over labor day weekend, i put my life in the hands of an oversized kite and a handsome french man. it was quite possibly the most exhilarating feeling ever.
ingrid was first to take off, then it was my turn, and then i'm not sure what the order was after that. i do know that bryan was the first to land and i was the last. bryan accidentally threw his head back and knocked his pilot the face. though, i'm not surprised. if any of us were to injure our pilot, it would be bryan. he even dubbed himself "bad luck bryan." to top it off, he crash landed. it's all on camera thankfully.
my paragliding experience was much better. we barely had to run down the mountain at all before the wind took us up. once in the air, the view was beautiful. interlaken is a gorgeous city. you could see both lakes and the jungfrau. the pilot, patrick, even let me steer for a while. it's such a crazy feeling flying through the air like that. i lucked out with an amazing pilot. he had such a great sense of humor. after hearing that i chickened out on a rodelbahn earlier in the day, he flew past it and said, "this is where you were scared earlier...now you're flying high above it!"
we flew around for about 20 minutes but it felt like a lot less. like i said, i'm not sure if i'd ever do this again but i really am glad i braved it this once.
y'all should definitely give it a shot. just hope there's no "turbulence" because that could easily make you wet your pants. no joke.
i've been working with the new york institute of photography off and on for about a year now. i highly recommend their courses to anyone interested in improving their camera usage skills or their editing skills. nyip has professionals that are available to you everyday to answer any questions. also, there are forums where you can talk with other students and discuss editing techniques and the like. when you sign up, you're assigned a mentor that is a professional photographer. mine is alina oswald and i love her to death. she's so sweet and helpful. and brutally honest, but you need that.
i have no regrets in enrolling into nyip and i encourage aspiring photographers to jump in on the opportunity to do so as well. i posted a before shot, which is obviously not a great photo (a quick snap at the beach), and i posted an after shot, which the course taught me to produce. i'm pretty sure anything that can turn that first photo into this second one is a good deal, yeah? yeah. think about it.
a few weeks ago, we were able to take half a day and explore amsterdam. if you ever go, take a weekend to explore it. one day wasn't enough.
my main goal in amsterdam was to visit the anne frank house. i had heard horror stories where the line to get in was nearly three hours long. my group ended up waiting for 45 minutes, which compared to that three hours, was a good deal. also, they have free wifi in the area that you wait in. the tour was done well. you walk from room to room while watching videos and reading passages on the walls. definitely a great experience especially if you've read anne frank's diary.
we also did a canal tour. for the most part, it was pretty great. i did fall asleep for about fifteen minutes though. i was going on two hours of sleep and the ride was really relaxing. around three o'clock, the canals get jammed with boats. it's kind of funny, actually. you have tourists in smaller boats trying to steer clear of the larger tour boats and locals. it's comical. if you go and have fifteen minutes to spare, just sit at the edge of a canal and watch.
and finally, we took a walk through the red light district because how could we not. not gonna lie, probably the best part of the trip. just something you need to experience for yourself.
i'll be honest. i didn't really know slovakia existed until recently. like when-we-booked-this-trip recently.
slovakia is a really small country but it's beautiful. the roads leading into bratislava from the autobahn were surrounded by fields and fields of sunflowers and wind turbines. there were no end to the fields on either side of the road. it was perfect, especially with the sun rising up over everything.
bratislava is a cute little city. emphasis on little. we walked the whole city in an hour and a half with a tour guide. actually, to be honest, we ditched the tour after an hour because we had seen everything and the talking was beginning to be a bit much. information overload. i ventured away from the group to snap pictures and my mom followed soon after. we decided to get something cold to drink and a bite to eat. the restaurant we went to had the BEST lemonade i have ever tasted in my life. i call it slovakian lemonade (good name, i know) and i've been trying to recreate it ever since. i'm failing. if you know of a recipe for this goodness, please be a doll and help a sister out.
there it is ^. the slovakian lemonade. are you drooling? i am. i have a goal to figure this one out by the end of the summer. if i'm successful, i'll share : )
that's how they say budapest in hungarian. interesting, yeah? yeah.
after a 14 hour bus ride from germany to hungary, we could finally see our first glimpse of budapest. we rode over the chain bridge to our hotel and i couldn't get over how pretty it all was. budapest reminds me a lot of prague. a larger, busier, business-y version of prague.
budapest was preparing for an airshow/ air race while we were in town. they had shut down the chain bridge for a period of time as the planes were racing down the river. above, you can see the river all set up for the event. it was so cool watching the planes race over the bridge and up into loops and such.
below is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. you can see the budapest eye (the giant ferris wheel) on the right. i heard it has amazing views from the top and it's worth a trip around at night. i wasn't able to go because i was traveling with someone who is deathly afraid of ferris wheels. hey, mom. i talked her onto the london eye when we went to london once. that was fun. if you've ever wondered if the panic buttons inside the capsules on that ferris wheel are ever used, you should travel with my mother. you're in for an experience.
budapest became one of our favorite cities instantly. there's so much to see and do. plus they have a hard rock cafe. i'm glad i was able to take a trip here. and it may be hard to believe but it was worth the 14 hours on the bus for sure.
i, emily rose, want to see the world. follow a map to its edges, and keep going. forgo the plans, trust my instincts, let curiosity be my guide. i want to change hemispheres, sleep with unfamiliar stars, and let the journey unfold before me.