Two Days in Switzerland
Let’s preface the somewhat sporadic trip abroad with this: a stressful, not-great day back in March, I was scrolling through Instagram and came to a few posts from my favorite duo, Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust) and Jack Morris (@doyoutravel). Inspired, I made the ultimate decision I was going to travel this year, whether someone wanted to come or not. Coincidentally, I got a text from my friend saying, “let’s go to Europe.” I think my immediate “yes” shocked her.
Fifty-five thousand points later (thanks Chase Sapphire and @thepointsguy for teaching me how to get ridiculous deals and work the rewards system), I landed myself a round-trip ticket for $68. Destinations: Lucerne, Switzerland; Lake Como, Florence, Rome, and Praiano, Italy.
Fast forward to Wednesday, May 17, I’m on a Delta flight from JFK to Zurich, escaping the 90+ degree heat wave hitting New York and two weeks of work.
Zurich to Lucerne, Day One
It’s about a CHF30.00 and an hour train ride from Zurich Airport to Lucerne. I stepped off the train and was welcomed by Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), blue-green water, the Alps and Old Town. It was (is) picturesque.
I had the day to myself, while Heidi — delayed, canceling a flight, rebooking a flight, running across three terminals at JFK to make a connecting flight, landing in Portugal to a group of striking security guards, etc. — prayed she would actually make the Switzerland portion of our trip. Spoiler, she did.
Our hotel didn’t open until 11:30a, so to kill time, I sat at one of the few open waterfront restaurants on the cobblestone walk and had a caffé and a Chäs Barmettler (Lucerne Cheese Pie), aka a delicious gruyere quiche. Yum, to both. Maybe the coffee more than the pie.
We had a last minute change of heart on where we were staying in Lucerne and ended up booking a room at Hotel Pickwick. Its reception area is a pub and you get your keys at the bar. Our room, adorably quaint with two twin beds and no frills, had an unobstructed view of Kapellbrücke. Win.
I took the remainder of the day to walk around and explore Old Town Lucerne and Kornmarket. It was warm and a bit cloudy, but still gorgeous. Happy hour seems like a religion there, with the bars filling up at around 4p. I somewhat joined the masses, sitting on a stoop along the river with a mini can of prosecco.
Heidi arrived around 8p and we grabbed a late dinner at one of the small waterfront restaurants.
Lucerne, Day Two
Cold, low visibility, rain (pouring rain). We didn’t let that stop us completely. We decided against going to Mount Pilatus due to the poor visibility, but decided to take the ferry to the town of Rundfarht where you catch the cog railway up to Pilatus anyways to see the Lake from a different perspective. It was still beautiful — I can only imagine what it is like on a clear day.
That afternoon, sad to admit, we were defeated by the cold and rain. We spent some time finalizing plans for our next leg of the trip from the warm and dry confines of Hotel Pickwick. We ate a late lunch at the local brewery, Rathaus Brauerei. Their house beer was a “proper cloudy beer.” I’m no cicerone and didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t hate it. Great beer, killer food.
We headed back, each fell asleep and woke up to the sun peaking out and casting its light on the Alps. Money. The evening, still cold, was by far the icing on the cake for our time in Lucerne. It was absolutely gorgeous and finally gave us opportunity to snap shots like these. Lucerne, you’re beautiful. Switzerland, I’ll be back.
Next stop, Menaggio, Lake Como.