Around Switzerland in three weeks
It’s now been over a year since Geoff and I were married back in Melbourne, Australia – what better a time than to finally go on our belated honeymoon?! We spent almost three weeks in Switzerland visiting 26 towns, cities and tiny little villages, eating ALL the chocolate and taking a ridiculous number of trains. We also took a drive down the most hair-raising cliff skirting mountain pass (track?) which put to shame the previous winner of that title – that time we decided to take the scenic route rather than the highway between Munich and Innsbruck and ended up along a cliff on a very rainy wintery night, with trucks hurdling towards us and very little evidence of barriers between us and certain death off the side of the cliff.
When we told our friends in Europe that we were going to Switzerland for our honeymoon a look of horror crossed most of their faces. Why aren’t you going to Thailand???!!! My reply usually consisted of pointing out that as a red haired person, I’m not actually supposed to be in the sun for more than 5 minutes, that a beach holiday is actually my worst nightmare, and the fact that Switzerland always seemed like this beautiful wonderland containing two of my favourite things: mountainous landscapes and chocolate! Actually scratch that – three of my favourite things because I soon discovered Switzerland is home to the greatest mayonnaise in the history of humanity – Thomy (try it – you won’t regret it) – something Geoff and I had been desperately missing in Sweden. We are now down to only 2 tubes left, so rationing is in place.
Luckily Geoff also wanted to see Switzerland, so off we went!
We started and ended our trip in Zurich, staying in Luzern, Wilderswil (a little village near Interlaken), Zermatt, Lausanne and Bern in between. The proper photos are Geoff’s, the instagram ones are mine:
Firstly, Lake Zurich. We were in Zurich for about 4 very rainy days, but at last the clouds lifted and we decided to take a boat trip along the lake from Zurich to Rapperswil.
Here is Rapperswil – I felt like we had arrived at a little Italian village along the Mediterranean. Everyone was sitting outside eating pizza and speaking Italian (despite the fact that we were still firmly in German speaking territory). It was love at first sight! Turquoise water!
Onto Luzern! Of all the cities we visited this was my top contender for Swiss Cities I would Like to Live In. I really have to wonder how the Swiss enjoy traveling to other countries when everything is so beautiful there.
Summertime in Zermatt – the city was a ghost town which was very cosy (yes American spell check – this is a word). We decided to try fondu again but came to the realisation that neither of us likes it. Blasphemy! The waitress looked a little heartbroken as she took away our two half eaten pots of fondu.
On the other hand we fell even more deeply in love with the true culinary delight that is rösti. Sadly, despite the fact that it is made from vegetables, we had to conclude that it is not in any way healthy and we can’t eat it every night of the week.
See the tiny little green valley in the distance? That is where Zermatt is. This is the view after a 30 minute climb with 3 gondolas up to almost 4000 meters above sea level. The view was amazing and we could see Italy from the top. I conquered my firm dislike of heights and made my way slowly up to the viewing platform to surprise a shocked looking Geoff who wasn’t sure I would emerge from the safety of indoors.
Down to lake Geneva and the beautiful Chateau de Chillon – also hello France on the other side of the lake!
Yes it’s time for a token hipster food photo – but this really was one of the loveliest desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary at the La Table d’Edgard in Lausanne. The view over lake Geneva was spectacular, but the food was even better.
Fields of wildflowers in the Swiss countryside – this is how I imagined summer in Switzerland to be.
Last but not least: A double selfie – we really were there!
Your photos are amazing – I can’t wait to visit Switzerland! Excited to have discovered your blog as a new ex pat in Stockholm!!
Great to hear of your adventures in switzerland, I am a South African living in the states and am going to be travelling Europe for nine months this April with a month in switzerland..
So far we have a week booked in Montreaux wanted to ask how long would you suggest we stay in Zermatt and Lucern, we like walks, nature,cafes just about everything..
Any suggestions would be appreciated..
We stayed in Zermatt for 3 nights. We didn’t have any plans whilst we were there, but the landscape was beautiful and if you like walking I’m sure you’d find plenty of lovely places to explore there.
We basically spent one day visiting the mountains by taking 3 or 4 cable cars up to see the beautiful view of Zermatt and into Italy. That was definitely worth the adventure of getting up the mountain. I think you can hike down from one of the cable cars too, which could be fun in summer – but just ask at the tourism office when you get off the train.
The rest of the time there we just spent walking around the town, which is lovely, visiting cafes, going to a spa, and relaxing.
one night, but had almost two full days there. I think you could easily spend 3 or 4 days there, as it was the cutest town we visited in Switzerland. There were boat journeys around the lake that looked nice, but we didn’t have time for one there. It also looked like you could go for a long walk around the lake as well.
I found it really nice just to sit beside the lake and enjoy the views, and then explore the town – which is all we did for 2 days.
I don’t really have a huge list of things to see, because we mostly spent our 3 weeks in Switzerland going for walks through the towns we visited, stopping for a coffee or lunch when we saw a nice cafe, and just taking it easy.
I would recommend a boat trip though – either at Luzern, or the one I took from Zurich down to Rapperswil. It was a really nice way to see more of the landscape – and the Zurich one at least was included on our railpass.
I also thought Bern was really nice, and I wish we had stayed for more than one night. We even got to see some of the Terracotta Warriors at a museum there.
Good luck with your trip, and feel free to share your highlights here!