SWITZERLAND

To celebrate the end of my second year of College, I joined my mom on one of her flights to the land of chocolate and cheese…

Switzerland!

I’ll skip the 12 hour flight because I honestly just slept half way through. By the time we landed (around 7am) into Zurich Airport, it was so gloomy and on top of that it started to rain. So, the weather kind of switched our itinerary around but my mom and I made it work.

We stayed at the Swissotel located near Oerlikon station. After settling down, we headed down to the station where we wanted to enquire about their Swiss Travel Pass.

We purchased the 3 day pass which cost CHF 216 for my mom and CHF 185 for my youth pass. The reason as to why we chose to purchase the pass instead of tickets was because we planned on really making this trip worth while and going to as many cities as we could.

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The pass included unlimited access to the network of Swiss Travel System. You get to explore the most beautiful scenic routes and have access to their local trams and buses in 75 towns and cities. As well as free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions.

On top of that, they recently made the Golden Round Trip of Mt. Pilatus free for anyone with the pass! (The original price of the Golden Round Trip is CHF106)

DAY 1

Just an hour and 25 minutes away from Zurich, we decided to visit this small town called Stein am Rhein.

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It’s known for its preserved medieval houses with painted facades and the Hohenklingen Castle located on top of a hill which dates back to the Middle Ages.

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The town was straight out of a Beauty and the Beast movie.

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We then headed back to our hotel as the weather wasn’t getting any better. Instead, we preserved our energy for an exciting day ahead.

DAY 2

Our second day included a four hour train ride from Zurich > Chur > St. Moritz. You’d think it would feel like forever, but trust me it didn’t feel like four hours at all. Why? Because of the amazing view.

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We didn’t explore the city of Chur as I didn’t find anything interesting to see or do from what I’ve researched. So instead we hopped on the train from Chur to St. Moritz where the views got even better.

Snow started to appear!

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We then crossed a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Rhaetian Railway, which reminded me of the mini version of the bridge from Harry Potter.

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No matter how sleepy we were, we couldn’t keep our eyes shut because you’d never know what you were going to miss.

After that four hour train ride, we finally reached our destination: St. Moritz.

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St. Moritz is known for hosting the Winter Olympics twice, has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world and is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

We visited during their off season, so the town was practically empty. Shops were closed, we spotted a few tourists and there were only three restaurants open to choose from.

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Food in Switzerland does not come cheap, so be prepared to bring your own snacks or home made lunches if you’re on a tight budget.

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After our ridiculously over priced meal, we explored St. Moritz a little bit more before the train was ready to depart again.

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After roaming around an empty town, we made our way back to the train. Next on our itinerary: Zurich.

 

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Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city and capital of the canton. Being the centre of banking and finance, whilst still preserving their heritage with their picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt.

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Walking around the city wasn’t too hard as we were given a map at the tourist information centre. It took less than an hour (depending on how fast you walk) to get around.

Exhaustion came right on time as we were about to head back to our hotel. Day 3 was going to be packed yet agin.

DAY 3 

Our last full day had to be my favorite. Bern, Mt. Pilatus and Lucerne were all on the list and we were up and ready to venture out.

Bern is just an hour away from Zurich, so I highly recommend you visit the capital city of Switzerland.

What’s unique about this gorgeous city is that it was built around a crook on the Aare River.

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One of Bern’s attractions included a Rose Garden. Unfortunately we came at the wrong time as there were no roses in full bloom. However, we did get a full view of the city which was worth it.

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Fact: Albert Einstein lived in Bern, where he invented the ever so famous formula E=mc2 in 1905. Einstein’s home has now been turned into a mini-museum where you get to witness where and how he lived back in the day.

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Next stop: Mt. Pilatus.

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Again, the Golden Round Trip was free for us because we had the Swiss Travel Pass. However, instead of taking the boat we took the train from Lucerne instead.

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To get to the top, we embarked the world’s steepest cogwheel railway for 30 minutes. Sights included sparkling mountain streams and captivating rock formations.

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The snow was insanely blinding that it was so hard for me to open my eyes (do bring shades!). However, the view was absolutely breathtaking and surprisingly it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be!

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After our little pictorial, we made our way back down to Lucerne by cable car.

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Lucerene was also a very charming city. Their famous Kapellbrücke built way back in the 17th century was incredible.

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This trip was certainly one I would never forget. Medieval towns and the Swiss Alps? What more could you ask for?

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Catch me on my next adventure!

-Pau

 

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