I swear every time I come back from a trip I say “this was my favorite trip so far” but I am serious this time when I say this was my favorite trip so far!! My school gives everyone two trips that are included in tuition that you can pick from about 6 places and I’m not even sure why I picked Switzerland because I didn’t know much about it before traveling here or never had a desire to go to Switzerland but I am SO glad that I picked this one. I think the reason it was one of my favorites was because most of the places I’ve gone so far or even in the U.S. are beautiful because they are right on the water and are usually beachy or tropical areas but Switzerland was the opposite and even more beautiful. I’ve also noticed that going into a trip with no expectations leads to the best time.
When we met for the pre-departure meeting our tour guide ( who was also the cutest, funniest and intelligent old man ever) told us that it was going to be 40 degrees there and I almost died. Mostly because I am used to it being in the 70’s here in Florence and never getting cold but also because I am not prepared for the winter at all since my parents plan on bringing my parka and boots when they visit. This did give me an excuse to do some shopping though, which surprisingly I haven’t really done that much since being here so I went out and bought an inexpensive pair of booties for the weekend and decided against buying a jacket and instead I just layered with a sweater, scarf and my Burberry down jacket. We were all pleasantly surprised when we got there because when the sun was out, we were actually hot and could take our jackets off. We couldn’t have picked a better weekend in terms of weather because it was sunny ALL weekend.
The first day we drove four hours to Lake Como, which was such a beautiful lake. We took a ferry to Bellagio (this is still in Italy) and had two hours to get lunch and enjoy the scenery. We ate right on the lake at this really nice restaurant with pretty flowers and seating and when we looked at the name we all laughed because it was called Hotel Florence. We then walked to this viewpoint where you can see where Lake Como splits into two and of course took a half hour photo shoot. I couldn’t get over how blue the water is and with the mountains and houses in the background it was just beautiful. I didn’t things could get any prettier but then we got to Switzerland and I was just blown away.
After spending a relaxing afternoon on Lake Como, we got back on the bus and had a 2 hour ride to Switzerland. This ride was probably the worst bus rides of my trips so far because to get to our resort we were literally staying on the top of the mountains, I forget the number but it was like 10,000 ft of elevation we were up and the roads were so narrow and windy I was surprised I didn’t throw up. I was honestly distracted by the breathtaking view of the mountains on our way up that I couldn’t think of getting car sick. We stayed at Hotel Sonne, one of the oldest and best resorts in St. Moritz and I was very happy to spend a night in a comfortable bed and shower in something other than our gross apartment bathroom. When we got to the top of the mountain the temperature drastically changed and I was happy that I brought layers.
After settling into our room, the hotel gave us a four course meal that left us disgustingly stuffed. The first meal was my favorite which was spaghetti with mushroom cream sauce and it is something I would’ve never tried if I was at home but I am so glad I did. The next course was tomatoes and onions, I obviously didn’t eat because I hate onions so I waited for the third course which was turkey and french fries. I mostly just ate the fries because I haven’t had them since America so I was very happy. The dessert was this chocolate flan that was okay. It took us about 2 hours laying down to digest and in the meantime we kept going back and forth on whether to go out or not. We thought it would be so cool to go out in Switzerland and see what it would be like but on the other hand we were tired and had to be up early. Of course we decided to go out and we took the bus into Dorf, a town in Switzerland and went to a small pub. It was shocking how there was not one person out in the town (we found out it is the off season so it is very dead right now in St. Moritz) and I think the bartenders were shocked when 15 girls who were clearly American walked into the bar. You could tell everyone in there were locals and they all looked at us strange too. It was so different there because all the kids there looked so young so we asked the bartender and he said you can get into a bar at 15 and drink at 16. This boggled our minds because none of us are even 21 yet and we are sitting near 16 year olds who are drinking a beer legally in their city. All of the boys were also dressed very nice, much different from the typical American boys in high school.
We stayed until about 12:30 because we wanted to be well rested for our walking tour of Switzerland the next day, which was the coolest thing I’ve done!! This woman gave us a three hour tour of St. Moritz and gave us plenty of time for photo opportunities. The tour ended at the chocolate shop because Switzerland is known for their chocolate. Since the trip was included in our tuition and many of the meals were too, the most money I spent in Switzerland was on chocolate (does that surprise anyone??) and I got 6 truffles of various flavors, two homemade chocolate bars and then a package of chocolate nut clusters that were sooo good. I am going to try to make the chocolate last until November for when my mom comes because she is equally obsessed with chocolate as I am but I make no promises. After the walking tour we went on a bus tour before heading back to Italy, which took us to the very top of the mountain. This is where the most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen was and I can’t even describe what it looked like. My pictures honestly don’t even do it justice. I reccomend if anyone is traveling through Europe to visit Switzerland because it was one of the best places I’ve ever been. These kind of trips make me so appreciative that I am studying abroad in Europe because it is so easy to travel to different countries and cities.
After an 8 hour bus ride that was supposed to be 6 but we hit traffic and I was incredibly car sick the entire time (don’t worry didn’t puke) we came back home where I’ve been having a productive day of doing homework, studying for a test that I have tomorrow with a teacher that has the thickest accent so I have no idea a word she says and hitting the gym to detox from all the bad food I’ve eaten this weekend. I’ll take a study break around 7 because it is my friends birthday so we are going to Tijuana’s one of our favorite restaurants for half off margs and I’m going to have my first burrito in florence so I am super excited!!! Hopefully I find my equivalent to Chipotle here.
Then in less than three days I leave for Barcelona!!!