Friday, August 15, 2014

Swiss: Zurich, Lucerne, Hergswil & Rhine Falls August 2014

After visiting Gozo/Malta, I had to take a flight to somewhere in Europe to then fly back to Anchorage. So I choose Zurich, Switzerland. I've been to Berne and Interlaken many years and Swizz is just beautiful. Last minute, I decided to take a train one hour to Lucerne and spent two nights in a small town nearby. Then spent two more nights in Zurich. A bit of techno dancing, which I am afraid will be my last as Alaska just does not have many music options.

Yes, Swiss is expensive, many people asked why did I come. But I managed well without eating out and staying with couchsurfers, which is not just about saving money. It was nice to have someone to talk t and even go out with at night or a day trip. I was looking forward to traveling solo as I had an awesome time doing that in Alaska. But what I realized was solo traveling works well when you are properly backpacking. I was just stopping by cities for a few nights, which is not backpacking.

I learned that in Swiss every male has to do service with their army. Usually a few weeks a year for many many years. One guy decided to just get it over with and is doing it a year straight. This puzzled me because Swiss is neutral, so why is their any army? Well, they really do more like community service work, body guarding/patrolling major events, which there are many in Swiss.

In Zurich, I met up with many expats from different countries and it was so neat we were all speaking English very well. I even met a German chick whose name is Sonia and middle name is RoseMary. My first name is MaryRose and middle is Sonia. Too funny...

I've been in Alaska 5 days now. Took me a few nights to get my sleep schedule back on track. Its high 5os, cloudy and rainy all week. Why did I leave Gozo? Been thinking a  lot about my future down the road and its fun to see what will happen next. I love Alaska still, not only is it beauitful but the people are amazing. Right away I got greens and squash from a friend's garden and muscles a friend harvested. I went berry picking and tried to fish a bit but no luck. Its so alive here and free space to breathe and think and enjoy.

So I organized my pix in a few albums:
Cute Lucerne, click here pix of walls/towers, small streets and lakes.

Cute small country town I stayed near Lucerne, click here for pix of green view and glass maze.

A day in Zurich, click here  . 

Rhine water falls near Zurich pix, click here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gozo & Malta Part 2: 7-14

Malta has been in the EU for about 10 years and with that there's been many changes that I am sure they did no expect. One friend told me he noticed changes in just one year...

Some changes include being a refuge area and now living with non-Catholics. There was even a mosque! There's also a lot more policing even during the day, I seem them patrolling. EU has funded to improve the bus, parks, historical sites, and roads. I saw a lot of solar panels on roof tops.

And, I was told that a ton of teenage foreigners come to Malta to learn English but they just end up partying way hard and getting in to major trouble. It's insane that Malta has become so full with foreigners and changing too quickly.

The cars have a terrible exhaust and does not seem regulated. When you drive with the window down, there's either that lovely smell, the animals in the field smell and/or the dust. I always cough when I am here. Its amazing the air is not like LA...

We have such beautiful beaches and now with garbage cans, but yet I still see so much waste on the beach and in the water. I started picking up the plastic caps, bottles, snack bags, etc. It really upset me after a few days of seeing this everywhere. And so many people smoke in Europe and just toss the butts right on the beach. It blew my mind. They have no idea what harm they are causing. The beaches are way overcrowded, but I guess that is everywhere since we have too many people on this planet....

Visiting home is not just sun and beach for us even though that is most of my pix. There's a ton of family to try to see and it is difficult to catch up or even communicate after not seeing them for 5 years and not knowing some as well as others.

There's a lot of memories and history too from when we tried to move here when I was 12, which was a difficult transition for me. We shipped all of our toys and stuff so they still remain here. I love looking through the old photos and reading old letters, like from my dad 23 years ago. God, I am getting old if I can say that many years ago :)

For my parents visiting is really not all fun and games because they have the old house to deal with. Repairing the washer, the backyard roof, redoing electrical work and taking care of leaks and mice. Also our old car have them a lot of trouble and was only repaired the last few days of their stay, so they could not do too many errands.

More Gozo beach pix and food shots, click here.
Pictures of the main island, Malta, click here