Monday, September 11, 2006

Europe is a Master Blaster (who out there knows what I'm talking about...)

Well hello folks! Man it seems we've been gone for so long, and so much happened while we were away.

Well, on to the juicy details.

The trip consisted of the following itenerary:
Interlaken -- a Swiss town in between 2 magnificent lakes
Carcassonne -- a French town with a historic castle/city look
Banyuls sur mer -- a beach town near the France/Spain border
Madrid -- the old stomping grounds
El Escorial/Segovia -- Kings burial place/Old castle, Roman ruins town
Aranjuez/Toledo -- Summer Palace and gardens, and Old spain capitol
Cordoba -- Moorish capital of Spain
Sevilla -- Flamenco center
Madrid -- bull-fight
Rome -- Vatican Museum, La Pieta, Pantheon, Colesuem
Florence -- David statue, Boticellis, and other famous paintings
Venice -- town of romance, St. Marks Square
Salzburg -- Sound of Music, marionette show
Prague -- Black Light Theater, Art Nouveau town, Mozart concert
Munich -- Olympic Stadium, jumping point for next 2 days
Fussen -- Schloss Neuschwanstein (awesome castle)
Dachau -- concentration camp during WWII
Zurich -- home sweet home, here we come

There was just so much to see and experience. As we write down this itenerary, we are once again amazed at everything we saw. We are attaching pictures also so you can get a taste of the trip. We'll hit the highlights of the trip first, and then if you have questions you can post comments and we'll respond, and so on.

Interlaken -- We went hang-gliding here. It was an incredible rush. You just start by running off a mountain, then whoosh, you're airborn. It was a tandem flight of course, but it was so much fun. Lake Lucern was so beautiful. The country was beautiful. It is the most gorgeous place on earth we think. I (Brad) particularly love it because it is forested and mountainous. Tallenbach Falls was another awesome sight. It is a convergence of tons of snow run-off. It has 10 different cascading waterfalls that you can go up and see. It was powerful. Truly an amazing sight.

Carcassonne -- This was a neat experience because it is the town that our favorite game is based on. Some of you (maybe all?) played it with us last Christmas or sometime since. The town was an old fortress for the Cathars back in Medieval times. We saw a mock-joust there. It was fun. Plywood lances that splintered. Choreographed sword fights. What I liked the most about Carcassonne is that it reminded me of Toledo, Spain. I saw 2 old women gabbing it up early Sunday morning and it reminded me of my mission. Then I sensed that Aaron and I served very similar people and I felt closer to him knowing that our mission experiences were probably very similar.

Banylus sur mer -- Our intention was to go snorkeling at this Reef Preserve, but it turned out too innaccesable for us with packs etc., so we just chilled at the beach - the Mediterranean beach! It was fun playing in another ocean. The beach was a pebble/rock beach. It was very different. Also, the beach was open for nudity, so several women (and most of them aging) were laying out without tops on. That was certainly a bizarre sight!

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