Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Catching up

Okay, so we've done a horrible job keeping this blog up to date with our most recent trips. We keep hoping we'll get the time to write something witty and interesting, and put all the pictures in context. But honestly, that's not going to happen anytime soon, so rather than just keep putting off what we'd LIKE to do, we'll just put up what we WILL do.

So, to catch everyone up, here are the trips we've taken since March, along with some great photos!


Milan - Beautiful weather in March, a Da Vinci masterpiece (we got to go in and see the Last Supper), and shopping galore. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah - Gelato!

More pics at

Rapperswill - A tiny tourist town on Lake Zurich. My buddy Aaron (fellow BCGer spending time in Europe) came down from Stockholm, and we all took a trip down the lake, and walked around a town that looks like it was made for Disneyworld!

More pics at

Zurich - Right next to Keshava's office is the oldest and tallest church in Zurich, the Grossmunster. From the top, you can see great views of Zurich's skyline.

More pics at

Colmar - Right across the border of France, it's set in the heart of the Alsace wine-making region (and has the Pinot Noirs to prove it). It's also famous for its "Petit Venise" district of canals, and as being the birthplace of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi - the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty

More pics at


Rheinfalls - The largest waterfall (by volume) in Europe is only an hour away from Zurich. So when Josh came to visit in April, we took a quick visit. It's no Niagara, but you can take a boat ride to a rock right in the middle of the falls, and see it flow all around you. Oh yeah, there's also a 1200 year old castle there too - Schloss Laufen.

More pics at

Krakow - I ended up on a project in Krakow, Poland for three months (and lived on the only vegetarian food they had - pierogis). But for one weekend, Diana came out to visit, and we had a chance to see some of old Eastern Europe, including the largest old town square in Europe. The church in the square - St. Mary's, is probably my favorite church we've seen so far in Europe.

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Auschwitz - No matter how much people told us about their visits, we weren't prepared for it being so REAL when we visited. Horrifying and tragic, it was still a valuable experience.

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Lake Como - We met up for a long weekend with two couples who were friends from business school - Astrid and Val, and Leon and Anna, along with each of their adorable daughters, Lola and Alexis. For four days we had good times, great food, and gorgeous weather as we visited Bellagio, Varenna, and Mennagio around the lake. And although we never saw George Clooney, we still had a blast!

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Even more pics at

Luzern and Mt. Rigi - Luzern is supposed to be the most beautiful city in Switzerland, and it's only an hour away, so we spent Mother's Day exploring the city. Then we took a cogswheel train to the top of Mt. Rigi, where gorgeous views of the Alps awaited us. Next time we're going to try and actually hike it!

More pics at

Antalya - Part of the Turkish Mediterranean, Antalya is where all the Germans seem to go for their holiday, so we got a chance to try out our "hoch deutsch" on the locals. Fortunately, the people were extremely friendly, and so we were able to manage without offending anyone!

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Perge - Less than an hour away from the seaside resorts of Antalya is Perge (pair-gay), which joined the Roman empire in 200 BC, but was a Greek settlement for almost 800 years before that! There are amazing ruins there, including the remains of the Roman market and an arena that held gladiator combats.

So that's it - we're caught up on European trips now.... But keep an eye out, because over the next 5 weeks we're visiting Lisbon, Vienna, and Prague! Hopefully we'll see more of you all in pictures soon too - come out and visit us!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hitting the slopes

And I mean that in the most literal sense - more on that later.

For my Xmas present, Keshava arranged a trip to a local ski park, Flumserberg, which we could access by train. We had a ski instructor for the morning, however, he quickly became my new best friend and K was off to the intermediate slopes without me.

This was the second time I had ever skied. And the first time was 14 years ago. Due to the heroic efforts of the instructor, I actually only fell once, but when I did, it was spectacular. I fell getting on the magic carpet - a ski lift for babies. The kid behind me was 18months old. And as I lay there on the snow, I had the humiliating opportunity to watch my poles go up the hill without me.

All and all is was a fun day. The alps are beautiful and the weather was glorious that day. We took a gondola ride to 2200 meters and got to watch three para-jumpers throw themselves off the mountain and float way. In the meantime, someone absconded with Keshavas skis and while he was not able to ski in the afternoon, the culprit kindly returned them to the ski rental place so that we did not have to pay.

I am fairly confident that I will never be able to ski, but Keshava is determined and has already gone a second time. Maybe some of it will eventually rub off on me...

See more of Flumserberg at

Monday, March 10, 2008

Barcelona - City of Picasso and Gaudi

Much like many airlines in the US, Swiss Air has weekly last minute flight deals. Looking at the destinations though, all similarities end. Our second week in Zurich, we saw a deal for Barcelona, so off we went!

Barcelona is definitely not a city for the traditionalist - anchored by the cubism of Picasso, and the architecture of Gaudi, the city surprises you around every corner.

Even the markets are designed to be visually appealing - the Boqueria is the biggest market in the city, and the sights and smells can be overwhelming.

But the most overwhelming sights in the city are the churches - the old Gothic Cathedral, and the still under construction Sagrada Familia are both amazing, but are about as far apart as you can get in style.

See more of Barcelona at:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

First trip - Off to Basel!

After one week of exploring Zurich (which isn't nearly as big as we thought), it was time for our first trip - visiting good friends from NYC, Astrid and Val, and their daughter Lola, who have been living in Basel for the last year. A quick walk around Basel took us to the banks of the Rhine river. In the meantime, Astrid and Val filled us in on all the insider tips and tricks for surviving as an American in Switzerland.

See more of Basel at

Our first days in Zurich....

We started off living in style, as we stayed right on the lake for our first night in Zurich. Gorgeous weather greeted us, unusual for this time of year, but we were not about to complain. It was so nice, the Zurichers even took to the lake (although we didn't think it was THAT warm). The next day, we moved to a furnished apartment a few blocks away, and the search for an apartment began. Supposedly, finding an apartment in Zurich is one of the hardest places to find one - but we got lucky, and ended getting the first apartment we saw!

See more of our first days at

Monday, March 3, 2008

Moving out!

Its a great city, but it was time to say Auf Wiedersehen! (or at least, see you later) to New York. One of the hardest parts was saying goodbye to the apartment (as anyone who lives in Manhattan will understand), but at least we had great friends to see us off and make our last night in the city a memorable one!

See more at:

Our Zurich / European Adventure!

So, it's been almost six weeks since we packed up our belongings, sent them on a slow boat to Switzerland, and started our European adventure. While we haven't been nearly as in touch as we'd like, we've already been having some great adventures, and rather than bore all of you, our dear family and friends, with an email everytime we go off and try something new, we thought we'd just set up this photo blog showing the things we've done. We'll try and give a quick background of the pics, and show your our few favorites, and then for those of you with an appetite for more - give you the link to the full set.

Hope you all enjoy the pictures, and we can't wait for all of you to come join us in taking some here in Europe!

Diana & Keshava