Switzerland Series Part III: Lucerne

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We took Switzerland’s train system to get us to Lucerne.  It was an easy and comfortable hour to Lucern from Zurich.

And upon walking out of the Lucern Train Station you see the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) right in front of you…the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe and the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.  It is Lucerne’s main symbol and attraction.

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Next we took a 20 minute bus ride to where you can take cable cars up to Mount Pilatus (one of the points of interest on the Alps that overlooks Lake Lucerne and the entire city beautifully!). We had no idea what to expect…and we didn’t even know we had enough time to be able to do this tour, but we did it spontaneously and it was the best decision of the trip!

Mind you, I’m afraid of heights…so I was in a bit of panic in the beginning as we just got higher and higher towards Pilatus.  There is a stop in between and you can choose to hike up and down the mountain as well.  There were locals doing so!  Crazy!  Not for me!

There is a restaurant at the half way point as well as once you reach Pilatus.  A whole building sits at Pilatus that is a hotel, restaurant, and souvenir shop in one.  The views are just a dream…and photos do not serve them justice.  Sigh…but here are some of ours:

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The waters of Lake Lucerne! 

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The hotel on top of Pilatus!

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Switzerland Series Part II: Christmas in Zurich

Zurich may not be the first city that comes to mind when deciding where to go during Christmas…because when I did my research, it was never listed under any of the “Top Christmas Cities in Europe” lists.  However, a city unexplored was just has exciting as any other city in my book.

And well, the city definitely did not disappoint.  It offers much more than just a world of banking and money (as most seem to think of it as).  It surprised us with all the character it had to offer  as we walked aimlessly throughout the city.  And the Christmas market that adorns many of the cities in Europe during this Holiday season was just as festive and full of culture.

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We walked through the Bahnhofstrasse, which is a main street full of shopping.  I mean, you think of Swiss watches, and, boy, there were watch stores and boutiques in every corner of this city.  I guess tourists often visit Switzerland and a big souvenir to purchase is a Swiss watch, and they definitely make these easily accessible for you.

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In 3 days we just walked…

To the Grossmunster:

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To the Framunster (Church of Our Lady):

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To the Limmat River to witness the lighting of thousands of candles by Zurich schoolchildren sent floating down the river at 6pm precisely annually on December 22nd.

Took a cruise on Lake Zurich where the peaks of the Alpines just give you the urge to visit them…

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Visited the Swiss National Museum and the FIFA World Soccer Museum as well.  And enjoyed some raclette and potatoes and, of course, red mulled wine!  This was my first time having mulled wine and they made theirs so strong!  Woof!

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For dinners we enjoyed some amazing meals highlighted by our Swiss fondue experience at the Swiss Chuchi restaurant in Hotel Adler.  MUST VISIT!  Cozy, casual, and so Swiss! (iPhone photos)

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In essence, we just enjoyed taking in all that the city had to offer with zero expectations or limitations.  And then we finished our trip with a day in Lucerne!

Switzerland Series Part I: Arriving in Zurich

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We just recently got some time off for the first time in years!  And most importantly, the vacation time fell during Christmas. Playing overseas rarely provides the luxury of vacation days with the only real “off” days falling in the off-season (mid/end of June through beginning of August).  With this rare opportunity, we decided to take full advantage and explore a little bit more of Europe and discover some of Switzerland!

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Of course it was an option to to go home to Family and Friends, however, the little time we had would have been spent more on planes, trains, and automobiles than with our actual family and friends.  So instead, we decided to take advantage of the short time and see Zurich and Lucerne.

Having arrived on the 22nd meant we only had 3 days to make sure we were able to explore Zurich before everything shut down for Christmas/Christmas Eve.

I obviously did some diligent research before the trip (I like to be organized and plan), I had a list of a few things I wanted to get accomplished when we landed… The first thing we did was purchase a mobile wifi called Traveler’s Wifi at the Switzerland help desk/counter at the Zurich Airport.  There, you can grab a map of the city and several other guides they had available for tourists.  I definitely took everything!  Note: The Traveler’s Wifi ends up being less costly than purchasing a SIM card for your unlocked phone.  We rented the wifi for 7 days, unlimited 4G LTE every time you turn it on, and with a battery life of about 6 hours at full charge, for 69 Euros.  This was plenty of use for us and we were gone almost all day with a break right before dinner to relax and refresh.

Next, we took out some Swiss Francs (CHF) (this is an obvious when you travel, always have the currency on you…duh!).

Because I knew we were going to be gone hours on end, we also brought a portable mobile charger.  The charger charges two devices at a time.  The Traveler’s Wifi was also able to be charged on our device.  And now we’re set to begin our adventure!

We decided to take a taxi to the hotel, which we quickly learned was not the most economical way to travel once in the city.  A 10-minute ride from the airport was 50 Euros. YIKES!  Uber is available and costs way less…but the city is a walking city taking us only 20 minutes to get to downtown Zurich.  For tourists who are not right off the Bahnhofstrasse, the entire city, at least the heart of it, is walkable!  So please walk!   The landmarks are amazing and allow you to explore corners and crevices of the city you wouldn’t notice otherwise.

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Mom jeans and DIY tees…

A personal favorite of mine this Fall/Winter is the emerging popularity of MOM JEANS!  Besides for being “in” fashion this season, Mom Jeans are the ultimate comfy denim (IMO).  If you haven’t tried a pair, the fit is a high waist, loose/relaxed inseam, and almost no stretch.  The no stretch is the highlight of this type of denim trend, which helps to perfectly flatter all body types, even us females with no booty and lacking some Kim Kardashian curves (me) because somehow these give my behind some shape! Stylish and eat-and-drink-a-lot friendly pair of jeans, could not get any better.  This budget-friendly pair is a vintage, acid wash from Zara (currently in stores).

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And onto my tee, which I styled on my own (and by style I mean cut up on my own).  I randomly discovered these tees on some bloggers I follow on Instagram (WeWoreWhat, B-low the Belt) and found that a clothing brand 12th Tribe sells these tees for a whopping retail price of $72 (crazy, I know, considering how easy this was to make on my own)!  Take any graphic tees you can find or already have and cut a V using the crew neck as your guide.   Can’t get any easier than that.  I bought this Rolling Stones Tee from Zara for $15, in stores now.  But I found random graphic tees, even in the men’s section of H&M for example, for between $5-$10.  Loving the DIY part of this popular tee.  And voila!!!!

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And for the rest of my outfit, my B-Low the Belt Bri Bri belt is my favorite accessory this season (and probably for the rest of time, I’m really obsessed).  White booties, a leather jacket, and some Ray-Ban aviators to complete the look.

Matt and I enjoyed an unusually warm fall day (25 Celsius this particular day) in the center in these photos and had lunch at a new restaurant after grabbing some Holiday lattes at Starbucks.  🙂

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My fall wardrobe…

Fall has become my favorite season.  I love wearing layers, hence my love for jackets and coats.  I am super excited for my first style post and for continuing to show you guys my love for fashion and just looking and feeling great in the clothes that I choose.  Friends have been asking me for this for a while now, but I struggle with taking (mostly liking) any pictures of just myself…so with patience I’m hoping to gain some camera confidence and post more frequently.

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Last weekend the other basketball ladies and I decided to do some exploration in downtown Krasnodar.  We had some coffee, walked along the main street, and had a yummy lunch at Bellini Restaurant.

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 With the temperature being in the 50s I decided a skirt would still be appropriate to wear with just my Stuart Weitzman Lowland boots.

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Wearing:

Zara coat (this season, but not online)

Zara cropped chenille sweater (no longer available, but similar)

Zara leather skirt

Chloe – “Marcie Small Leather Crossbody, Tan” 

Stuart Weitzman Lowland in Black Suede 

Celine Marta Sunglasses in Havana/Grey Green

Futbol Sundays…

Over on this side of the Atlantic it’s futbol Sundays…a stark difference from my favorite season in the States: Football season!  But my interest in futbol has certainly peaked while living over on this side where futbol is literally life. 



Krasnodar built an amazing stadium that certainly made me feel like I was no longer even in the city. Brand spanking new with a nothing-short-of-spectacular video board spanning the entirety of the stadium’s inner walls. 

The crowd roared and chanted over a friendly game between Russia and Costa Rica. 


Most of the time goals in the sport are rare…but this game ended with a PK win by Costa Rica making the final score 4-3. 


Quite exciting and definitely worth the trip. 


A soccer game is a must if you ever get the chance to live or travel abroad!  The love for the sport is passionate, inviting, and invokes a unique rush of competitiveness!  

Germany’s Gosch Sylt

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You might be wondering “What is Gosch Sylt…”

 

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Gosch Sylt is a seafood restaurant showcasing the casual culinary creations of German chef Gosch and can be found in several German cities.  A seafood restaurant serving only the freshest ingredients.  The fresh seafood is laid out in front of you with the menu above and you order as if you were in a fast-food restaurant – super casual yet refreshingly delicious and good for you.  You get a buzzer that lights up when your food is ready.  This particular Gosch was at Sankt Peter-Ording.

 

 

This location in St. Peter-Ording has seating inside and outside.  The inside is filled with wooden benches and tables and every decor dealing with the ocean and sea: boats, fishing nets, rafts, etc…

 

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 I ordered the pan-seared scallops (a favorite of mine to try at any and every seafood restaurant). Sometimes places don’t cook scallops correctly – you have to be careful not to overlook them, but these were perfection. The scallops were accompanied by the Gosch salad and garlicky, buttery bread…and of course a glass of German beer, König Pilsen. 
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25Hours Hotel Hamburg Hafencity

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On my 2.5 week long trip, I was fortunate enough to see another one of Germany’s cities: Hamburg.  We stayed at 25Hours Hotel Hamburg Hafencity, one of the coolest, most unique hotels I’ve experienced.  25Hours is definitely hipster chic (reminded me of Urban Outfitters), but not pretentious.  The vibe was relaxed, the rooms were comfortable, and the food was delicious.

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25Hours has an amazing German breakfast spread with a few American favorites (bacon and eggs)!  It was sooooooo good!

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St. Peter-Ording, Deutschland 

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Who knew Deutschland had a beach?!  Well it does and the beach is beautiful. And super pet friendly. St. Peter Ording, Germany is a small, quaint, and beautiful beach town that is unknown and rare to many non-Germans. There were strictly German tourists here, which made it a more unique and blessed experience. Had I not had German friends I would have never experienced this beach town.

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I stayed at the Beach Motel, which directly leads to the beach entrance. St. Peter-Ording Strand is a massive beach and attracts many dog owners. The beach is an abyss of fine white sand and ocean. Absolutely beautiful. And for avid travelers who yearn for unique locations this one is a must!

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Welcome to Deutschland… 

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I’m spending the next few weeks visiting friends (for pleasure as well as for my Russian visa…super complicated – I know!) and my first stop is beautiful Deutschland!  My first time ever in Germany was in Berlin just a few months ago for the highly coveted Euroleague Final 4. Lokomotiv made the Final 4 competition for the first time in club history and what an experience!  We were so blessed to have been a part of an incredible weekend!  It was a remarkable experience, especially for Matt’s basketball career.  Berlin was amazing. Beautiful, clean, organized. And German food is delicious I might add.

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For this trip I landed in Frankfurt and took the German regional train to Göttingen.  (Um the train was the most comfortable!!!!)

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Göttingen is beautiful. The people have been so hospitable. And it’s just been great to spend time with my amazing friends. The above photo was taken when we took a hike through a forest overlooking the city.

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They then took me to the city center. I just love Europe.  My heart is definitely in Europe. I loved Istanbul and I don’t mind Krasnodar, but being back in a European city just reminds me of how truly unique and special these cities are. It’s where I want to be!

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Tomorrow we head to Hamburg!  So excited!