We’re thrilled to welcome our first baby (a girl!) in October, but first, we had to have one last big adventure. We’d been saving up credit card points and found some good flights from Atlanta to Zurich, so we booked an 8-day trip and had a wonderful time exploring Switzerland’s beautiful countryside and cities.
Our first stop was Lucerne. We booked a modest, affordable, room at Hotel Alpha within walking distance of the downtown area. It was perfect for us. Yes, we had to share a bathroom, but we had a nice quiet room and enjoyed breakfast in their sun-drenched dining room. After dropping off our bags and taking a quick nap (jet lag!), we headed out for an exploratory walk, for a swim and to find some dinner.
I’d asked the tourist office where we could go swimming and they recommended the public beach called Strandbad. It was perfect! The water was clean and cool and it seemed like all of the locals were there, just enjoying the sunshine.
After our Lake Lucerne swim, we walked along the waterfront back into the downtown area. We passed by this outdoor beer garden and it seemed like a nice place to enjoy the evening.
Lucerne has some famous bridges and we went full-on tourist and stopped to take some pics.
On our second day in Lucerne, we took a big adventure up Mt. Pilatus. We rode a cog car up about 7000′ to the top of the mountain, then spent the afternoon hiking around up there.
To get back down from Mt. Pilatus, we took a cable car, but first we stopped about halfway down so that Jason could do a luge run. It was so fun to watch! During the summer, the ski lifts haul luges up from about a 2-mile metal luge run.
After Lucerne, we took the train to a small town in the Oberland countryside called Lauterbrunnen. It was in a valley surrounded by Alps and we stayed at Hotel Steinbock for three nights, which gave us time to really explore the Alps during the day.
Once we arrived in Lauterbrunnen, we checked into the hotel and then left our stuff and went for a hike. We took the train from Lauterbrunnen up to a little mountain town called Wengen and then followed a trail up 4 miles to another small town called Wengneralp. From Wengneralp, we took the train back down to Lauterbrunnen.
On the next day, we took a gondola all the way up to about 10,000′ feet to the top of Schilthorn and to visit the rotating restaurant (featured in James Bond movies) called Piz Gloria.
After a few days in the Berner Oberland, we headed toward Zurich where we’d spend a few nights and then fly back to Atlanta. We stayed in a fun little Airbnb in Zurich that was a private cottage in someone’s backyard. It was quiet, just in front of the bus stop and affordable. On our first night in Zurich, we walked around the city and then found this cool restaurant called Frau Gerolds Garden. It was a big beer garden with all buildings built out of shipping containers. Such a fun spot.
On our last night in Switzerland, we met up with one of Jason’s old friends from Austin, Phil. Phil and his girlfriend are from Switzerland and live in Zurich. They showed us some fun local spots and then we had a good dinner of Israeli food.
We then left Zurich and flew back to Atlanta with fun memories of hiking in the Alps, swimming in beautiful lakes and strolling through nice neighborhoods.