An End and a Beginning

Hello world,

A great trip has come to an end.
dsc09562dsc09448Until yesterday I was on a big voyage across the North American continent. All on my own I traveled from Basel to Frankfurt to Minneapolis, on to Calgary, and on to Toronto and Washington D.C., back to Reykjavik and Frankfurt eventually taking the train to Bern again. I met up with a lot of old friends on the way, made new friends, and still spent quite some time alone — I loved all three of those experiences.

My stops along the way were particularly different. Going from green, spacious, lonely Alberta to the hassled, crowded, densely developed U.S.-American capital was definitely a challenge. And that was a ton of adjectives right there. dsc09593dsc09492My friend Jess and I discussed whether we prefer taking pictures in an urban or rural setting and our opinions differed. She has always been a city dweller.

D.C. has heaps of photogenic spots, most of which I am sure we have seen. However, there is also a bunch of symbolism, which I like. The upper picture is the Apotheosis of Washington, a fresco by Constantino Brumidi on the inside of the Capitol’s dome. It shows George Washington, first president of the USA. The capital was named after this guy, a state, a university, a ton of bridges and streets, and more than a couple of black babies (as a last name — supposedly nowadays it is the ‘blackest name there is’ according to Wikipedia). Well, this lovely painting pictured shows him becoming a god. This painting, I repeat, is situated in the country’s most important government building.

Also, the U.S. has quite some veterans (because the country’s participated in quite some wars) and their treatment by the government and society is… interesting. They receive appreciation and thanks and literally three holidays a year dedicated to just them, still they don’t seem to get much substantial aid aka money.
dsc09525 dsc09633Jess and I had a great time, though. We went to a baseball game between the Nats and Mets. The Nats lost by a thread. I got a picture with the mascot Abe (all the mascots are important presidents). Jess was terrified of them; childhood trauma.

We went to the National Zoo. The pandas’ cage occupied half of the park’s space while they spent their time sleeping in a corner. The gazelles, oryx, elephants, kudus, cheetahs, lions, and tigers seemed a tad depressed.

On Friday night we didn’t go out, because we weren’t allowed anywhere. Instead we spent the night on the 10th floor balcony complaining about U.S. nightlife laws and discussing life over some sprite.

Saturday we slept until 11am. Around lunch time we had a great brunch next to already drunk (and hungover) people. The flight back home that day with Iceland Air was awesome. They had artificial northern lights on board! Now I really want to go to Iceland. Next summer.
dsc09666bHere is the last post from this memorable trip. Surprisingly, I feel little nostalgia. It was magnificent, but I am not sad it’s over. In fact, that’s been the great thing about this summer: I don’t have to be sad about things coming to an end, since all of my good times have only led to more good times. One highlight is followed by the next. I had a great, great summer; I managed most of the time to really enjoy the moment, whether this was in the Jura, at home, in Minnesota, Canada, or D.C. And now it’s time to get excited about a new stage in my life. Uni. Arg.

But first, let’s go to the Ticino next week.

xo
Layla

Thanks for reading.

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