Switzerland 2015 — RECAP

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If you’ve been following Living Big for a while now, then my obsession with Switzerland isn’t news to you. Well last week, folks, the obsession went one step further – to evangelism. That’s right. It was my “job” to share some of my favorite corners of Switzerland with a wonderful group of women. But the best part of this trip wasn’t the dramatic mountains, small towns, simple way of life or delicious cheesy food I have come to know and love. The best part was the group of women that joined me. They are some of the most dynamic, inspiring, funny and uplifting women I know. I couldn’t be more blessed to share my passion with these women and have lifelong memories in common. Cheers to you!

Enjoy some of my fav photos from the trip….!

Mary

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We started the trip with a few days in Zurich. We stayed in Old Town, got oriented to the city on a walking tour with our new BFF and local guide, Melissa, enjoyed fondue and chicken cordon blue {cheesy, duh}, brown-bagged fancy wine at a live outdoor opera, went shopping, spent time at an amazing spa and bathhouse and enjoyed easing into our time in Switzerland.

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After a few days in the big city I was itching to see the mountains. We headed east to the town of Appenzell to visit the local cheese factory {fondue stop, obvi} and then made our way up to Aescher Guesthouse {read more about this place by clicking here.} Travel tip: amazing experiences can’t all happen at the same time, otherwise you risk not absorbing the full WOW of each cool experience. You need to stop and pause. So we did just that by enjoying a picnic on top of our first Swiss mountain to soak in the view before heading to our second WOW of the day, at Aescher Guesthouse. Here we relaxed, stayed in a dorm style building {and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard!} enjoyed rösti, Appenzell Bier, lots of UNO cards and joined in the locals for a post-dinner concert with their accordion and other wooden instruments we learned how to use.

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Next stop: Mürren, the charming car-free town in the heart of the Swiss Alps {specifically, the Bernese Oberland mountains} It took a handful of trams, trains, one mini-van, one taxi ride and at least one funicular to get there, but boy oh boy, was it worth it! The mountains here are the REAL DEAL. We spent a few nights in Mürren hiking to local waterfalls, eating lots of delicious foods {cheese, duh} enjoyed a rainy day in with movies, laughed really hard, enjoyed waking up every morning to the mountains outside our balcony, hiking to great meal spots and a little bit of shenanigans. But only a little, I promise.

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On Thursday morning we were joined by our new BFF and hiking idol named Ann. She is incredible. She’s lived in the area for nearly 30 years. She is tough as nails and I’m pretty sure she would have outsmarted a bear if we ran into one on the trail. With Ann as our compass we made the epic overnight trek from Mürren to a magical spot high in the mountains called Hotel Obersteinberg. Now epic is not an exaggeration. We hiked for about seven hours on day 1 and five hours on day 2, up steep hills and cliffs, through waterfalls, and literally over the river and through the woods. But once we got to our destination {and had a beer in hand} it was well worth it. The hotel does not have electricity, so we enjoyed dinner and got ready for a well deserved nights sleep by candlelight.

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At the end of the trip we stayed one final night in Zurich, but this time headed to the trendier side of town known as West Zurich. It’s night and day different from Old Town, but good insight into the cultural range of Zurich. Hint: it’s a lot more than just watches, banks and chocolate. We went to one of my fav spots for drinks and dinner, an area Frau Gerolds Garten. Think of it as a food cart pod and tailgate party mash-up, hosted by the biggest hipsters you know.

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Wowzers. I don’t know if this trip can be topped. But come hell or high water…I’m going to keep trying. Looking forward to future 2015 adventures with small groups of women in Croatia and Costa Rica, and to Iceland, Croatia and Japan in 2016. Cheers to Living Big!

 

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