I am not a huge follower of the British Royal Family and definitely do not understand the obsession with them but having lived in London for a bit and currently receiving BBC television, it is impossible not to be caught up in the craziness of the Royal Wedding. And it is crazy! Today has been declared a UK national holiday. TV coverage has been non-stop since the announcement of the engagement with every detail from the flowers to the invites being disected ten times over. Souvenirs of every type have been produced to commenerate the wedding (I have even seen a refrigarator with a huge photo of William and Catherine on the front). People have been camping along the parade route for days. And lawn parties are being held in every major park as well as private gardens. Of course, this all being done in a proper, organized manner. While I am not joining others to view the wedding, I do admit that as I write this, I am curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee watching all the events unfold live. And yes, I am even getting anxious to see the dress.
I will never comprehend the hoopla over two people and their wedding (not to mention the money spent!) but it is fantastic to see the country come together and show such pride. So, I guess, without further ado...Congrats William and Catherine!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Since returning from our trip to Rome, We (my parents and I) have been busy exploring Switzerland (and neighboring France) by car, foot, and bike! Using the small Swiss town of St. Cergue as a starting point, we hiked the Jura and were rewarded with some amazing views of Geneva, Lac Leman, and the surrounding countryside. We also visited the French ski town of Megeve for some window shopping and a another hike. Pedaling around Lac Geneva, we ventured off the main roads and discovered a few small, idealic Swiss villages. Les Carroz, a favorite French ski resort of Jignesh and myself, was also on the list. Over the weekend, we packed our bags for an overnight trip to Mount Pilatus and Lucerne. Situated in central Switzerland, Lucerne is German speaking and feels worlds away from Geneva in both looks and attitude. Due to its location on the shores of Lake Lucerne and within sight of Mount Pilatus and the Alps, Lucerne was voted the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world by Tripadvisor and is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Switzerland! With an old city full of character buildings and the medievil Chapel Bridge (pictured above), I would agree. We had a wonderful time just walking and taking in the scenery. Mount Pilatus, home to the world's steepest cogwheel railway, seems to explode from nowhere with a height of 6,982 ft. Although we were unable to take the cogwheel due to the snow, we did ride the gondola to the top for some amazing views. We even witnessed a skydiver take off from the top of the mountain! To return to the bottom, we opted to hike rather than use the roundtrip ticket on the gondola. On the trip home, we randomly pulled off the highway to check out the small town of Murten. Not knowing what to expect, we were rewarded with many well preserved attractions from the past...a beautiful castle, a ring wall, and numerious churches. Sometimes the best places are those that are overlooked by the travel books and blogs and this was no exception! What a week of exploring my adopted country!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Mama and Papa Osz are in town for a visit so last week we headed to Rome, Italy. Since I have been to Rome before, I was able (sort of) to serve as a tourguide for the newbies. Despite some lingering jet lag from their flight from the US just two days before, Mom and Dad wanted to hit the ground running and we wasted no time seeing the sights. With gorgeous weather on our side and comfortable walking shoes, we were able to see all the major attractions in three days. While Mom was awed by the Colosseum, Dad was impressed with Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel. Of course, we also peopled watched in front of the Trevi Fountain, window shopped on Via dei Condotti, walked up the Spanish Steps, wandered through the Roman Forum, and checked out the painters in Piazza Novano. We even explored some of the more secluded areas such as Villa Borghese (Rome's answer to Central Park). Of course, you cannot visit Italy without endulging in some local food and wine. Lunch everyday was a slice of pizza and a huge scoop (or two) of gelato. Dinner was our big meal of the day and we made an effort to scope out mom and pop restaurants favored by locals. Our favorite, Dell' Omo, has been family run for 50 years and serves authentic, homemade regional dishes in a dining room that looks like a stereoptypical "grandmother's kitchen." If you are looking for a true Italian experience and are not in a hurry, this is the place! On our last day in Rome, we headed outside the city for a day trip to the ancient village of Tivoli. Since it was Mom and Dad's 39th wedding anniversary, we had to stroll through the romantic gardens and fountains of Villa d' Este and hiked through the ravine of Villa Gregoriana. Although we never found the medevil bridge that Mom wanted to see, it was the perfect escape from the crowds of Rome. What a way to end the trip! Au Revoir Au Revoir.