Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mossy, Stony, and Scotland

The wee Scottish lad dancing in the rain. 
I was giddy to be in a beautiful English-speaking country.

The Royal Mile, as seen during the madness of Fringe Festival.

An American singer in Glasgow.
Nothing to write home about.

Jonny is studying here for the semester and probably getting an unfair advantage --
simply existing on this campus makes a person smarter.

You're looking at the fish that should have lemon juice on it,
but the lemon juice squirted everywhere but on the fish,
including the faces of people at three of my surrounding tables.

Happy to be eating gluten-free food without cutting into retirement savings.

Castle at Edinburgh! We didn't tour, we just stood outside
and took this picture so it would look like we toured.

The dark and mysterious Glasgow.

The lovely Scottish horse of my dreams. We're soulmates.
He saw me coming and stopped eating -- yes, stopped eating -- to come say hello.

Our luxurious accommodations for the week. I got the bed. 

Jonny turned 21 in Glasgow, so I took him to the
Ubiquitous Chip for some out-of-this-world eats.

Ashton Lane, my favorite street in Glasgow,
full of fantastic restaurants.

Walking to Captain's Rest to see some good live music
 and thought this was purty.

So did he, so he posed for a picture.

He was very bold this night, testing out the world of gluten.
It turned out okay for him.

I went nuts when I saw this SAIL-THRU restaurant.
On the other side of that little rail is a canal, and
I considered buying a boat just so I could sail thru
and order some fish and chips.

Most of our marathon bike ride was along this canal.


This is the part of the bike ride where the flowers hide the canal.

These charming gents were having the time of their lives at the bowling club.

Biked 13 miles for this moment.
The view from our booth. This was at Grosvenor Cafe,
one of the restaurants on Ashton Lane.

The view of our booth from Grosvenor Cafe. 

The view of our meal at Grosvenor Cafe.
I loved that they served everything on wooden cutting boards.
I had a delicious cottage pie and Jonny had slimy mussels.
I'm glad I can eat gluten.

Blending right in to his environment at University of Glasgow.

Angels were singing.

Shouldn't this door lead to Narnia or something?

The chapel on campus. Not too shabby.

Cool church, and Jonny had to sneak his face into the corner of my shot.

Basically I liked the modern building next to all the old ones.

We hadn't been there three days and he'd already purchased some vintage Euro shorts.
It's a shame there aren't many sunny days in Scotland, because his
American thighs aren't quite accustomed to being out in public.
Or is it the public that isn't accustomed to his American thighs? 

As wonderful as he is, Jonny and I needed a little breather.
We spent an afternoon in separate cafes,
and as you can see, it was heavenly.

The best looking picnic table I've ever seen.
Ironically, it's also the one I'd least like to sit at. 

Loch Lomond 

Considering jumping into Loch Lomond
after the outrageous time we had getting there.

Moss looks a lot like carpet.

These are real-life taxis, and they make our
 big yellow taxis seem so...well...ordinary.

All in all, Scotland was grand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Picture-Perfect Switzerland

I've posted a hefty amount of photos here, and this only captures our week in Switzerland (Scotland photos to come!). But after my boo-hoo post about everything that went wrong, I figured it was only right to show a piece of all the amazing things we were able to see and experience. Enjoy!

Calvin's Cathedral

A little corner of Geneva.

I like this umbrella.

We booked our lodging in Switzerland through airbnb and THIS was our view from the apartment in Lucerne.
First dinner in Lucerne: feet dangling over the wall, looking across the water at Old Town.

Dinner was simple: meat, cheese, bread, wine. 
Swiss streetside cafe.
Pick me up for dinner at 7?

The view from the top of Mt. Pilatus. We boated across this lake and
took the cog railway up the mountain, past real mountain cows with real cowbells.

Yes, this is what you think it is. Sheets and sheets of Swiss chocolate.

Blue and blue and blue.




Alps and Siblings!
Our best views were always when we were moving. The Swiss Travel system is
spectacular, so we trained and boated everywhere we went.   
Mt. Pilatus, as seen from our boat.

Train window snap: steeple under the clouds.

Another from the train.

Switzerland = lakes and mountains. 
It was at the moment of taking this picture that Jonny and I developed our Indian accents. An Indian family of four was our only company in the rail car, and the little boy and girl said all sorts of adorable quotable things.
The girl said to her mom, "You can take as many pictures of me as you want any time." 

We spent an afternoon here and swam in the chilly mountain water with the locals.
And saw a lot of speedos.

Walking. Because we missed the bus.

Train home from Interlaken. One of my favorite rides.

Deep breath.

Glacier water looks like milk! Who knew?

Deep in the mountains on our way to the Matterhorn.

This makes me want to explore.

First glacier I've ever seen. It was so barren and untouchable...
I may have hung my jaw open. 

Is this not the most quintessential photo of Switzerland?

p.s. Lest you be duped into thinking Switzerland is budget-friendly, let me tell you the story of this coffee. This is not an espresso. This is a coffee. Jonny and I had 7.50 francs left (about $12.00) , and we were on our way to Scotland, so we figured we'd use our francs to buy breakfast. When I saw that all we could buy with it was two coffees, I ordered two coffees. I looked into the cup the barista handed me and saw exactly what you see in that photo: a cup of coffee one-quarter full. Right then and there I knew I belonged in America.