Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Santorini, Greece

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

I spent 3 days just enjoying the beauty that is Santorini. On Friday I took the bus to Oia which supposedly has the most beautiful sunset in the world. Over 200 people waited with cameras but unfortunately it was too cloudy. Santorini is all about money with jewelry stores and expensive restaurants lining the rim of the crater overlooking the Meditteanean. One interesting fact is that the grape vineyards here do not put their grapes on poles but instead place the vines in a circle on the ground to help keep the moisture in the ground.

Santorini , Greece {Perissa Beach}

Sunday October 15, 2006

Checked out of the hotel. I am going to Crete at 10 pm on the ferry. I am going to spend the day at Perissa beach. The beach has black sand. The water was cold but the sun was warm.

Crete, Greece {Samaria Gorge}

Monday October 16, 2006

I arrived in Heraklion on the boat at 12:30 am and finally found a hostel. I only got 4 hrs sleep and had to catch the 5:30 am bus to Chania which was 2.5 hrs away. I got there just in time to catch the 8am bus to Samaria Gorge, which was the only reason I came to Crete. It is the longest ravine in Europe and starts off with a 3000 ft. drop during the first mile and another 11 miles after that. The hike takes about 5-6 hrs and eventually leads to a seaside town. Walking downhill on rocks is very painful and it reminded me of Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, the pain was not completely over by the time we reached the beach town. The bus was full and I had to stand another 1.5 hrs. I am ready to leave Crete. The walk was a great trek but I am looking forward to Switzerland.

Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken is one of the most beautiful towns that I have ever been. I came here for 3 days and stayed 9 days. Set in the middle of the Alps, it is a town of about 20,000 people and has a beautiful river running right through the center of town. It also has two lakes on both sides of it. Ursula and Chris at Rugenpark Hostel made me feel like I was at home. I probably would have stayed longer except they were closing for the month of November. Ursula gave me a box of chocolates as a going away present.

Jungfraujoch and Ice Palace

Wednesday October 18, 2006

After flying into Milan from Crete the night before I caught the 6:25am train to Interlaken. I had left my camera back in my hotel room and had to go back and get it. I got to the train 2 minutes before it pulled out. The train ride to Switzerland was incredible. I got to Interlaken at 9am and found out that the next train to the Jungfrau Mountain, which I wanted to visit, left in 3 minutes so I bought a ticket. The weather has been warm since I have been in Europe and I did not bring a coat. It would have been nice to have had one when I went to the Jungfrau and the Ice Palace, which is located inside the mountain. At 11,400 feet Jungfrau has been the highest railroad terminus for over a century and the Aletsch Glacier is Europe's longest.

Paragliding over Interlaken

Thursday October 19, 2006

Today I went with 4 other people up on the side of a mountain about 2800 feet up and ran off the side of a mountain along with my pilot, Julian, in a tandem jump. Julian said his 1st jump was only 18 months earlier and then it when he decided to get him license. The view over Interlaken was beautiful and we landed right in front of Hooters, the only one in Europe. Life doesn't get much better.

Trummelbach Falls

October 20, 2006

After visiting Schilthorn, Murren and Gimmelwald, I finally found my way to the Falls. The Falls have 10 separate waterfalls within the mountain. My pictures are not very good but it may give some insight to the phenomena.


Friday October 20, 2006

Today I had planned to go to Trummelbach Falls, which has 10 waterfalls inside a mountain, but took the wrong bus and ended up at the lift to Schilthorn Mountain. Schilthorn is famous for having the longest ski run in the world and being the location for one of the older James Bond films. It was the best view so far including Jungfrau. At the top is a rotating restaurant which gives you a 360 degree view while eating lunch.
" All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
Martin Buber

Murrren, Switzerland

I got off the lift from Schilthorn to visit the village of Murren. It is a typical small swiss village on the mountainside but a little commericalized but not too much. It has restuarants and hotels which makes it tourist friendly. A good place to stay in the Alps can be hard to find.


Friday October 20, 2006

Later I went to Gimmelwald which is much smaller with only one bed and breakfast, no restaurants and the Mountain Hostel with has probably one of the best views in the Alps. Since Gimmelwald is not too far up the mountain from Murren, it is easy to get supplies and food in Murren when staying at the Mountain Hostel.