Earlier this year, Alissa and I decided we wanted to take a big trip just the two of us for the first time since 2018 when we went to Peru together. With a son off in college and a (for now) empty nest, the world a bit more open since Covid, this fall seemed like the perfect time.
We debated a bunch of different destinations. Hawaii? Greece? Iceland? New Zealand? All sounded great but not quite right, and I threw out: what about Switzerland? I think we both latched onto that idea and it felt just right. Trains and villages and mountains. All things we love.
We flew direct on Lufthansa from Denver to Munich. Then Munich to Zurich, which I didn’t realize was going to just be a 35 minute flight. Haha.
We did not come into this trip with any pre-planned agendas. “Ride trains and look at mountains” was about all we had planned. We booked a hotel in Zurich for one night, and two nights in St. Moritz, beyond that we planned to play it by ear and see where the wind would take us. Here’s where the wind ended up taking us:
- Day 1. Zurich. Rest in the hotel from jet lag, and exploration of the old town during the evening.
- Day 2. Train ride to St. Moritz, via a quick stop in Chur. Beautiful lakes, spectacular mountains. St. Moritz has a beautiful lake and town.
- Day 3. Bernina Express train to and from Tirano, Italy. Viewing the village of Poschiavo from above with the alps in the background might stick with me as one of the most spectacular villages I’ve ever seen.
- Day 4. St. Moritz back to Chur for a single night here. I spent most of the 2+ hour train ride in the observation car taking pictures. Spectacular! And since I was taking pictures from a moving train, I had to be fast. The first time landscape photography felt kind of like sports photography! Had some local Chur wine with dinner, so good!
- Day 5. Chur back to Zurich, to Bern, to Interlaken. Wow, what a spectacular little town Interlaken is! The mountains around the town remind me so much of when we visited Banff, Canada.
- Day 6. Paid the money to see Jungfraujoch, the “top of Europe”. It involves riding a cog-railway train inside a mountain and a spectacular gondola ride into an environment that feels a lot like Hoth in Star Wars.
- Day 7. Visited the Matterhorn. Uh. Wow. I thought yesterday was spectacular but this is even better. We took the lift up to the Klein Matterhorn and wow, just wow! We could see all the way to Mount Blanc on the Italian/French border which stretches up 15,774 feet high.
- Day 8. A more low-key day. Took the Harderkulm above Interlaken. Then took a several hour cruise on Lake Thun.
- Day 9. What better way to spend the day than to cross the entire country by train? Went from Interlaken to Bern to Geneva. Lake Geneva is cool and the town is old and beautiful. Got lunch and then headed from Geneva (the far south west corner of Switzerland, right on the border of France) to Zurich (on the north east side, closer to Germany).
- Day 10. Airport and travel home, heart completely full.
If you decide to travel to Switzerland (and you should), we recommend the Swiss Travel Pass. I also used Holafly with an e-sim on my iPhone to get unlimited mobile data to keep me in touch with Instagram. Do it for the gram!