Switzerland

I’ve always had this picture in my mind of what the Swiss mountains look like – happy cows munch on abundant grass in green meadows, their bells echo against the towering rock and the crystal clear lakes sparkle the reflection of the clouds.  Turns out, this isn’t a dream – this is Mt Pilatus.

We spent a perfect day experiencing Swiss nature in its full glory on the Mt Pilatus golden tour.  We started with a cogwheel train up the mountain – one of the steepest in the world with slopes up to 48*.

The peak was cloaked in mist that day, and our hike around the summit was in and out of the clouds.  With every break a glimpse of the glorious Lake Lucerne and villages below captured our awe.  The height separates you from the busy-ness of life below, you’re simply surrounded by peaceful impressive nature.  We saw Alpine Ibex climbing the sheer rock face, and heard the bells of distant, almost imaginary happy cows – unable to pinpoint their location given the echo.

We flew down the mountain in two different gondolas, the first of which soared seemingly over the top of the world.  The colors in these photos are original – this magical place is super green and blue 🙂

We finished our golden tour on a smooth cruise in the sparkling mountain lake and enjoyed a local brew on our way back to Lucerne.  Lucerne is a sweet, old town which serves as a gateway for the surrounding mountains.  The Chapel Bridge and water tower which meander across the crystal clear river were built in the early 14th century as part of the old town’s fortifications, and the paintings within illustrate scenes of Swiss and local history.  We had just enough time for dinner in a fine restaurant along the river before a massive storm blew through – luckily it seems as if the locals are accustomed to this, as we were tucked under the largest awning I’ve ever seen and didn’t have to seek cover! 🙂

 

The next day we had a bit of spare time, and just enough dry weather to walk around Zurich.  Another city settled next to a mountain lake and nestled into the hills, Zurich is absolutely pristine.  We walked through the Altstadt district and climbed up Lindenhof hill, where you can get a fantastic view of the Limmat river.  This part of Zurich has been permanently settled for over 2000 years, spanning all the way back to the Roman settlement Turicum.  Brimming with the the elite confidence that comes with the highest quality of life ranking in the world, the wealthiest city in Europe lives up to the hype and would be an amazing place to call home.

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