3 Days in Lausanne //

This past week my architecture atelier traveled to Lausanne for a site visit and to see some housing projects my professor's firm had built. To start, the studios are a bit different here than in the US. In the US, architecture professors are good at teaching and encouraging thought, but here the professors are practicing architects who also facilitate a studio two days per week with the help of a few assistants (TAs). Some of the professors are really famous while others are known in their area of expertise and are known in their respective cities. My professor is the latter. Her firm and the site of our 400 flat housing project this semester are in Lausanne. I recently bought some new Lightroom Filters and am in LOVE with one of the black and white ones so I thought I'd do a post in all black and white! Here ya go!

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The Sweetest Little City: Winston Salem, NC //

Anyone who knows me probably knows of my love for Winston Salem. Seriously, this little city is one of my favorite places on earth and I've had the pleasure of getting to know it one weekend at a time thanks to my boyfriend. A little over two years ago Trevor moved to Winston Salem for a job. At the time it seemed like the end of the world because I wouldn't be able to see him at all during the week, but fast forward two years and I visit as often as possible and am pretty jealous that he gets to love there full time! From the best restaurants and coffee shops, to the farmer's markets and kombucha breweries, to the art district, this place is my little slice of heaven. My last visit to Winston Salem was an interesting one, I was so excited to visit after being gone almost the entire summer, but it was pretty sad knowing that would be my last visit until Christmas! Knowing this, Trevor planned the best twenty-four hour visit ever! We started by going to a new place for dinner called Spring House. I seriously cannot believe it took so long for us to get there. We had made reservations multiple times in the past but for one reason or another we had to cancel every time! Finally, we made it, and it did not disappoint!

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Groceries, Spas, and Art Exhibits //

This week has been super busy! We have had engagements every single night this week! On Monday we went to a grocery store in Como, Italy. This is about a thirty minute drive from the school. A student from Paris brought his car, and my roommate Alex and I went with him to get some groceries! Even though I've now been grocery shopping what seems like a million times (people here literally go grocery shopping like four times a week and just buy enough for a day or two so that it's super fresh!), I still experienced major culture shock!

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Weekend Travel: Milano //

This trip began with me walking into our living room and saying, "hey do you want to go to Milano today?" (It's crazy that that's even an option!) we then proceed to look and see when the next train is— twenty minutes. In a mad rush we grab our things and start running out the door (literally running because it takes at least 15 minutes to walk to the train and we still needed to purchase our tickets!) As we are coming down the stairs of the apartment I see a bus and say, "I wonder if it's leaving soon." I said this because the bus is faster if it's leaving when you are, but a few days earlier I got on the bus and then it sat there for 15 minutes. But no joke, before I could even finish the sentence the bus started to pull away!! In a hail Mary I started waving my hand at the driver AND HE STOPPED! People this is no Blacksburg Transit.. I've seen BT drivers leave a kid on crutches hobbling to the bus stop in January, these drivers are so so so nice and actually look to see if anyone is coming so they can wait!

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Lido di Lugano //

A fifteen minute train ride can take you so many places in Europe! Our University hosted a welcome event for us in Lugano, the main city on Lake Lugano. The event was held at Lido di Lugano or the Shore of Lugano, a small public beach (with paid entry) on the lake! Lugano is more of a city whereas Mendrisio is a small town. The city can be quite steep in some places and flat in others, it's definitely not a place I would recommend going if you don't want to deal with busses or you don't mind hiking to shops and restaurants, nevertheless it's beautiful and if you don't mind doing one of those two things you'll see so much of the culture in Ticino (the Italian speaking canton of Switzerland!)! We also were able to hear a speech by one of the University officials and he explained why it's so important for us to work hard in our Italian courses. I had no idea USI is the last and only Italian speaking university in Switzerland! The school hosts many international students who speak English, but Italian is the mother tongue of the locals— learning Italian is an effort to connect with the local community even though it is not needed to communicate with our peers. It's an effort to preserve the language and traditions of Ticino.

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