It’s now March, which can only mean two things. One, I’ve been living in Europe for two months, which completely blows my mind. And two, it’s time for a (very belated) Instagram roundup of my favorite February moments. Let’s do this.
Milan – The Beautiful Brera Neighborhood:
The next time I visit Milan, I’d love to stay in the Brera neighborhood. I really enjoyed my trip to the artsy, hip area to visit the Pinacoteca di Brera, but my time there was much too short. The Brera is beautiful, and definitely worth a return.
Milan – The Golden Galleria:
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was a touchstone of my time in Milan; I crossed back and forth through it over and over again during my weekend there. Though it was ridiculously overpriced, I couldn’t help but grab a cappuccino and a pastry there on my first morning in Milan. Getting a chance to sit in the golden gallery and people watch was worth the sticker shock.
Geneva – A Spectacular Sunset:
While sitting at my desk one evening, I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful colors lighting up the sky. Being the crazy person that I am, I hopped right up and made my way to the upstairs terrace at my office. Once I arrived, I was delighted to find not just a gorgeous sunset but also a double rainbow gracing the sky. Not a bad way to end the work day.
Lisbon – Magical Rain in Bairro Alto:
It rained throughout my weekend in Lisbon, but that wasn’t an entirely bad thing. While walking through the Bairro Alto, for example, I managed to snap this shot. I’m not sure where, exactly, the halo of light came from (my umbrella?), but all I know is that this is one of my very favorite photos from this semester.
Lisbon – Architecture Obsession:
I’m a big proponent of #lookingup, and nowhere was that more true than in Lisbon. Almost every building there was gorgeous – either containing rich colors, intricate architectural details, or both. This building took the cake as one of my very favorites; I couldn’t get over the lovely, vibrant mint green color.
Lisbon – Exploring Belem’s Monastery:
I went to Belem – a neighborhood about 15 minutes from downtown Lisbon – expecting the Tower to be my favorite site. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery, which actually turned out to be the highlight of my time there. I spent a long time wandering around the Cloisters, content to photograph their archways from every possible angle.
Sintra – Shelter from the Rain:
My time in Sintra, Portugal was marred by an onslaught of rain and wind. I spent a lot of time seeking refuge from the weather conditions, which is exactly what I was doing when I snapped this shot from under the archway of the National Palace. Even in the pouring rain, though, Sintra was lovely.
Chamonix – Mont Blanc Magic:
My friend and I ran into many mishaps in Chamonix (a story for another post), but one thing we couldn’t deny was how gorgeous the town was. I guess one of the perks of being situated near Mont Blanc is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a picture-perfect town.
Montreux – A Peaceful Chateau Morning:
My pro tip for visiting Chateau de Chillon in Montreux? Get there early, ideally about a half hour before the Chateau opens. Why? Because you’ll be able to wander around and snap photographs in the quiet morning hours, when the Chateau is blissfully tourist-free and incredibly peaceful.
Lausanne – The View from Above:
One thing I quickly learned about Lausanne? It’s a great place to get your cardio for the day – or for the week, really. The city is built on a hill, so almost every thing you want to do requires a hike. If you have the fortitude to make your way to the top, however, you definitely get rewarded with some great views of the pretty city below.
Geneva – The Arrival of the UN Flags:
When I arrived in Geneva, one of the first buildings I went to see was the United Nations. To my disappointment, the famous row of flags wasn’t present, and it didn’t make an appearance until late February. We heard that the flags were removed due to a construction project, but who knows the real reason. All I do know is that, once they returned, pretty much every intern in Geneva stopped by to snap a picture.
Geneva – Bonjour:
The cobblestone sidewalk just outside the Globus department store is peppered with a collection of tiles containing greetings in various languages. Every time I walk by, I want to snap a picture – and one Saturday morning, I finally did. Bonjour from Geneva!
Gruyeres – It’s the Climb:
After visiting Gruyeres’s cheese factory, I decided to head to old town Gruyeres to see the castle. There’s a bus that runs up to town every so often, but it doesn’t run frequently, so I decided to hike up on my own out of sheer impatience. It’s just 15 minutes, I thought, how strenuous could it be? Overall, the hike wasn’t too bad, but the final ascent was steeper than I would’ve liked. Still, I was rewarded with beautiful views along the way and a beautiful town at the end, so I can’t complain too much.
Gruyeres – Finally, Fondue:
Yep, I lived in Switzerland for about a month and a half before I had my first fondue. However, when in Gruyeres, I figured it was finally time to give the classic dish a try. While I’m not the biggest fondue fan, it’s an essential Swiss experience and not to be missed, in my opinion.
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