It has been one week since we arrived home from Switzerland. Spring in Switzerland was far more beautiful, and our trip more wonderful, than I had even hoped; and I had high expectations. I’m excited to share our journey with you, along with where we went and what we did for a wonderful spring vacation in Switzerland!
Tip: It is no secret that traveling costs quickly add up – especially airfare! My sister, Grace, found amazing flights using Scott’s Cheap Flights! If you are like us (young, still building a travel fund, but love to go anywhere and everywhere), make sure you sign up for their emails. We saved about $1,500 just in flights! By saving on our flights and staying at Airbnb’s, it was more affordable to travel to Switzerland than it would have been to do a weeklong vacation at the beach. I cannot advocate traveling international enough! It was so special to have this trip with Seth & my sister during this season in our lives.
We arrived in Zurich after a redeye flight so empty we each had our own row! This was such a sweet surprise and we slept about 5-6 hours on the flight. After taking the train to Lucerne, we had a few hours to explore before we could check in at our hostel. So many people told me that I would adore Lucerne, and they were right. This was the perfect first stop on our trip. Despite sleeping on the plane, we were exhausted when we arrived in Lucerne. Thankfully, Lucerne is best experienced with slow walks through cobblestoned alleyways and soaking up sunshine on a bench along the river. Before checking in (and taking a great power nap), we were introduced to what was the best Swiss surprise of the whole trip: the pastries!
If you follow along on my Instagram, you probably picked up on my deep, undying devotion for excellent pastry. I love it. Unbeknownst to me when planning our trip, Switzerland has amazing pastries. We took full advantage of this during our week there and it turned into one of my very favorite parts of the trip. There are patisseries on almost every street. Visit them, all of them. And then please send some my way.
We woke up in Lucerne to snow! I packed my short rain boots and wool socks at the last minute and am so thankful I did! We quickly learned that Switzerland’s weather in not predictable, especially in the spring as the seasons change. If you are planning your own trip, make sure to pack for anything and everything. I am working on another post about what I packed for Europe in the spring, so be on the lookout for that!
After getting our morning pastry, and another one for the train, we headed to Interlaken. It snowed the entire day which made for a cozy afternoon of jet-lag-induced naps, grocery shopping, and a wonderful pasta dinner. The following morning, we took the train to Jungfrau – or ‘The Top of Europe.’ The train ride itself was truly spectacular, not the mention Jungfrau itself. We rode through the Swiss Alps, passing through small mountainside towns and mountain passes, craining our necks to try and see past rock faces and jagged peaks. Pictures can’t capture how magnificent and humbling these mountains are. Truthfully, I didn’t even bother with my ‘real’ camera because it was pointless. The best experience was simply being there, enjoying the feeling of snow whipping straight through my jacket, and knowing that memory alone belongs to me.
Tip: Use your Swiss Half Fare Care or Travel Pass for 50% off of your train up to Jungfrau. We opted for the Half Fare Card because we never took more than one train a day. If you are planning on taking multiple trains a day, I recommend the Travel Pass to save the most on trains!
Seth and I curled up on a bench and watched paragliders land for an hour before catching our next train. These are the moments I remember most when I travel. We talked about how easy it would be to move to Switzerland. Three days in and this country had our hearts completely. Switzerland does that to you.
To be terribly truthful, I was not wildly excited about Zermatt when we were putting together our itinerary. And then we arrived, I stepped out onto the balcony, and the view below of the Matterhorn greeted me. I’m not sure if my heart was beating fast for the view or because of dragging equipment and a suitcase up steep alleys to our airbnb in high altitude. Regardless, our day in Zermatt was my favorite from the entire trip. It is a quintessential Swiss ski town with traditional lodges and cobblestone streets. And it is darling as can be.
Seth and I spent the day alone while Grace and her friends went hiking. I usually enjoy hiking, but it was still slushy from fresh snow and I personally prefer to hike to the tune of wildflowers. Instead, Seth and I explored Zermatt. This was my favorite day from the entire trip. Zermatt is so neat, but my time with Seth is what made this day so special.
May marks two years of marriage for us. I started my business a few months after our wedding, so a full day with just the two of us, no phones, and no obligations is rare. I can confidently say we haven’t had time like this since our honeymoon. And it was so good. I began tearing up over breakfast (a pastry & almond cappuccino, of course) as I could physically feel my heart begin to relax and be filled. I finally gave myself permission to rest and simply enjoy being with Seth. It made for the best day. Montreux
While Zermatt was my favorite day, Montreux was my favorite place. What can only be called heaven-on-earth is nestled on Lake Léman just across from France, surrounded by vineyards and set against a backdrop of Swiss alps. Oh yes, it is stunning. We walked along flower adorned banks to the Chateau de Chillon, an island castle dating back to the twelfth century. I’m sorry, is that really a sentence that I just wrote. Welcome to the magic that is Montreux.
Rest assured, Seth and I have talked about what it would take to move to Lake Léman and photograph weddings and anniversary sessions in France, Italy, & Switzerland. I’m just going to leave that there and hope it comes to fruition.
Now, onto the beauty that is Montreux.
Meet Grace. She is the sole reason this trip happened. We were sister/roommates all growing up and are just twenty days shy of being Irish twins. She knows me better than almost about anyone and I love her immensely.
Grace, darling, thank you for all you put into this trip. You are so easy to travel with and even easier to love.
How darling is this dress? I found it in Zermatt and knew it had to come home with me. Seth and I actually walked by the rack it was hanging on 4 or 5 times before I finally went in and tried it on. Clothing is my absolute favorite souvenir. I’m not drawn to normal trinkets, but rather love to find one or two pieces to bring home when I travel!
As we walked along the Lakeside Promenade Fleurí, a flower adorned path that follows the bank of the lake, this precious lab popped its’ head through the hedge! I about fell over in surprise (and delight).
We finished our trip with half a day in Zurich before flying home April 9th. Completely unplanned, our afternoon in Zurich aligned with Sechseläuten – the traditional Spring festival. Truth be told, I don’t fully understand the experience we had; But it involved a giant bonfire and a parade that popped up everywhere we went. It was fun, confusing, and a hilarious end to our trip.
If you have the opportunity, go to Switzerland. Enjoy the pastries. Allow yourself silence and try to absorb what you are seeing as you take a train through the Alps. Try all the cheese and dishes you probably won’t pronounce well – all of the food is delicious. And give yourself the freedom to stop and be quiet in a beautiful place. If you go later in the spring or summer, walk through fields of wildflowers. I am already planning a future trip when everything is green.
From the places we traveled, are there any you are hoping to visit?