Switzerland

Swans!

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When we went to Switzerland a couple years ago, we saw a lot of swans in Zurich and Lucerne.  I was very excited.

I really don’t remember seeing a swan before, and didn’t realize how beautiful they are.  I think part of the reason I was

so fascinated by them, was they were acting as substitute pets.  I have 2 cats, and I missed them terribly, so I kind of

“adopted” all the swans we saw over there.  I loved feeding them, and took lots of photos.  My favorite was seeing the swan

family in Zurich.  We were walking to the lake, when across the lawn come the mom and her gray chics (I guess more

like teenagers).  I have never seen anything so precious!  The all walked in  a single row, and went into the lake.  I love

ducks too, and am I always happy to see ducks anywhere I go 🙂

upside down swan in Lucerne
Lucerne
swans in Lucerne, Switzerland
swans in Lucerne, Switzerland
swan family heading to Lake Zurich
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Through the alley

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I don’t know why, but I love alleys.  Not the scary ones you are supposed to avoid at

night, but ones with quaint little shops or bars hidden away from the rest of the city.

I guess its the mystery, or the challenge of seeing what you can find in that alley.  And

of course I love this alley because it has street lamps!  In earlier posts, I mention my

obsession with streetlamps 🙂  This photo was taken in Lucerne, Switzerland.  Lucerne

is a pretty town nestled in the Alps, with the Reuss River going through it, and Lake

Lucerne. The town is fully of these alleyways which contain quite a bit of shopping

for a city this size, I think.  I believe there are at least 3 H&M stores here!

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Packing for your trip? Here’s what I learned to lighten the load

hubby and me at sunset, Edisto Beach, SC

In my travel experiences, I have come a long way in terms of packing for a vacation.  My first 10- day trip to Europe consisted

of a giant wheeled suitcase with everything but the kitchen sink! This irritated many strangers as they had to help me hoist it onto trains, buses, and boats!

Since then, with luggage fees and a lost suitcase, I have

learned how to whittle everything down to one carry-on.  Now these have been for no more than a 4-day weekend, but I am

challenging myself this fall when we take a 10-day trip to Italy with only a carry-on.  My husband and I will have the smaller

wheeled suitcases they allow on board, along with a small backpack for me, and our camera equipment backpack for him.

I think the key is renting places with washing machines!  But here are some of my tips:

1.  Travel in warm weather, you wear less, so you pack less.

2.  As stated above, rent apartments with washing machines.  If that is not possible, your clothes can be hand-washed in the bathroom sink.

We have done this, and bought a clothes line with a sink stopper from Magellan’s to hang our wet clothes on besides chairs or whatever.

You can also get soap sheets, or pack some dry detergent with you.

3. If you do choose to wash your clothes in the room and you don’t have access to or want to pay to dry your clothes at a laundry mat with

a dryer, you will need wrinkle-free, quick dry clothes.  Buy socks that are not 100% cotton, not only do they dry overnight, they keep

you from getting blisters if you walk a lot since they don’t get moist and rub against your feet.  Some places to get some nice travel clothes

are Magellan’s as mentioned above, Patagonia ,Athleta, and REI.  I have found some really cute dresses at the last two places that you can wear

anytime! Now these are not cheap.  I have had to save money for a couple months to get clothes, which is fine, if you know far in advance

where you are going.

4.  Some awesome packing aids are packing cubes, which really help condense things like underwear, or those air compression bags you squeeze the

air out of (without a vacuum).  I have seen these at Target and The Container Store.  I love these!  You can really compress your

clothes down, and have room for new stuff when you go shopping!

5.  If I know I am only going to hand-wash items, I really don’t want to wash my underwear because I feel like that is not clean enough.

I have bought cheap packages of underwear, rolled them up tight into a zip-loc bag, and then thrown away a pair every day so

I am not carrying around dirty underwear.  That’s just my preference, I am sure most people wouldn’t care 🙂

6. For the few outfits you will bring, make sure all the colors match, so you can wear any top and bottom together. Or just wear dresses.

7.  If you don’t want to bring socks and tennis shoes, or sneakers, get some good walking sandals and wear those the whole

time.  A good walking sandal that I found is Merrell brand.  I know REI sells these as well as individual stores, and online.

I have some that I have walked several miles around Chicago for 3 days straight, and they never bothered me.

8. Now how about those pesky airline restrictions on liquids in your carry-on?

*Instead of bringing a travel bottle of your facial cleanser, I use those Dove facial cloths that activate when you wet them.

They free up space in my quart bag, and exfoliate everyday that I use them.

*Some things you only use a tiny bit of, like eye cream.  Even that small jar is too big to take with you.  Go to a

cosmetic counter like Bare Minerals, and ask for a sample of something.  Those tiny plastic containers they give

you are perfect for eye cream or some makeup you will use a little of.

*If you are traveling with someone who does not need all the space in their little quart bag, put some of your

stuff in their bag!

9.  Do you really need your hairdryer?  Most places provide one, but if not, wash you hair at night and let it air-dry

and just wear it in a pony tail or braids while on vacation.  If you do it this way, you may be able to cut down on

your liquid items as you may not need to pack hairspray, leave-in conditioner, or styling gel.

10. I know there are tons of tips I don’t know about.  What are yours?

Categories: Beach, Chicago, fun pics, London, New York, Paris, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hang gliding in the Alps

in the air
hang gliding over Lake Thun, Switzerland

I love heights!  I have been skydiving a couple of times, so hang gliding was on my list.  When we were planning on visiting Switzerland, a friend who goes there frequently for business mentioned paragliding.  I thought what would be cooler than flying around in the Swiss Alps?  I did some research, and found something better: hang gliding.  Paragliding uses a parachute, whereas in hang gliding, a rigid wing is used.  I am not sure, but I think you could possibly go longer on a hang glider.  We were staying in Murren, a small village over 5,000 ft. in elevation.  The place where we flew was in Interlaken, about a 15 min. train ride away.  I contacted Interlaken Hang gliding , and when we arrived at our hotel in Murren, they called for us and set up a time the next day to go.  They picked us up at the train station, and drove to a park in town.  We loaded up the wing in a van and drove up a hill, or maybe a small mountain to where we were going to jump from.  After we put on our suits, and practiced running with Bernie, the pilot, we were ready for take off.  We jumped off at a point near Lake Thun.  A beautiful turquoise colored lake you can see in the photo above.  We hovered and flew around that lake for what seemed like 20 minutes!  It was very easy to just relax and let Bernie do the flying.  He had a long pole extend out in front of us with a camera attached to it, so that was how he took pictures of us while in the air.  I love just flying around and looking at the scenery, but when Bernie decided to do some tricks, I had to close my eyes, or the flight was not going to end well!  Both my husband and I had a great time.  We were the last flight of the day, so Bernie and my husband had a beer!  I recommend splurging on this adventure, if not here, do it somewhere in your lifetime!

me hang gliding in Interlaken, Switzerland
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Going down a mountain is harder than you think

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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
sitting on wall in Murren, Switzerland
Staubach Falls, Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

We went to Murren, Switzerland which is a cute village above Lauterbrunnen (elevation 5412ft).  We stayed at the Eiger Guesthouse for 5 nights, which was wonderful.  On the last day, the weather was beautiful after a few overcast days, and we decided to hike down to Lauterbrunnen.  I thought how easy this would be, because climbing up a mountain certainly is not easy (at least not for me).  It was actually difficult.  Walking downhill for that length of time is pretty strenuous.  And it was slippery from the runoff from the snow at the very top.  I actually fell a couple times, almost breaking my precious camera! The photo with the sunray coming through the clouds was taken about 10 am, in Murren before we headed down.  You can also see this photo at etsy.com.  The waterfall is Staubach falls which starts a little below from where we hiked from.   The photo with the buildings is the main street in Lauterbrunnen.   This part of the Swiss Alps is so beautiful, I bet even more so in the winter!

Categories: Nature, photos for sale, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Introduction

Lake Zurich

Hi!  My name is Lisa and I love to travel and document my adventures through photography. Currently, I work as a research analyst in several cancer studies, but I am always planning the next trip.   I moved to Nashville, TN in 1997 with a friend where I got a job at a travel agency.  This enabled me to go places I thought I would never see otherwise.  My very first overseas trip was to Australia to see an old roommate.  Several trips to Europe followed.  In 2003, I met my husband, Jim.  Luckily, he shared my love of travel.  I would have not married him if he didn’t!  While I enjoyed taking several rolls of film everywhere I went, it didn’t occur to me until 2009 to combine travel and photography on a more serious level.  I got a second job so I could get a professional-grade camera, and it went everywhere with us.  Since then, I have been trying to perfect my skills on location, with a few still-life and my cats thrown in.  I would like to share stories behind the photos and hope that someone would like one of my images for themselves.  I sell these on www.etsy.com/shop/longworldphotography.  My husband is a great photographer also.  You can see his work in this shop too.  Thanks for taking a look!

Categories: fun pics, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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