For serious. I uttered that phrase to myself, to Emily, to Emily’s family, to cows, to purple mountains majesty for 3 straight days. Speaking of Emily’s family, I’d just like to mention that they’re the most warm, welcoming and hospitable group of people I’ve ever gotten the chance to visit. You’d think being in a foreign country, in the house of someone you’ve never met, trying to overcome a massive language barrier would put you a little on the wary side but that was never the case. Sitting at the dinner table listening to the conversation flip between (predominantly) German and English while eating raclette and “Glaurus pastry” was one of the best things I got to do on the trip because I felt a sense of complete immersion and inclusion – the Holy Grail of travelers.
Top 5 things I got to do in Switzerland:
- Hiking up the Alps a day after a springtime snowfall amongst the cows and wooden houses that have been there for centuries.
- Going on an after dinner, after dark stroll through the tiny town of Elm. No flashlight needed since the fresh snow on the mountain tops was glowing in the light of the full moon and you could hear the sound of the rushing river before you came upon it after winding through footpaths that are protected by arching blades of grass and wildflowers. And I’m not even trying to be poetic here. This legit happened!
- Big family dinner in Elm where I got to try things like raclette, glarner pastete, zieker and cognac for the first time. Plus learning that in Switzerland when you “cheers” at a table you stop everything and go around and “cheers” with every. single. person. at that table. Love it!
- Taking a cable car up the bottom portion of the mountain – an activity that used to scare the bejeezus out of me.
- Getting to drive all through the Swiss countryside thanks to Jack, Reini and Yves.