Girls weekend in London:
On Friday October 2nd, I said goodbye to my dad at the airport as he flew home, while I stayed behind in London to meet the Cape Town girls! While volunteering in Cape Town in March and April, Vanessa, Jozi and I were staying with the same host family, along with several other girls. We have stayed in touch since we all left Cape Town and planned a weekend get together for when I was in London since they’re all from Europe. When it actually came to planning it, Vanessa, Jozi and I were the ones who were able to make it! We stayed in the city, saw the sights, had afternoon tea, and rode the London Eye. I felt like a guide since I had been there for a week already. The weekend came and went in a blink!
Switzerland and Austria:
From London, I flew to Switzerland with Vanessa! She is from Austria, but lives in St. Gallen in Switzerland right by the border. We arrived in the afternoon and had cheese fondue for dinner! (It was a bit too strong for me). On our first full day, we took the cable car up Mount Santis, the views were some of the most beautiful I have seen anywhere in the world. We were so fortunate to have good weather. From the top of Mount Santis, you are able to see into six countries. Vanessa was able to point out Austria and Germany, right ahead of us, and we guessed the others were Lichtenstein, France, and Italy somewhere in the distance. The alps were stunning, the rolling hills dotted with sheep and houses were breathtaking. We were 2000 meters up and it got cold quickly so we sat inside and had hot chocolate and apple strudel taking in the views. After coming back down the mountain we went into St. Gallen to shop and look around. We went into the cutest most wonderful smelling chocolate shop!
The next day was raining so we took our time starting our day. We drove into Austria to go shopping with Vanessa’s sister Sandra and visit with Vanessa’s family. When she heard I was coming, Vanessa’s grandmother offered to make plum dumplings for us. It was the sweetest thing! She doesn’t speak any English so Vanessa and her sister translated for me. We went for a walk around the neighbourhood Vanessa, grew up in, passing fields of sheep by a river. It was so picturesque. The dumplings were a pastry wrapped around a full plum and baked. They’re served covered in breadcrumbs with a warm vanilla pudding that you drink. It was delicious, and so sweet! Her grandma kept putting them on my plate and I was stuffed! I only had one day to visit Austria which was far to short, but was so grateful and happy to experience something so authentic.