We have returned home from our honeymoon with lots of new stories and experiences to share! We had a lovely time during our trip, and will remember it always. Both of the countries we visited were very different from one another. Switzerland was absolutely breathtaking! The Swiss Alps are quite a site to see! The food was impeccable and the people nice and helpful. Our first stop in Lucerne, we stayed in a hotel overlooking the famous and beautiful lake there. With mountains and hills and beautiful architecture, Lucerne was a very charming Swiss city. After there, we headed off to Interlaken. We actually ended up staying in a little town near Interlaken, called Wilderswil, which was situated up in the hills at the base of some huge and beautiful mountains. This was no doubt my favorite place in Switzerland. Here, we took a train to a town called Lauterbrunnen, from there we took a few cable cars up to the mountains until we reached the peak of the Schilhtorn. Quite literally at the top of the Alps! There was still lots of snow and it was quite cold up there, but breathtaking none the less.
I loved waking up in the morning, with the windows open and a fresh crisp breeze coming in, hearing the sounds of the cows with the cow bells jingling around their necks, and the crows cawing, with a beautiful mountain sunrise. Needless to say, I wasnt ready to leave Wilderswil that day! Although our next stop in Lugano, was also an extremely beautiful place. Right on the border of Italy, it was a fusion of cultures, Swiss and Italian. While it had the Swiss scenery of large jutting hills and mountains coming out the the lake of Lugano, it also had Mediterranean villages surrounding the hills, that made it look like a Mediterranean fantasy land! Switzerland is truly a place to remember and hopefully a place we will return to one day.
The next day we took a train to Italy. My first experience here was in a taxi that was taking us to our hotel. Needless to say Rome is a very hectic, chaotic city with cars, mopeds and people going in every direction possible. No lanes, lights or stop signs to guide the roads, kind of like a free for all! I was a little scared at first, but got used to it rather quickly. Our first site in Rome was the Pantheon, which was massive and spectacular! You walk down cobblestone streets, and then the street opens up into a courtyard of sorts, with the Pantheon at its center. Stopped me right in my tracks! This, in its day, was a polytheistic temple (a temple to all the Gods), which now has Catholic influence on the inside, no longer Pagan, but magnificant none the less. The next day we toured the Baths of Caracalla, The Colosseum and The Forum. All of which left me breathless! So well preserved, you can just imagine all the events that took place there in its hay day. At the Forum, we got to see the Temple of Vesta, and the House of the Vestal Virgins directly behind it. I was surprised to see that many of the statues at the House of the Vestal Virgins are still there! I made a little offering, said my prayer, and we were off to the next fantastic ruin.
Then, our second day in Rome, we visited The Vatican. We only saw the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel, which was about a 3 hour tour. The museum was fantastic! With Egyptian , Roman and Greek artifacts, and some even from other cultures. Its one of the best museums I've ever seen. There were rooms with long halls where the walls were lined back to back with Roman and Greek statues of Goddesses, Gods, Emperors, etc. I even saw my beloved Hekate there, and of course took some pictures! As well as Selene, Ceres, Artemis, Athena, Medusa, Isis, Sekhmet, Anubis, Dionysos and many others.
Our third day in Rome, we took a day trip out to the Amalfi coast and Pompeii. This was definitely the highlight of our trip! Our driver stopped in a little town on the Amalfi coast called Positano. I will never forget the pure beauty of this place. Right on the water surrounded by huge hills and mountains covered in little Italian villages and some Medieval buildings, Positano is a place I will dream of going back to. As we only had about 2 hours there, before we set off for the Ancient site of Pompeii. We absolutely loved Pompeii! This site is so incredibly preserved, its easy to see how they once lived. There is even some paint left on the walls in the some of the buildings. It is also a huge complex, so we did not get to see the whole thing even with a two hour tour of it. Also unfortunately, the area that housed the Temple of Isis was closed for restoration, so I could not see that. Although I did get to see a Temple to Fortuna, and a Temple to the Emperor Augustus. Pompeii is a great place that I plan to learn more about, its a place I've dreamed of going for many years, and Im so happy I've been able to capture that dream fabulously!
Well as you can see, our trip was pretty full, so needless to say, we were dead tired by our last day there. So we decided to just take it easy our last day, walk around the city, do some shopping, eat more Italian food, and relax with some wine.
Looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing about our trip. Everything worked out great and we have some wonderful memories and pictures that we will hold dear for many years. Some advice to those of you who are planning to check out Rome. This city is jam packed with people, as well as all the ancient sites. Even though Rome has a grand reputation, dont forget it is still a city, and it can be dirty, and the unfortunate smell of urine lets itself be known! There are also some pick pocketers, and scammers trying to sell you what they offer and they are very persistent. So much so, that I actually had to snap at one of them to leave me alone, because he so clearly wasn't getting the hint. You learn as you travel, to take the good with the bad, I was in Rome for one particular purpose, that was to see the famous ancient ruins. Which I had to keep reminding myself of. None the less it was a great experience that neither of us will forget.
I hope you enjoyed listening about our European adventure, as well as the pictures I posted! If you would like to see more pictures, check out my fan page on facebook, as I plan to post a few more pictures on there.