A better version:
Some say that if one is in love, the object of their affection crosses their mind first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep. Well, that settles it. I am in love with the Alps. It seems mundane to merely recite all the places I went and all the things I saw because it was more a matter of "something coming over me" than just visuals. I will say that Switzerland, Liechtenstein (sweet little Liechtenstein), and Austria are some of the most beautiful places I have have experienced. I experienced culture shock and jet lag (jet lag being worst of the two). I won't even get into the whole experience with the doctor with the fluffy hair (that might be another post!).
The historical sites are absolutely breathtaking, but little things are what did it for me. I loved small markets packed with fresh food and no need for organic because nothing was a cocktail of fake sugar and transfats anyways. I loved the cheese. I loved how there was entire aisles full of chocolate, but only a few choices of cereal. I loved kasekreiner in the middle of the night from a street vendor. I loved cobbled streets. I loved small towns and random castles. I loved the trains. I loved the ease in which I found goods not made in China. I loved the little Viennese cafes and people watching. I loved feeling safe in a big city (Vienna). I loved the attitude of both working and playing hard. I loved that everything was cheaper than it is in Juneau, Alaska.
The best thing about the trip was being able to take time off and do some "nothing" in such a splendid place. I am a person who doesn't always know how to relax or stop and just enjoy the moment. I am constantly filling up all of my time (work, climbing, skiing, yoga, running, court sports, JMR, keeping up with soccer games, book club, creative writing club, studying for GREs, brushing up on Spanish, trying to learn German, oh, and friends (who help me take time out for beer and the like)). For the first time in ages, I was able to just chill out and not worry about filling every moment with something productive And really, taking a train through the Austrian countryside is the perfect way to enjoy the moment. Indeed, most of the time, I was so captivated, that I forgot about my camera (sorry to all those who wanted to see tons of photos). I spent my last moments in the airport in Zurich staring out onto the airstrip. I wondered what exactly would happen if I just never went home?
I hope to return as soon as possible....for as long as possible.