In mid-October, I had the great fortune of embarking on my second out-of-country journey with a wonderful group of ladies. We spent the weekend in a town called Bad Zurzach, which is just south of the German border, and went on a few excursions to some of the major cities in Switzerland, including Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern.
One of my dear friends from the CSU program was born in California, but has family in Switzerland. Her uncle was away on holiday, and graciously allowed us to stay at his flat. We were also granted use of a friend’s vehicle, because he was in the US at the time, so Jackie was able to drive us around and show us some of her favorite places in Switzerland.
Because we got so lucky with our lodgings and transportation, we were able to save a fortune on this trip. We also went grocery shopping in Tübingen the night before we left, so the only money we spent in Switzerland was on gasoline and chocolate.
Switzerland is incredibly beautiful, especially in Autumn. It was amazing to be able to see the country where Jackie spent so much of her childhood, and we had a blast with her as our tour guide, expertly navigating the streets and bringing us to beautiful locations.
I loved Lucerne, especially because we were able to spend so much time there. We overheard a ton of Schwiizidüütsch, or Swiss German, which sounds so much more fun and lighthearted than Hochdeutsch or Schwäbisch. Jackie speaks it pretty well, and it was awesome watching her interact with locals.
From what I could tell, people in Switzerland all seem incredibly happy. There’s no reason to wonder why – who could be unhappy living in such a beautiful country? I also saw the cutest dogs while walking through the streets. I hadn’t realized how many different breeds exist, and it seems like most of them reside just a few hours south of where I am currently living. I would have (should have) taken photos of all the dogs I saw, but I’m sure the owners had places to be and things to do.
We were treated to a delicious Swiss meal known as Rösti. Jackie has many talents, including cooking, and she was able to put this dish together from memory. It was very tasty, although I couldn’t tell you what’s in it aside from potatoes, so I have included a photo of it in the slideshow below.
Swiss chocolate is everything that you have heard – and more. I may or may not have spent upwards of 30€ on chocolate alone…but hey, when you spend less than 60€ on the entire trip, you’re allowed to splurge on chocolate…right?
Aside from the above, what really made this trip special is the group of girls who accompanied me. Each person brings something unique, and together we have a blast, no matter what we are doing. These women are so positive and encouraging, not to mention intelligent and thoughtful. I have so many things to say about these ladies, but it will suffice to say that the company makes all the difference on long journeys, and it is very true that you only really get to know someone when you travel with them. I am so very happy to know that I will have these amazing friends to support me throughout my time here in Germany.
In summary, I highly recommend a trip to Switzerland. The Alps are astonishing, the seas are tranquil and blue, and the views along the roads in between are no less gorgeous than the landscapes at our destinations. I hope to return, if not within the year, then at some point in the future. Please enjoy the photos below; as usual, I did not take as many as I should have, sorry about that.
Thanks for reading!