Switzerland was the perfect the place to go to after the hustle and bustle of Paris. The air was the freshest air I've ever breathed, the water was so cold and refreshing, and wherever you looked there were astounding views of the beautiful Swiss mountains. I woke up and just laid in my bed for about fifteen minutes staring at the view outside my window.
Our hotel was located in a small ski resort town, and we ate dinner a sports center in town that had an ice rink with hockey players practicing! It reminded me of home; the sounds and the smells of an ice rink. The hockey players inspired me to wear my Sabres shirt the next day.
We left for Lucerne the following morning, we first went to the Lion Monument. The monument is to commemorate the bravery of the Swiss soldiers from the French Revolution. Darren told us that Mark Twain once said that the monument is the most moving statue ever, and after seeing it, I can see why he said that.
We then had a few hours to wander around town, then a bunch of us went on an excursion to go to Mt. Pilatus. We first took a boat ride across the like, which was amazing. I like being on (and in) the water, so I enjoyed being on the deck and again, witnessing all of the beautiful views.
We then arrived at Mt. Pilatus, and it was time to go up! We had to take a train up to the top, I learned from Darren that the train is the steepest cogwheel rail in the world. It felt like being on a roller coaster when its climbing its way to the top of the first drop.
Once we made it up to the top, we got to wander around and explore. It was so humbling to literally be on the top of the world; a recurring theme on this trip (aside from the heat), has been me saying, "Is this really my life?" Being on top of the Swiss Alps was definitely one of those moments. Completely breathtaking.
After exploring, we had to go back down obviously. I'm actually pretty afraid of heights, so the gondola ride down was making me really nervous. The first gondola was sooo scary, but I made sure to stand up front because I wanted to take it all in. We were going pretty fast and it was so steep, I had a few internal freak out moments, but it was also exhilarating.
The second gondola ride wasn't so bad, it was smaller, but it felt slower and I got more relaxed as we were going down. There were only four people to each gondola, and it was Ashlee, a girl on our tour named Lisa, Darren, and me. We all had a nice conversation about the trip and about where we all lived, so that was nice, and it took my mind off my fear of heights.
After Mt. Pilatus, Ashlee and I found a marketplace along the lake and we did some shopping and then grabbed a beer and sat by the lake. Eventually we slowly started seeing people from our group and then we all got some food from some stands and then made it back to the bus to head back to our hotel.
Ashlee and I then took a long walk around town, which was so pretty and relaxing. We went on some walking paths and found a creek, then walked around town a bit more and admired all the beautiful homes and watched people dining outside of various cafes and hotels. When we made it back to our hotel, it was thundering and lightning in the mountains, it was so neat and peaceful for me to sit outside and watch the storm in the distance.
The next morning we had to leave early for Florence, and while we were all looking forward to Italy, I think there was a general consensus that we all wanted to stay in Switzerland a little longer. Everything about it was just so lovely, the sheer and overwhelming beauty. We've seen so much on this trip and so many different cities. I'm a city girl at heart, but it would be hard for me to pass up an opportunity to live in Switzerland, that's for sure.