Saturday, August 31, 2013

Of Castles & Waterfalls


Part One: Castles 
Nestled in between the Swiss mountains 45min north of Lugano is a charming city called BELLINZONA. Home to three different castles {all designated by the United Nations as sites of cultural importance} Bellinzona is an underrated gem! I have yet to see any American or Asian tourists here (which is really saying something because they are everywhere!) I just don't understand it.. I mean check out that view ^^! Plus if the prospect of exploring middle age castles wasn't lure enough, consider that Bellinzona is still in Italian-speaking Switzerland so you can grab some incredible gelato + a pizza after you explore the castles! My kind of place.


Part Two: Waterfalls 
And from there the weekend only got better! The next day, we took the entire incoming class and headed to VALLE VERZASCA, a favorite region of mine, home to a massive waterfall + glacial rivers + quaint villages. Our large group of english-speaking students seemed so comically out of place in these mountain villages, I couldn't help but smile as one of the DOUBLE DECKER tour buses struggled to navigate a narrow cobble stone road lined with balconies.. #EuroProbs. Comedy aside, I was more than thrilled when the buses finally stopped to let us off for a picnic by the river and then a hike up to the base of the waterfall. When I came here last year I had no idea what to expect, whereas this year I was excitedly urging the incoming students along the path to the magnificent falls. Can you blame me? 
the view from a mile away! ⇡

see that little speck circled in the bottom right? ↗ that is a person. yeah.. this waterfall = gigantic.


Part Three: The Plunge 
And then to wrap it all up I jumped into a glacial river  (like literally. it is glacier melt.) Interestingly enough, the night before said plunge ^^ I watched The Titanic..  coincidence? I think not. I feel for ya Jack and Rose!! My legs went numb after just two minutes in the water! But the thrill of it all was worth it. 


And thus concluded my last weekend of 'summer'. Orientation is done. Classes officially started this week, so it is back to the daily grind of homework/work/classes/more work, etc. But I certainly am not complaining, because I have an inkling that this semester is going to be brimming with the best adventures yet.  I am ever grateful for this chance to live in such a breathtaking region of the world, for the escapades I have the opportunity to go on, the people I get to meet, the friends I have been able to make, etc. I can feel it, a tingling kind of sensation in my bones, I think that this is going to be my most exciting year yet! so bring it on world.

PS you can find last years posts about Bellinzona + Valle Verzasca here and here

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