It was a Sunday, which means that most shops and things were closed, so we decided to go hiking instead. We took a bus and went to the nearby Hollgrotten Baar (Hell’s Cave).
It took about 40 minutes to hike out to the caves, but it was totally worth it.The scenery was nice and we even stopped for a picnic by the river for lunch on the way there.
For our picnic, Catherine and I split a Rivella, which is supposed to be a poular Swiss soda. I thought it tasted kind of like coke crossed with medicine. Not very delicious at all.
When we reached the caves, we had to pay a small fee to enter, and once we got in it was pretty dark and really wet. This cave was formed by calcareous springs and was discovered by miners at the end of the 1800s. Since it has become a tourist attraction, it has been marketed different ways. The first way was as Hell, so more of a scary, horror tactic. By the time we visited, the advertising tactic was to treat the caves like a fairyland, so more of a child-friendly, magical strategy. We saw signs telling us to look for the “magic fairy.”There were some spotlights set up shining in various colors on the stalactites and stalagmites. We could see a lot of different and
weird-looking rock formations. Pictures really show it best.
Here are some stalactites lit from below.
And some more.
When I used the flash on my camera, I could see that the rocks actually came in a lot of different colors.
Here are some that stretched all the way between the floor and the ceiling.
Since the cave was wet, many of the rock formations looked almost like mold.
we got back to Zurich, we met up with Haffi, the university student who had
shown us around the day before and he gave us a tour of his university, ETH.
In the CS building, where we saw a couch built around a really old and
huge computer. It was really cool.
From the top of the building we could see a nice view of the city.
we went to Haffi’s house and ate dinner with him and his husband and played
board games with them. It was nice to have a home cooked meal and to be in a
home instead of in a hostel.
There were really cute miniature ponies living nearby their house. :)
When we left, it was already dark and we got lost
trying to find the bus stop. We saw an elderly woman walking along, so we
called from across the street and asked for directions, but she ran away from
us. I didn’t think we were so intimidating.
Eventually, we did make it
back to our hostel.
Here is a picture of some of the public transportation we took. Maybe streetcar is the word for it? It followed rails set into the pavement.
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.
Every year, the Caltech Society of Women Engineers attends the National SWE conference to network with other SWE Chapters and to hustle for jobs. Last year, the event was in Minneapolis, and the year before in Austin. This time around, it’s in Anaheim which is much more convenient for us. Since it is much closer, we were able to send many more delegates to attend and miss fewer classes in the process of doing so.
It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.