Thursday, July 19, 2018

Switzerland Trip in July

We spent eight amazing days in Switzerland back in early July, and I am still mesmerized by the breathtaking sceneries this country has to offer. If you are like me who grew tired of the European old towns and their similar architecture, and was in search of something more refreshing and mind-blowing, I strongly recommend giving Switzerland a try. However, being the world's richest country, Switzerland definitely ranks very low on the affordability ladder. So don't be surprised if you ordered a bowl of ramen and the bill came back at $100! 

Picture below: the stunning scenery from the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Bernese Oberland. Every corner put me in a constant state of awe. 

Our itinerary went like this: 
  • Day 1: departure from Toronto, 3-hour stopover in Milan. 
  • Day 2: arrival in Zurich in the late afternoon. Our hotel Glockenhof Zurich is in the downtown core (financial district to be exact), so the location makes it easy for us to explore key tourist sites. I recommend booking directly with the hotel. We saved over $2,000 from it. 
  • Day 3: Zurich Kunshaus (Art Museum), Altstadt (Old Town), Limmat river banks. Enjoyed lunch and snacks at the La Rôtisserie.  
  • Day 4: Zurich -> Interlaken -> Lauterbrunnen, took a cogwheel train to Kleine Scheidegg; another train to Jungfraujoch. Took the Grindelwald route back to Zurich. 
  • Day 5: Zurich -> Berne -> Thun.
  • Day 6: Zurich -> Lucerne -> Engelberg -> Mount Titlis. 
  • Day 7: Zurich -> Rapperswil-Jona -> The Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen. 
  • Day 8: return.
If you are considering renting a car in Switzerland, don't. We rented a 7-seater because we were travelling with my friend and her family from Copenhagen. It was probably the most stressful place to drive on earth! There were traffic cameras every where, so a slight violation would trigger the cameras to go off. We are still biting our nails over how many tickets we might be getting in the mail! That said, driving through all the alpine winding mountain roads with windows done was truly an amazing experience. 

Picture below: Lindenhof avails you the best views to the Limmat and Zurich old town. 

The sunset in Zurich was magical. 

We spent a few hours at the Zurich Kunshaus. As usual, we were attracted to the modern collections and sculpture garden. There's a lot of construction (expansion) going on at the Kunshaus but you wouldn't notice it from the inside. 

Bird in Space (L'Oiseau dans l'espace) sculpture by Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. 

The iconic Staubbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. 

Paragliders from Schilthorn. 

Jungfraujoch, one of the most recognizable peaks that make up the Alps. I could feel my ears popping as we hiked up. Oxygen level did get pretty thin inside the train station and caves, but it was hardly noticeable outside. I felt a bit light-headed at first but soon overcame it and was completely distracted by the otherworldly views.  

I believe this is the Eiger

Berne old town


Mount Titlis

Mount Titlis Suspension Bridge

I highly recommend the Rotair (cable car) ride to the top of Mount Titlis, if you are not acrophobic. Make sure we take a stop at the 1,800-m and hike around the Lake Trübsee. 

The iconic Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. 

Seedamm Rapperswil-Hurden Bridge in Rapperswil-Jona. 

Rhine Falls in the Schaffhausen

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