After a 5 hour drive (well really it was a ride…thanks again Eric), a grueling 8.5 hour flight, many shuttle rides, a short train ride, and a decent amount of walking, I am officially on Switzerland soil. It feels incredibly surreal to sit and type this post as I soak in the remaining rays of this beautiful Swiss Saturday…but nevertheless I will update you on my adventures to date. Once in Switzerland the adventures began at the Hotel St. Josef in Zurich, with the normal hotel check-in process followed by a brief opportunity to get settled in (honestly, it was more of let’s throw down our bags and go see what Zurich has to offer…specifically in the way of food). A small group of my fellow GPP2014 participants and I made our way around Zurich and stopped for a quick bite to eat (I ordered a pizza…shocker I know but the bratwurst is next on the list), then we were off again. Our walk took us through a medieval festival, to the opera house, into a few churches, and around the beautiful cobblestone streets of Zurich. After landing in Switzerland at 8:30am Swiss time (2:30am Virginia time), we were all exhausted and were trying our best to push through until nighttime in Zurich to help lessen the jet lag. But we all found ourselves taking naps before the day was over, which was great and provided me with my second wind. After my nap I decided to take on the streets of Zurich alone…by running them. I laced up my shoes and was out the door to see the sights. The run was absolutely amazing not only due to the fact I was running in Switzerland, but it was the perfect temperature, with no humidity, a slight breeze, and all the wonderful smells of summer surrounding me. It was an amazing, breathtaking experience (no pun intended-although it is important to note the hills in Blacksburg have nothing on Switzerland as you can imagine). As I sit now reflecting on my day and the surrealness of it all I am so incredibly thankful for such an amazing opportunity to appreciate a small taste of what the world has to offer.
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