Last summer, blogger and Go Ahead traveler Kathleen set out on our Grand Tour of Europe and went on a whirlwind journey from London to Rome. One of the many countries she explored was Switzerland—a place often associated with winter sports and snowy chalets. Below, she shares her favorite moments and a few surprises from her trip.
What was your favorite part of traveling in Switzerland?
I loved traveling through such diverse landscapes and cultures—the areas of Switzerland we visited were influenced by both Germany and Italy.
When travelers think of Switzerland, many might imagine skiing and snow-covered mountains. But how was being there in summer?
Everything was green and floral. I never knew just how many different colors of green there were until I was in Switzerland, especially looking at the scenery from the top of Mount Pilatus. There were wildflowers everywhere!
What’s a can’t-miss activity for travelers visiting Lucerne?
Ride the cable car up to Mount Pilatus; it’s by far one of the coolest things we did while on our tour. We walked up to a few of the lookout points at the top of the mountain and then sipped some hot chocolate because it was actually quite chilly there… even in July! The views are absolutely breathtaking and it was amazing to share the photos with my family and friends back in Texas.
How did you spend your free time?
My friends and I spent our time shopping, exploring the city, eating delicious Swiss chocolate and taking a ride in a paddleboat out on Lake Lucerne. It was a really neat and different way of seeing the city.
What’s the best way to enjoy a summer day?
Sitting outside while you savor a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and reflect on how amazing your trip has been so far. Or, strolling across one of the oldest wooden bridges in the world, the Kapellbrüke, as you snap endless amounts of pictures!
Have any favorite souvenirs from your trip?
The engraved Swiss army knife I bought my brother and the Christmas ornament I picked out for myself. I was inspired by a friend to start collecting ornaments from all the new places I travel to, and the ornament from Switzerland is one of my favorites of everything I bought on my trip.
Describe a favorite moment on tour.
I’m a huge history buff, so I loved learning more about the famous Swiss Guards by the statue of the Crying Lion at the end of our city tour. It’s fascinating to me that you can find the legacy of these brave men in pretty much every country in Europe, and the statue is a beautiful tribute to them.
Anything travelers should know before their trip?
Bring a water bottle with you so you can take advantage of the fresh mountain spring water from fountains around the city. Oh, and be prepared for some of the prettiest views you will ever see!
Would you love to see Switzerland in the summer, or do you have another destination on your wish list? Tell us about it in the comments!