like we have already been here for week! It will definitely be good to start our italian class though!! Need to learn some basics!!

Love to all!

Am I really in Europe??

It took a while to hit me that I was in Europe and still feels like I’ll be going home in a week, but I’ve still got over 3 months! But wow what a day…or night or whatever it was… Plane to NJ, plane to Milan, bus ride to Lugano, and somewhere in there I got ahead 7 hours to realize it was 8am and I was ready to go to bed. Got quickly settled into our new home. I’m in a room with 4 other girls and they are great! I’m so excited to get to know them more and have some fun adventures. Then it was go go go from there to keep us awake until normal sleeping hours. Still ready to go to bed we found it to be only 11am and we were sent into downtown to get lunch, knowing basically nothing in Italian or where we were going. That was interesting trying to read the menu guessing what meats we were ordering for our sandwhich, if it was meat at all. Well on with our day to get train passes and grocery shopping with our roommates! The grocery store was fun trying to figure out what in the world a frank was!? and how to split the bill. Got some orientation on the place we will be living and then everyone to their iPads to talk to our friends and family. One room has wifi here and quickly learned that 24 students on the Internet makes it kinda slow. Now it was 5 o’clock and everyone was just dazed but advised to wait till at least 8 or 9 to sleep. And here we are now.. Only after one more exciting event of running downtown to try and find ice for one of my roommates who fell. Don’t worry there were guys brought with mom, safety first. Best part of the day: the lake valley surrounded by mountains right out our window!!! I think I will like it here. Lots of pictures already! Class at 9 tomorrow morning so bed time finally for me. Good afternoon to all of you!