I am almost always the type of person who loves to go away and equally loves to come home, but leaving Switzerland was initially kind of crushing.
(Holy dramatics, Erica… typing that sounds so silly. Sheesh!)
It was though! Life felt so peaceful and slow and obligation-free, and while I was so grateful to experience Switzerland at all, I couldn’t help but want just a little bit more of it. I have never visited a new place that captivated me quite like central Switzerland and the Gersau area did. Ahh, it was Heaven and the biggest surprise.
Instead of doing a traditional recap of our three days in this beautiful part of the world, I’d love to share 10 memories that I hope stick with me for a lifetime. Writing them down here will surely aid my memory in the future. 😉
My 10 Favorite Memories from Switzerland (in random order)
Finding and enjoying a spontaneous coffee shop on our drive in
We had about an hour to kill before checking in to our airbnb, so we decided to keep our eyes on alert for a coffee shop. Thankfully we spotted this one, and it turned into such a treat!
It was bustling with people inside and out, so we decided to sit for a while and relax before our final 30 minute drive to our lodging. We ordered the girls hot chocolate to share, and we were both excited in the most nerdy way when the barista brought warm milk in a mug with a packet of authentic swiss chocolate.
After the girls enjoyed their treat, they played in a nearby childrens area (I’d never seen a substantial play area like this in a coffee shop before, but obviously we thought it was fantastic!) while we sipped our coffee slowly.
This was our first stop in Switzerland, and it don’t know if it was the pretty weather or what, but I was giddy enjoying the moment in this shop.
2. Driving around the swiss lakes for the first time
We drove around three lakes on our way to our airbnb, and wow. I didn’t even take any pictures because I couldn’t take my eyes off of my surroundings. It was incredible to see the landscapes and subtle change from Germany, to Austria, to Liechtenstein, and then finally Switzerland all in one day.
3. Hearing Hadley and Sadie exclaim “Tunnel!” every single time we entered one
We drove through a zillion tunnels while riding around, and the girls were so tickled by it! Sadie is a little parrot and copies everything Hadley says (with the same inflection and everything – it’s funny), so they would both scream “Tunnel!” and then run their mouths about their excitement until we were out and “lights were back on” (says Sadie).
4. Dining in our airbnb’s host’s home and devouring a traditional Raclette dinner + swiss dessert
I’d read in the reviews to take Beate (the airbnb super host) up on her offer to cook dinner for you, so we decided that our first night in Switzerland would be a great time to do this. After a long day of traveling and exploring, simply having to walk to the other side of a chalet was a welcomed way to do dinner, plus it was so affordable! $48 total for dinner for the whole family. Switzerland is stereotypically a very expensive country, so this was awesome.
She made us a traditional Raclette dinner, which included melted cheese (“Fresh from the hills!” as she points to the hill where it’s made – omg amazing), lots of toppings, small potatoes, and tea flavored with homegrown herbs. Even the girls devoured it! The whole experience of cooking in front of us while having sweet conversation with Beate was awesome.
She also made an authentic swiss dessert that I couldn’t begin to name or describe. We had no clue what we were eating, but it was AMAZING. To finish dinner off, she poured Jamie and I a shotglass of schnapps (which is made in Switzerland) and we all toasted to a wonderful weekend ahead.
What a doll that Beate (Be-ah-tay) is. We enjoyed her so much.
5. Sitting outside watching the clouds break over the mountains and sipping my morning coffee under a blanket each morning
Delicious coffee + cool morning air + a view like this = a blissful Erica.
Hadley loved to be outside with me, so both mornings she grabbed her coat, boots, and coloring books to color while I sat in peace and quiet. Jamie joined me briefly both mornings, but we didn’t do much talking. Just sitting enjoying the quiet.
6. Taking in the views from the top of Mount Titlis
Such a fun excursion! This was our big pre-planned outing.
We drove to Engelberg (45 minute scenic drive) and took two different cable cars 10.6k feet up to the top of Mount Titlis (part of the Swiss Alps).
We packed our warmest clothes and enjoyed the snow for about two hours. We knew if the girls weren’t dressed right that they would be whiny, but they were bundled up and had fun!
Sadie and I had fun taking our time across the suspension bridge, but I can’t say the same about my heights-fearing husband, who Hadley was hanging with. They high-tailed it across while I hung back and asked a kind tourist to please snap my picture. 😉
The cable car was speedy, and it still took about 25 minutes to get to the top. Whew!
7. My conversation with a swiss chocolatier
Two things I was really looking forward to in Switzerland: chocolate and cheese. Duh. 🙂
While we enjoyed plenty of cheese during various outings in Switzerland, we waited to scout out chocolate shops until our day running around Lucerne. In the first big shop, we told Hadley to pick out one item of her choice, which we quickly regretted after she grabbed one of the most expensive single treats in the store – this $7 chocolate Halloween treat. She was happy as could be though and still hasn’t stopped talking about that “spooky chocolate candy”.
We later stumbled upon a chocolate shop that appeared a bit more upscale, and the prices matched our initial guesses. Holy moly. These chocolates were pieces of art! So pretty. I asked the chocolatier to tell me a little bit about why swiss chocolate is world famous, and in a nutshell, she shared that every single ingredient (besides the cocoa) is sourced from within the city. Most of the chocolates actually have a short shelf life because the ingredients are so fresh.
I bought a teeny $2 chocolate to try, and I somehow made into six bites because it was outrageous. I wanted to turn around and buy a load more because I have never tasted chocolate like that before. I am salivating just thinking about it!
8. Four hours of wandering aimlessly around downtown Lucerne
I didn’t expect downtown Lucerne to be quite as hoppin’ as it was, but the tourist crowds were super manageable and we had the best time. The weather was perfect, so we spent the day leisurely walking up and down almost every street.
I had seen this bridge 100 times during my Lucerne research, so seeing it in person was really neat. It’s gorgeous! How do Europeans get their flowers to explode like this?!
Just incredible. What a beautiful city.
9. Our two breakfasts prepared by and brought to our room by Ms. Beate
Ms. Beate offered traditional swiss breakfasts for $30/family, so we decided to take her up on it both mornings. We got to pick the time that she brought it down, and hearing her knock on the door sent us running to it!
On Friday, we ate breakfast at 8:30, and besides a cup of ice cream in the Swiss Alps, we didn’t eat again until 5:30. We were all that stuffed!
Saturday’s breakfast was our favorite. Fresh bread and butter, cheese, “chocolate yogurt”, nutella, jam, veggie eggs, crepes, swiss hashbrowns (or something similar to it), juice, coffee, and milk. GOOD GRACIOUS. She outdid herself! And for $35?! Insane! Ms. Beate is incredible.
10. Sitting outside on our second night crushing a bottle of Prosecco with Jamie
On our second night (after a full day in the Swiss Alps), we put the girls to bed around 8:30, changed into comfy clothes, and popped open a bottle of Prosecco (Beate had various beverages for sale in the kitchette). We sat on the porch overlooking the water for over an hour, wrapped up in blankets, and split the bottle. That’s my kind of date.
If you’ve visited Switzerland, where did you go?
Do you enjoy peaceful, slow vacation or the type that are full of adventure and being on the go?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo