Last Friday I shared our Germany adventure and today I’m back with the Switzerland portion! Guys, Switzerland was absolutely incredible and I’m anything but neutral about it. (See what I did there?)
My husband, Jay, has been visiting Switzerland for many, many years. Without me, much to my dismay. Granted, he was there on business. And granted, he wasn’t able to do much in the way of sightseeing, but still! We made up for that in spades on this trip.
Our hotel was in Lenzburg and it’s where Jay considered home base when he’s there on business. It had a great view of Castle Lenzburg!
We grabbed lunch at the courtyard restaurant in the hotel before hiking up to the castle.
Aubergine Cordon Bleu
Castle Lenzburg from our balcony
Live life, make waves! I just loved this guy.
We took it easy the first day because we had a big journey planned for the following day! Why? Because we got the golden ticket! (Shout out to Gene Wilder, may he rest in peace.)
This golden ticket had little in the way to do with chocolate but did include a boat ride, cogwheel railway (at times a 48 degree angle!), aerial cable car, and panorama gondolas. We started in the city of Lucerne and took an hour boat ride to the base of Pilatus.
There was some down time before we were able to take the cogwheel railway up to the peak of the mountain but we had lunch and entertainment.
The majority of the time we were on our excursions we heard more German than anything else (which makes sense, of course). However, our ears perked up on the cogwheel railway where we sat with a few members of the Cleveland Orchestra. We spent the ride chatting with them and checking out the views.
Up we go!
Once off the cogwheel railway, we climbed to one of the higher points.
I can’t fully explain the feeling once we reached the top of Pilatus. We were surrounded by clouds and it felt as though we were touching the sky.
After we returned back to the city of Lucerne, we did get our handmade Swiss chocolate at Max Chocolatier; our golden ticket was truly complete!
The following day we took some time in the morning to visit the Swiss division of Jay’s company, which was fantastic. It was wonderful to put faces to the names and one of his coworkers even drew a map for us to follow while we visited his hometown of Zurich.
Zurich was my favorite of the “big” cities we visited. Driving there was a bit daunting (thankfully, I wasn’t driving!) but once we got situated, it was absolutely gorgeous.
I think what I loved so much about Zurich is that we had no agenda. We wandered through the streets, visited a few churches and towers, and took in the sights.
That evening we had a reservation at restaurant blindekuh; this was something that we had been planning since the very inception of our trip. It is a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness.
So much of our vacation had relied on our sense of sight. Experiencing great heights and views, as seen by the photographs. However, this was completely different. We had to rely on our other senses, which became hyper focused. Our waitress, Laila was visually impaired, as was all of the wait staff at blindekuh.
Once I got over a mild panic attack after being lead into the darkness (not exaggerating – there was a moment I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay), I got a sense of where I was in the room, where Jay was in the room, and somewhat of what was going on around me. It was a bit jarring because the majority of the conversations around us were in a different language but Laila spoke English, which helped immensely.
It was an incredible 3 hour experience.
For the record, carrots and radishes have a very similar texture and I’m still not sure which one was in my salad.
I had a pasta dish, Jay had chicken (which was slightly more challenging), and we let them pick our ice cream because we weren’t quite to the point where they gave us an entire mystery meal.
The following day was another “easy” day – we spent more time in Lenzburg before heading to Hallwyl Castle in Seengen.
Even the audio guide did not help us understand what exactly was going on here.
That evening we enjoyed an incredible dinner at Jay’s boss’ home. His family was gracious and lovely and really liked giving me alcoholic beverages.
The following day was our last full day of our vacation and we had big plans. We drove 2 hours to Grindelwald, primarily to do this.
A tip from me, if you ever go there… don’t wear a dress unless you like constantly doing the Marilyn Monroe pose. I had shorts on underneath my dress but even still. It was breezy!
Breezy but worth it!
We couldn’t have asked for a better last day on First Summit.
Next time I’ll do that!
We’ve been back home in New Jersey now for a week and with school starting for my kids on Wednesday, I’m back to being mom, cook, home project doer, and all the other responsibilities that were forgotten for just a little while on our vacation.
It’s good to be back with the experiences that I was exposed to while in Germany and Switzerland. They won’t soon be forgotten!
Happy Labor Day and enjoy each other.