I’ve jumped destinations a little. We visited Zurich en route to Paris.
We drove from Milan and crossed the border into Switzerland.
We stopped in Lugano, a gorgeous small town in the lake district. The rain poured as we struggled to find any shops open, later we discovered it was a national public holiday! We finally found a cafe open, grabbed some hot coffee and pastries before jumping in the car again and making our way through the alps to Zurich.
The 3 hour drive was nothing short of magic. Around every bend, waterfalls and lakes appeared. We ooh’ed and ahh’ed in the car like idiots, completely in awe of the insane beauty that was unfolding. The kids loved the drive, although the windy narrow roads around the alps had me feeling a little car sick. We passed many road stops and as soon as midday hit the car clock, the kids asked that daily question “What are we having for lunch?”
We pulled off the highway into a town called Andeer. So small, it’s barely on the map. It was hauntingly quiet, a few hikers around. Streets were empty and the whole place was deserted. Quite a rare sight indeed. We walked around till we found a tiny lodge with a restaurant open. 2 waitresses appeared in traditional red, swiss dresses and promptly served us. They loved practising their English with us, both being native Austrians. We ordered our food as we sat in an empty lunch room, not really sure of what would appear out of the kitchen. After a short wait, our food arrived and we were completely shocked out how fantastic our meals were. I had the creamiest mushroom risotto while the kids devoured schnitzel and chips. Marlee and James ordered the speciality dish, a potato rosti with egg, ham and bacon with melted cheese on top.
To this day, it remains one of the best meals my husband has ever eaten in his 34 years of life. We are STILL talking about that rosti dish, months later. The kids made thank you cards for the waitresses as they were so lovely and welcoming to us. The girls waved us goodbye as we piled into our van, completely charmed by this sweet little town.
The mountains shrunk as the highway widened and soon enough, we drove into the city centre of Zurich and made our way to our hotel, a renovated brewery named the B2 Hotel and Spa.
Our suite was absolutely amazing. Think plywood, plush linens, glass, gorgeous pendant lights, it was alpine cabin meets swiss style. Marlee had her own gorgeous room across the hall. Breakfast was served in the library every morning with books stocked high that towered above us. Fresh pastries, hot coffee, cold meats, juices, yoghurts and Ovaltine spread was enjoyed every morning as we planned our day.
On the rooftop of our hotel was a thermal spa which attracted visitors from all over the world. The pool was literally on the roof. You could enter the hot pool via an indoor staircase and swim through a darkened doorway to be overlooking Zurich and the horizon. The kids fell in love at first sight and we spent many afternoons, soaking our bodies in the mineral springs.
We visited the most amazing swiss food hall, famous for dishes including bratwurst, schnitzel, rosti and soups. It was so amazing, we visited twice during our stay and James astonished us all by devouring a 300g bratwurst in 1 sitting. Our beers were cold, the service was busty and prompt, the waiters were cheeky, the locals were buzzed. Dessert included the tastiest ice cream I’ve ever had, with swiss chocolate sauce to boot. I’ve never heard so many spoons clanking over a bowl as we shared the tasty treats.
More to come for Zurich and Lucerne.