It’s been a couple of months since I published my last post on Tickets and Barcelona and several more months since we actually got back from our trip, which means it has certainly faded to a distant memory. BUT, I am determined to finish the holiday posts!
So, following Barcelona, we flew to Switzerland where we spent a few days in Zurich before catching the Glacier Express and heading to Zermatt (otherwise known as the home of the Matterhorn) for a couple of chilled out days. Why Switzerland I hear many of you ask? Granted, it’s usually not high on anyone’s ‘must see’ list in Europe, especially as it is a rather expensive place to visit, but the whole country is spectacularly beautiful, they make some delicious sausages, and they do have some pretty amazing chocolate. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to go there?
Being half Swiss I’m probably a little bit biased, however, and for me this week was about family and seeing to some unfinished business, as they say.
My dad’s mum lives in Zurich, as do a few of his old friends, and after he passed away, I felt it was my duty to go and see them, possibly for one last time. As this was only the second time I was going to see my grandma, our stay here focussed largely on spending time with her. We stayed close to her and didn’t really plan anything food-wise – it made a nice change as it gave our stomachs a chance to catch-up after three weeks of pretty solid non-stop eating. That said, we still ate pretty well!
Having grown up on weisswurst sausages, I pretty much had one at every opportunity. Mostly they came with rösti, or bread if we picked one up at a street vendor. So this is pretty much what all my food photos from Switzerland look like:
It gave me much delight to see Aromat on the tables at restaurants, which I sprinkled on my food rather liberally! This was something else I grew up on, and I’m thankful I can get it in Melbourne. My absolute hands down favourite thing I ate in Switzerland was the St Gallen Bratwurst from the Sternen Grill. It was so good I practically jumped for joy when an opportunity came up to go there for seconds a couple of days later. They serve their sausages very simply – with a bread roll and mustard if you want it. They let the sausages speak for themselves.
We went on a trip into the mountains to spend some quality time with someone who was very special to my dad and who was a positive influence in his life when he was a troublesome teenager – she welcomed us warmly with a fondue.
Heidi lives in the mountains near the German and Austrian border and this was the view from the back of her house; she gets to wake up to it every morning. Amazing.
Back in Zurich, we visited the Sprüngli store where we picked up some chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! The milk chocolate filled with hazelnuts was my weakness.
On our final day in Zurich we met up with D’s sister and her friend who were also travelling around Europe at the same time, and travelled on the Glacier Express together to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn, otherwise known as the mountain on the Toblerone packet! It’s the world’s slowest express train and has panoramic windows that give you an amazing view of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. It was an amazing experience and I quite literally took hundreds of photos that day, only to have many ruined by glare from the glass. I think I’m going to spend the rest of my days sorting through those photos!
Whilst on the train, we took the chance to combine our chocolate stashes, resulting in one large stash and giving the other commuters around us a good laugh! That blue Toblerone box was a new flavour I picked up – milk chocolate with nougat and salted caramelised almonds. OH HELLO. (We brought 18 of these back from Europe and they only lasted about two weeks!)
While in Zermatt we rented a beautiful Swiss chalet through Loving Apartments, and yes, the view would have been that spectacular from the lounge room had the mountain not been completely enveloped in fog the whole time we were there. This is as good as it got.
We only stayed two nights while L and J stayed three, and on the day they left, they were treated to a stunning view of the mountain!
At this point, we were already at our next stop – Venice.