2017 European Trip! // Taylor Golden // Houston Landscape Photographer

It seems as though we (my boyfriend and I) got back months ago from this trip of a lifetime!  We flew into Paris, explored the entire city and walked close to 100 miles.  From there we took a train to Lausanne, Switzerland which lies on Lake Geneva.  It was so beautiful in Lausanne, the city is covered in steep hills, but we had to walk down to the lake before taking the next train to Zermatt, Switzerland.  The walk down was easy- 2 miles downhill and the lake was glassy and calm that chilly morning. As we were taking pictures we curiously stared at the clouds in front of us on the other side of the lake, as the clouds began to move we saw mountains peaking out and they were massive!  The entire lake was surrounding by beautiful snow capped mountains, I would so love to come back on a sunny day and shoot here again!

The hike back to our hotel was another story...2 miles...all uphill.  We huffed and puffed, tried desperately to catch a bus or a taxi, but in the end we stumbled upon some of the yummiest pastries in the little cobblestone town center.  A few hours later we caught the train from Lausanne to Zermatt, which is one of the most famous skiing towns in Europe!  Zermatt is a walking only city, no cars allowed, and is settled in a valley surrounded by mountains including the famous Matterhorn-which we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of through the clouds!

That night we took in some of the local food and beer ( brewed right in town!) then strolled around Zermatt until we could no longer keep warm and headed to our hotel for the night.  

The next morning was the day I had been l had been looking forward to the entire trip, we were checking off a BIG bucket list item- taking the Glacier Express train through the Swiss Alps! It was an 8 hour train ride that dropped us off in St. Moritz, Switzerland-where is just so happened the The 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships were taking place!  The train ride was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.  The train winded through the mountains, which were covered in snow, and passed the most adorable towns- all of which had a tiny church with a very tall steeple- something off of a postcard!  I wished we could have stopped to take pictures along the way, but I had to shoot from inside the glass panoramic train instead.  A lot of my images had glare from the windows- but I did manage to capture some of the majestic ride!

From St. Moritz we rented a car and drove to Innsbruck Austria, we arrived at our Airbnb and immediately left because the listing turned out to be very deceiving and instead of staying in a "bright sunny apartment" we were instead set up in a smoke infested brothel!  Long story short we ended up at a hotel near the airport while I battled Airbnb for a refund.  We explored Innsbruck for a day and decided the next day to go ahead and drive to Hallstatt and spend a few more days there instead of Innsbruck.  On our way there we stopped at Stubaier Glacier-now THIS was another one of my favorite experiences!

We took the lift up with all the skiers to the top of the mountain ( over 3200 meters high) and then hiked to the very tip top point.  I've never been so cold in my life, I actually started becoming concerned about getting frost bite!  But at the top you were able to see all the mountain peaks with the clouds hovering just below.  It was breathtaking, were only able to absorb it for a few minutes before we had to hike back down because I could no longer feel my fingers to push the buttons on my camera!  From there we hiked all over the mountain and found our way inside the glacier and then continued our drive to Hallstatt. 

Hallstatt was one of my favorite places, a city built on the lake with an adorable chapel jutting out over the water.  I had been there before, but only for a few hours.  We drove in and found this hotel right on the water, it was so beautiful!! We were exhausted from hiking the glacier so we went to the hotel restaurant downstairs and ordered our wine and fish. As I was coming back from the bathroom I noticed a small pouch and little piece of paper at my table setting.  The piece of paper was something I had gotten from a fortune cookie at dinner with Brian last year.  It read " Golden investment opportunities are arising".  Brian got down on one knee and proposed, there at dinner on lake Hallstatt after a day of hiking in the beautiful mountains...it couldn't have been more perfect!

The next day we met up with one of my oldest childhood friends, his wife and son, and spent the next few days exploring Salzburg before heading to Munich for our departure. Our last day we ate wienerschnitzel and drank giant beers at the Hofbräuhaus.  It was an amazing adventurous trip and I can't wait for our next adventure together...GETTING MARRIED!! 


About Taylor Golden

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Houston and destination wedding photographer, Houston family photographer, and Houston headshot and corporate photographer, providing photos based in Houston, TX.