Within 48 hours I was immersed in these two views:
The top of the Swiss alps
And the top of a hill next to Riomaggiore
There is a stark contrast in the beauties presented by Switzerland and Riomaggiore, but they are both remarkable and truly difficult to process. It was almost a challenge to make myself fully aware of the wonder around me, as it was so much to take in. Photos don’t do a justice; In Riomaggiore (where the second picture was taken), you couldn’t see where the sea ended and the sky began, and both were a deep, calm blue. The diverse array of colors in the flowers around us presented a rich landscape that is usually found only in paintings. The valleys of interlaken were also rich in their colors, but the white mountain tops presented a more rugged, dangerous beauty. One showed God’s power, and the other showed God’s peace.
The top of the Alps was breathtaking. Everything around us was white with snow, and everything beneath us was a warm summer green. The mountain air was brisk and fresh – so brisk that we were able to bust out the micro d fleeces. I never would have thought I’d be able to have a snowball fight in May with 15 of the most amazing people on Earth, but here we are. I also think it’s worth mentioning that we had an amazing meal at the top of this mountain. We ate at an all-you-can-eat, American style buffet and we Americans went crazy with the croissants. Few things in life last forever, but those mountains are going to be there for a while, and so will the memory of sharing a magical meal on top of them with the familia.
As I mentioned in a blog post before, a stereotype of Americans is that we are extremely loud and obnoxious, so we usually have to be extra cautious with how loud we laugh at dinner, constantly shush each other, and look over our shoulders to make sure no one is giving us an evil look. However, when we were at the top of this mountain, we could talk as loud as we wanted and no one would bat an eye. We needed that desperately.
Here are some more pictures from that day to put a smile on your face!
48 hours after being at the top of Europe, we found ourselves sitting on top of a hill next to Riomaggiore taking in the sight of the sea. There were vineyards surrounding us, flowers blooming all over, a gentle breeze, a hot Mediterranean sun beating down on us, and a beautiful city at our feet. I sat there for a while and journaled some. In my journal, I jotted down notes about the beauty we get to experience here on Earth. The crazy thing is in both Switzerland and in Riomaggiore I thought to myself, “this could be what heaven looks like,” but the reality is that I believe that heaven will blow those locations away with its beauty. I wrestled with that though for a while and felt a rush of joy and appreciation for the majesty of life and the plan of the Lord.
Here are some more pictures of what we saw, but just know that they don’t even come close to doing a justice.
We all felt like we could just sit by the church at the top forever, except for the fact that we got hungry. It took a hike and a half to get to the restaurant Dr. P wanted us to experience, but it was so worth it. The seafood was so fresh, and the view didn’t cease to overwhelm us. The whole rest of the day was filled with taking in the sights and enjoying the peaceful cinque terre, or five lands (we only saw like 2 of them though).
While this post isn’t the most insightful one on this site, I think that was part of the point. We spend so much time looking for deeper meanings in everything all the time, which is good, but sometimes you just have to enjoy the gift of the world that’s around us. There’s so much to appreciate in the world, and all of it is unique. But the most profound thing in all of this is that God created all of those mountains, valleys, hills, and the sea, and then He deemed Man the pinnacle of creation. How loved we are is unimaginable, and I think that these locations are evidence of that.