In January, I married this handsome devil. I had a year of travel firsts, from my trips to southern and northern California to our epic and life-changing #LTsouthafrica adventure. I spent time in London, re-discovered Spain, and spent many weekends toasting to dear friends at weddings, housewarmings, baby showers, and thirtieth birthday celebrations. I could happily hang my hat after 2015, but unbelievably, it’s not over just yet.
You may have already heard, but in less than three weeks, Sean and I are headed across the pond for #LTfriendsgiving, the alpine edition. What you may not know is that I’m extending my trip by a week so that my mom and her best friend, Mari, can join me in Switzerland in celebration of my 30th birthday. Don’t be so shocked, I know my wrinkle-free and delicate complexion doesn’t give away my age. While Sean flies home to Philadelphia, my mom and Mari will be flying in to Switzerland, where they’ll meet me for a week of celebrating, wine-drinking, and raclette-eating in some of Switzerland’s best cities.
Just like the last time I was in Switzerland with the romantic, we’ll be traveling everywhere via Swiss rail. I’ll be taking my mom and Mari to some of my favorite Swiss destinations and heading north to a lake-side city I’ve never visited before. Switzerland better start preparing the vin chaud now-ish.
Days 1 & 2 // Geneva & Montreaux
After an overnight flight from Philadelphia, my mom and Mari will likely be exhausted when they arrive in Geneva on Sunday. So, a comfortable and spacious place to stay where they can relax and unwind was an absolute must. We opted for a one-bedroom Deluxe Room with Swiss Luxury Apartments, located just a short walk from the train station. Though the room is set up apartment-style, with a fully equipped kitchen and separate bedroom and en suite, the property offers hotel-like amenities, including daily housekeeping, round-the-clock room service, and a reception/concierge desk.
We’ll be based in Geneva for our first two days, making quick side trips out to Montreux and Chateau de Chillon for the requisite Christmas market and castle-gazing experiences, respectively. Though I’ve been to Geneva before, I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city, and of course, relaxing with some Swiss wine in our luxury apartment.
Day 3 // Verbier
Since it’s my mom and Mari’s first time in Switzerland, I knew I wanted to give them at least one truly alpine experience. Having done the trip from Geneva to Verbier via rail before, I knew a one-night stay in Verbier was completely feasible in our itinerary. Though we won’t actually be skiing (let’s face it, a surprise to no one), we’ll most definitely be taking full advantage of the après-ski opportunities in Verbs. And, we’re staying in what may be the cutest mountainside cottage this side of Lake Geneva. Bring on the vin chaud, s’il vous plaît!
Day 4 // Bern
The last time the romantic and I were in Switzerland, we ended up taking an impromptu day trip to Bern and fell completely in love with the snow-covered capital city. I knew my family would be equally enchanted with Bern’s medieval architecture and festive Christmas decor, so I planned a one-night stay at the extremely central Goldener Schlüssel Hotel.
My mom has made a special request to stop by the Zytglogge, Bern’s famous clock tower, which happens to be conveniently located around the corner from our hotel in the Grünes Quartier. Other than that, we don’t have any concrete plans other than wandering the tiny cobblestone streets and perhaps indulging in a Berner plate or two.
Days 5 & 6 // Lucerne
Since the rest of our Swiss destinations are repeats for me, I wanted at least one city that was brand new for all of us, and I think the lakeside city of Lucerne will do juuust fine.
Photo courtesy of Lucerne Tourism Board
We’ll be based in Lucerne for two days and nights, during which we plan to take advantage of all the Christmas markets and festivities that are set to begin. While we’re in town, we’ll be staying at the AMERON Hotel Flora, located a short block away from the water and the iconic Chapel Bridge.
Day 7 / Lausanne
For our last day en Suisse, we’ll be headed back to Lake Geneva for a night in Lausanne. The romantic and I spent a night here during our last Switzerland adventure, and I know my mom and Mari will love the beautiful lakeside city with its shop-lined streets and pedestrian old town neighborhood. Most importantly, Lausanne is where the romantic and I first spotted rosti, and I’m not leaving without giving it a try.
Though there a million and one other places in Switzerland, I know this will be the perfect introduction to one of my favorite countries for my mom and Mari.
As always, you can follow along on Instagram, and I’ll also be Snapchatting (@lazytravelers) some special behind-the-scenes moments! Jusque-là!
We will be guests of Swiss Luxury Apartments and AMERON Hotel Flora during our stay in Switzerland. I look forward to sharing my honest review of our experience, including but not limited to descriptions of all the wine and cheese consumed.
Featured photo credit: Jan Geerk