Europe Trip 2017 Part 1: Zurich, Switzerland

 

My trip began in Zürich, Switzerland. My mom and I flew in on June 23rd and got to Zürich at 11:40 am. When we pulled up to the hotel we could see the Limmat River, with cafes surrounding it. At the site of this I was ecstatic! I was in Europe and in one of my favorite cities and countries. Despite this excitement, I was fighting jet lag and I could feel my eye lids dropping. I have heard that to beat jet lag you need to try to stay up as long as possible without taking a nap.  As I was thinking that I had to jerk my head awake. Coffee was one of the first things I needed. However, my mom and I went on a walk around the city to stay awake and when we saw a café that we wanted to sit at, I got a beer. Not the right drink if you’re trying to stay awake, but I was going to push through anyway. After that we walked around some more until we found another café we wanted to sit at, this time I got coffee. Smart. For dinner we got a recommendation from the hotel for Swiss cuisine. I could not tell you if it was good or not because I was too tired to think at that point. When we got back to the hotel I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow. However, I had made it through the day!

The next day my mother and I did a Viator excursion to Mount Titlis. To all the boys/men reading this, I know the name is funny so get your laughs out now. This excursion was a full day from 9:30am to 7pm. The first stop was in a city called Lucerne. I have been there before and it is absolutely beautiful. A small city on a huge lake with Alps in the background, and an old medieval bridge in the middle. The city has winding streets filled with cobble stones that make you second guess your balance. There is also a famous monument, called the dying lion. The monument is carved out of natural rock in memory of the heroic deaths of the Swiss mercenaries. The monument is so moving, you can feel the emotions of the hurt, dying lion. It is a must see. From there we went to the mountain.

As we pull up to the base of the mountain, the views were already spectacular! We were waiting for our guide to get the tickets, when my mother and I start talking with some people on our excursion. The couple was from Bali, Indonesia. They start asking us where we were from and how much they want to go to New York City. With which I responded, well I want to go to Bali. We tend to take for granted the places we come from. They asked if New York City was safe due to all the gun violence that we have in the states. I hate this stereo type even though it’s true. Just makes me sad. We finished up our conversation and got our tickets to go up. The process of getting to the top of the mountain is taking two cable cars to the peak. Not my favorite form of transportation, but it was worth it. The view going up in the cable car got more and more incredible as we climbed. Each part of the mountain was completely different from the rest. Then at the very top, the mountains were coated with snow.

At the top of the mountain there were a few activities one could do. The first one we chose was not to my liking. We had to walk across a suspension bridge from one alp to another. The bridges bottom was not completely see-through but if you looked down you could see how far you would fall. And just to make matters even more interesting the bridge swayed from side to side. This activity is not for the faint of heart. However, the view was worth the life threatening walk. I had never seen anything so breath-taking before. The snow-covered peaks of the alps mixed with the tree covered bottoms, to the water falls and lakes that encompass them. Once off the bridge I could breathe again and we took the stairs down to the ice cave. You wouldn’t think that walking through a cave of ice would be that interesting but I found it very exciting. I was walking through an alp! While in the ice cave I was holding onto the railing for dear life, so that I did not slip and fall on my face. I am already gravity challenged as it is. Once we accomplished the treacherous walk, we were back in the welcome center and ready for a late lunch.

Shortly after we sat down a couple from Australia who were also on our excursion asked if they could sit with us. Of course we said yes. We started talking about all of the different places we had been and our love for travel, when I noticed a stuffed teddy bear that they had with them. I knew there had to be a story behind it and I was hoping that it was not going to be a sad one. To my surprise, it was a happy story but I still got choked up. The bears name is Jasper and he has traveled the world with them. The bears origin started when they were in Canada. The husband could not afford to get his wife an engagement ring because he did not have enough money, but he got her the bear instead and said, “this is all I can afford at the moment but when I can I will get you the best ring.” She said yes and Jasper has been traveling with them ever since. That is one of the cutest stories I have ever heard.

After lunch we got back on the bus to go back to Zürich. The day was amazing and the excursion was wonderful. When we got back, dinner added to the lovely day. We decided to eat at our hotel, on their outside deck which over looked the river. Switzerland always amazes me with its views. When I went last year one of the women on our trip said that you couldn’t take a bad picture in this country and I believe that is true.

The next morning was bitter-sweet. We were leaving Switzerland but heading to Munich, Germany. We decided to take one more walk in the city because we had an hour to kill. We saw a little market being opened and decided to take a look. I love looking at the local produce and being jealous that Americans aren’t on board with this. Then we decided to walk a little further and we found a street that was so interesting and we were so upset that we had found it with only 30 minutes left. It was full of cafes and shops. Next time I go to Zürich that is the first place that I will be going. But now it was time to leave and continue our journey to Munich.

Katie

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