I absolutely love the mountains. Up until three or so years ago I was somehow convinced my love for the mountains was restricted to the winter when there's snow and I can go snowboarding, but then I discovered hiking. Now I don't know how I ever assumed I wouldn't like the mountains in the summer, because I can't think of many things more enjoyable than grabbing my camera, packing some snacks and heading to the mountains for a little hike. The views are just so majestic and there's something utterly calming about the nature.
So far I haven't explored the mountains here as much as I wish I had, but thankfully I do still have plenty of time. I have gone up to the Berner Oberland and Bernese Alps only a couple of times, the first of which was the first weekend after arriving in Switzerland. I got a chance to go hiking in the Hasliberg area with my host family, and absolutely loved the views. Although not so high up itself, the views of the Bernese Alps were lovely and I was happy to find that it wasn't too busy, at least not on the Sunday afternoon that we went there. Not to say I don't like people, I just prefer hiking in places that are not too crowded. Anyway, here are a few of the shots from Hasliberg.
It's now been just over a month since I arrived in Bern. Although I've used a lot of my free weekends to take a train outside the city to explore the surroundings, I've had a change to walk around Bern and get to know my new base, too. Here are my first impressions of this Swiss capital and some of the first photos I've snapped while exploring the city. Apologies for the quality of the photos, I really need to sort my camera out...
The first thing I fell in love with was the river Aare that flows through the city. I get to live very close to it and love going for runs or just walking by it. I just can't stop being mesmerized by its gorgeous turquoise color. I've never seen anything like it in any of the other countries I've lived in, and I just find it somehow incredibly beautiful.
The city centre itself is lovely, too. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and truly worth seeing with its picturesque buildings and the stunning views of the Alps. A lover of mountains and snow, I'm definitely a sucker for the Alps so living in such proximity of them and constantly seeing them in the horizon is an absolute dream. This is a perfect location for me; close to the Alps so I can get there whenever I want, but still a city meaning it's more lively and something is constantly happening around me. Bern is not a big place especially considering it's the capital, but so far it has always offered something interesting and I've yet to explore most of it.
Prague, Czech Republic
I was meant to post these last few photos from my Prague weekend a long, long time ago, but here they finally are. Looking at these now, five months after the trip, I'm falling in love with Prague all over again and can't wait to go back to Czech Republic one day. It was such a beautiful city with fantastic people, and the beginning of April was a lovely time to visit at least this year. I'd imagine May and the summer would be pretty great, too, but I'm assuming everything would be more crowded. Even in April there were a lot of tourists, so I assume in the summer the city is just filled with people.
I got to see quite a lot of the city even though I was there for just three days. We walked around the city a lot, went to the Prague castle and took the train out of the city to visit Karlštejn castle. The train from Prague to Karlštejn took around 45 minutes and then a further 30-ish minutes to walk to the castle from the train station, so it's a perfect day or half a day trip from Prague if you fancy seeing the surrounding countryside a bit, too.
I'm the type of person who loves to just walk around to feel the atmosphere of a place, I'm not a fan of running around crowded 'must-see' attractions or museums, although it's always nice to visit a few if there is something interesting. Besides, this trip was equally about exploring Prague and catching up with an old friend, so just walking around and hanging out was a great way to combine both. That's probably why my absolute favourite part of the trip was renting a paddle boat and chilling on the Vltava river with a few ciders and beers in the evening sun. Would definitely recommend those paddle boats, the views are great and it's just so nice and chill :)
It's been months since my last post, clearly I still have a long way to go to get consistent with blogging. I know I've said this before, but I'm filled with new determination and motivation again thanks to some amazing changes in my life recently, so I hope I'll get back on track with this blog.
A lot has changed since April: I quit my job at the end of May because I just didn't enjoy it and spent a lovely two-month summer vacation hanging out with my friends and family. I can't remember the last time I had such a long break from work or school, it was so relaxing.
The biggest change of all came a month ago, when I packed my bags and moved to Berne, Switzerland. I'm here until the end of June next year and I couldn't be more excited! I've been in love with Switzerland since my three-day trip to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps in the summer of 2014. I can still remember the moment we stopped on our way to the Alps in a little town called Lutry by Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman, if you prefer that name) and as I stood by the lake looking to the horizon with the mountains rising behind the clear blue lake, I just thought it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen and I was instantly in love.
So my level of excitement was somewhat off the charts when exactly two years later I find out I've got the chance to move to Switzerland for nearly a year. I had been looking for ways to move abroad again ever since I moved back to Finland after university, so this opportunity is just what I wanted. I'm working for the afternoons and evenings during the week, but the weekends I'm free to travel around and explore.
For the next ten months I'm planning on documenting my Swiss adventure on this blog. Besides exploring this gorgeous country, I'm trying to figure out what to do after this year because frankly, I have no idea what I want to do in life other than travel around. After two months of slacking off I also need to finally get back to my workout routine.
I'm so excited to see what these next 10 months have in store, because the past month that I've already spent here has gone incredibly fast and been an incredible experience already.