Switzerland; the land of snow, mountains, historical roots of the Protestant churches reformation and of course Swiss Army knives. I was lucky enough to encounter all of those things. My time in Switzerland began in Geneva, the home of one of the United Nations headquarters. My group was lucky enough to have a tour there, there are 30 meetings that take place a day there, every single day. It was a dream come true to me, to be able to visit this building. As a participant in Model United Nations, I was so fascinated by how much it resembles the actual UN.
I was able to sit in on a public meeting:
Ceiling of one of the meeting rooms paid for and donated by Spain:
Another day we headed to the International Monument to the Reformation also known as the Reformation Wall, Geneva was the center of Calvinism, and its history and heritage since the sixteenth century has been closely linked to that of Protestantism. Due to the close connections to that theology, the individuals most prominently depicted on the Wall were Calvinists; nonetheless, key figures in other theologies are also included. At the center of the monument, four 5 m-tall statues of Calvinism’s main proponents are depicted: Theodore Beza, John Calvin, William Farel, John Knox:
After the Reformation Wall we found LIFE SIZE CHESS… and the fun ensued:
“Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536.”
Brooke, Michael and Alyssa waiting to get into the Calvin museum:
That was basically all that my group did in Geneva… The next place we traveled to in Switzerland was Zermatt, A Ski village where they don’t allow cars. It is the home of the Matterhorn and some Swiss alps/Italian alps (on the border). So one day, I walked on top of a mountain from Switzerland to Italy… No big deal. It was a winter wonderland. It was breathtaking and cold.
So, one day I went skiing in the alps. That was the first time I had ever skied before and it was utterly terrifying but amazing! I loved it. The next day I just got a lift ticket and went up to walk on the very top of the mountains… It was so beautiful up there.
12,000 plus ft in the air.
I went up there with Michael, Brooke, Steph and Laura and it was such a blast!
I am awkward.
Michael and I practiced our model faces. We’ve been practicing the whole trip.
We’ve gotten a lot better.
I mean it doesn’t hurt that the background is what it is either…
At one point, Michael cried at how beautiful our surroundings were, either that or the wind made his eyes water but I like the first explanation better.
I was only in Switzerland briefly but I was able to experience the big city of Geneva and the small town of Zermatt and it was completely worth it. I would definitely go back to Zermatt someday. Switzerland is a beautiful country. There was a moment when I was standing on top of the mountains and I looked around and realized just how truly small I am. Although I may have a larger than life attitude with sass going off of the charts, none of that makes me any bigger than any other human on the planet. We are all in this together, trying to figure out where to go, what to do, etc.. We just all find different routes; as my professors would say “equifinality” Different ways to do one thing, we are all trying to do life, we just have different ways to do it. It’s comforting to know that all humans basically want the same things… to be loved, accepted, cherished, happy, etc. We are all on the pursuit of happiness. Anyways, I am currently in Rome for my last 5 days of the trip! Next post will be about Florence and then when I get home I will post one about Rome. Blessings, Abby.