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Published: June 24th 2006
On our hike
outside of Mürren
This ending led to a wonderful beginning! My program is over, all papers are written and turned in, all tests have been taken, and a year of study completed. It was extremely hard parting with my "new" friends but I think we all have faith that we will not lose touch-and at the very least we’ll always have Paris.
Since then I’ve been spending more time away from Paris than in it strangely! A Colorado friend met me shortly after my program’s end and we visited Versailles and then left sizzling Paris for some fun in Switzerland. We started in Geneva where I was pleasantly surprised. I found it to be a wonderful city full of things to do, happy people who speak French, and the best mix ever of city and nature….why all cities are not in a mountain valley on a lake is beyond me. We enjoyed seeing where Calvin preached and where the great Rousseau once lived, we’ll see if any of their radical greatness rubbed off on me.
Then came Mürren a little town just south of Interlaken that is only accessible by gondola! We hiked about and soaked up some time in the mountains.
Too windy for the fountain
We had a fun time looking for this fountain and asking around for it-it is hard to miss don't you think? It was off when we were looking for it because of the wind, so we gave up and went out onto a dock to enjoy the water, suddenly we here this gush of water and see this massive amount of water shooting into the air-all we could think was about the wind!! Thankfully, we didn't get wet, but had an up close view of one of Geneva's attractions
(You bet I was singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music” all week). We rushed out of there in order to see Zurich, which I found to have a similar feel t Amsterdam. Again, it was fun to enjoy the city and all it had to offer, but then spend the afternoon sitting on the bank of the lake. We found all of Switzerland to be extremely pleasant and beautiful, I should like to go back for just a quality hiking trip among the smaller towns if I ever pass that way again.
I had about 18 hours once home to throw my laundry in, say a sad au revoir to a few friends and spend some time toes up before my parents arrived!!! Mary Anna is still home (she is fully recovered from her kidney stone crisis and is graduating with her first Masters!!) so my parents and I had to go on without her. One day of playing the not so fun game of “put all of the things that Katie has in three bags each weighing under 50 lbs” made us all a bit stressed out. Thankfully, my flat mate Chantal made us
Life size games!
My friend Laura was able to join David and me in Geneva and we were able to enjoy a game of life sized checkers and chess even in our full day of touring Geneva that included the Red Cross and UN
dinner and served us wine so we were able to calm down the evening before our flight.
The next day, we were herded like cattle onto our cheap (but timely and efficient) Ryan Air flight over to Dublin. The change from Paris to Dublin was rather drastic! Dublin has the flare and funky feeling of London and the people who are loud and jovial as well. We enjoyed very much a tour of Trinity College (the library made me drool) and seeing the Book of Kells was really impressive as well. Another great highlight was a trip to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to enjoy Evensong, the church was beautiful and I always find it glorious to enjoy music in such acoustic settings. Beyond that the days were spent walking along and the evenings tasting things like ‘whisky sausage’ and Guinness.
Somehow we managed (mostly Dad) to get the car (and the precious cargo of three Foxes) from Dublin to the south west side of Ireland. We there had a “funny” experience with a cottage on the ocean and ended up moving places even further south down the coast. We loved the drive around the Dingle Peninsula-nothing shy of breathtaking,
the Ring of Kerry, and even did a bit of hiking along the Kerry Way. It was a beautiful experience and wonderful to have so much time out in nature.
Dad had to leave us to get some work done, so Mom and I are left alone for four weeks of adventuring! We visited Giverny (Monet’s gardens and home,,.yes I went before but they were a whole different experience this time-all roses and no iris) where the Montgomery/Browns were kind enough to entertain us and drive us for a day. It was truly a perfect day of exploration.
The other fun Paris event was the Fête de la Musique, which happens with each summer equinox. Everyone who plays an instrument pours onto the street and draws a crowd on their street corner. Mom and I wandered from group to group finding everything from a couple with a guitar and a drum, to a choir of 40 year olds and a crowd singing along, to our final place a soprano singing in the church by my apartment. It was just delightful and we felt lucky to be a part of this wonderful tradition.
We are leaving Paris tomorrow
Off the end of the Dingle Pen.
Much more dramatic coast than I was expecting
to begin picking our way across Europe to Bosnia where we will meet a Bosnian friend, enjoy that area, and then find our way back to Paris for our flight home on July 19th. Those adventures will surely be varied and rich, I will update you all when I can.
I hope all is well with each of you, love and misses…..
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