maienfeld, switzerland: reflection
I met my friend Carmen 10 years ago!!! It's hard to believe that it's been that long! Carmen lived in my hometown in New York before moving back to Switzerland, where she is originally from, with her family.
I am so grateful that I've gotten the chance to see her in many cities over the past few years! From Syracuse to New York to Barcelona to all different parts of Switzerland, we pick up right where we left off like no time has passed at all. Carmen and I have been pen pals throughout the years and I am always so excited to get one of her incredibly creative and artistic letters!! This time, she printed some photos for me- one in warm bundled snowing clothes and one in sun dresses. I love them and am so happy to have them with me while traveling! Also, her family gave me my first ever Swiss Army knife. So so kind and so perfect for traveling!
I've seen Zurich, Bern (where she studies) and Ticino (summer home), however, I had never been to Maienfeld, where she grew up. I was so excited to finally visit after hearing so much!
This town is magical. It is at the bottom of the mountains and is filled with hot springs and vineyards and cute houses. The first day Carmen and I hiked with her dog, Geo, all the way up and down the mountain. It was so much fun and so beautiful! I also learned all about the story of Heidi. I had never heard this before, however, Heidi is a girl who lived in the Alps, was relocated to Frankfurt and missed the beauty of the mountains so much, she had to come back! Her heart, spirit and strength epitomize all of the greatness in the world. I can't believe I had never heard of it! Carmen and her mom did a great job explaining it to me and we even got to go to the museum and watch the movie!
The next day we went to the cutest vineyard for wine tasting in her town and her mom also took us to Liechtenstein! This was the smallest country I have ever been to and it was so cool to drive through and see it and its castle.
Carmen and her parents are always so incredibly hospitable and generous. They welcome me with open arms and we always have the best meals and coffees together. They graciously treated me with home-cooked amazing meals, laundry and my own bed . It truly felt like I was with family and it was such an amazing home away from home two months into my journey. I am so thankful for this time with nature and family.