At the end of February, my friend and I took a trip to Switzerland and stayed with family friends of hers. This followed our Lisbon layover, which was delightful and sunny. We kicked off our stay on the outskirts of Zurich with a moody day spent in the mountains, seeing the most fantastic cathedral in a Wes Anderson style village. We had soup in a nearby village while it snowed a bit outside with the Alps as a backdrop. The drive back down was breathtaking, and we got dropped off at the Lindt Chocolate Museum. After a few hours learning about the process of chocolate making and tasting the fruits of Lindt’s labor, we headed home for the day.
Day two brought a train to Luzern at the suggestion of our hosts. We walked along the river, ate at a café, then took a boat over the water surrounded by Alps to Bürgenstock. A luxurious hotel sat on top of a mountain, the views were incredible. We had drinks at the posh hotel bar before the boat back over and pretzels to keep us full on the train ride back.
Day three our hosts took us on a journey to the Alsace region of France, where France, Germany, and Switzerland border each other. We wandered tiny gingerbread villages, looking for storks that are native to the region, in awe of the unending vineyards covering the rolling hills. We climbed a castle tower and overlooked the roofs and vineyards. Driving to the next village, we wandered and tested fresh macaroons before having lunch. I had a tarte flambeé that pretty much changed my life. We drove back through Germany on the Audubon, drifting off in the backseat of the car.
Day four we finally went into downtown Zurich and explored the city we had flown into. We wandered idyllic corridors before crossing the river and seeing the Chagall windows, gorgeous stained glass artwork in an old church. We ate more chocolate, wandered and window shopped, before meeting our hosts for a delicious Swiss dinner at a tiny restaurant with the most delicious food.
Our last day in Switzerland we took the train down to Lugano, marveling at the snow capped mountains before arriving to sunshine and warm breezes at the Southern part of Switzerland. We explored the town, including a church and the waterfront, before stopping for spritzes in the strong sunshine of the square to kill time before our boat. The boat took us over to Rossio, a tiny little town built into the side of a hill (mountain?) where we sat on the water in the breeze and had lunch and wine. We managed to wander a bit before the boat back, then had gelato and cannolis before the train back to Zurich.
So completed our Swiss adventure, with a 4am ride to the airport the next morning. We flew to Lisbon and passed a very quick layover with coffee and breakfast before hopping onto our respective flights back to the East Coast. It was the perfect trip after two years stuck in the states due to covid, and only invigorated my love for exploring new places abroad. I can’t wait for the next adventure!